BC Grown Strawberries
I like to Buy BC as much as I can, and when it comes to strawberries there’s nothing better than local ones. You can buy BC grown strawberries in the grocery store from June to September or pick them yourself directly from the field.
Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C and a source of potassium, folate and fibre. Half a cup contains only 28 calories which make them a perfect low-calorie snack. Strawberries also contain the phytochemicals ellagic acid and anthocyanins, which have potent antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Some research shows they may also be good for brain health and memory.
Buying your Berries:
At the grocery store or farm market, select berries that are firm, plump and bright red in colour with bright green caps. They should be sweet to the nose as well as to taste. Yellow and white patches mean they were not ripened to their peak. Once a berry is picked it will not continue to ripen. Look for berries that are loosely packed in unstained containers. Avoid packages with moldy berries.
Keep your berries as cool as possible. If you are picking your own, regularly take the ones you have picked to a cooler with ice packs and keep them out of the sun. Sort through the berries and discard any soft or moldy ones. Eat the very ripe ones first and refrigerate the nice ripe firm berries. Do not wash berries before you store them and keep the green caps on. Lay paper towel down in the storage container and place berries in single layer with another paper towel and layer of berries on top. Cover with saran loosely or the lid left unsealed. Store them in the coolest part of the refrigerator. Eat within 2-3 days.
Wash berries thoroughly, remove the green caps, lay them in a single layer, cut side down on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for 6 hours. Transfer the frozen berries to a freezer bag for storage 3 months in the fridge freezer and up to one year in the deep freeze.
My favorite way to eat strawberries is right from the bush. Strawberries are so versatile you can toss them in your smoothie or top them with yogurt. Make them into popsicles with coconut water or slice them up for freezer jam. I love strawberry salsa on fish or balsamic strawberries on salad with goat cheese and toasted sliced almonds. My new favorite is strawberry bruschetta for a colourful appetizer on the patio served with strawberry mint spritzers.
Balsamic Glazed BC Strawberries and Chevre Salad
8 cups (2 L) mesclun salad mix
1/4 cup (50 mL) balsamic vinegar
2 cups (500 mL) sliced BC Strawberries
1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
1 large garlic clove, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) chevre, crumbled (goat cheese)
In large bowl, toss salad greens.
In small saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring vinegar to a boil. Boil uncovered until slightly thickened, 1-3 minutes. In small bowl, drizzle vinegar over strawberries and toss gently. Set aside.
In small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Any excess vinegar from strawberries, drain off and whisk into dressing.
Add enough dressing to salad to coat lightly. Arrange a nest of salad onto six salad plates; arrange glazed strawberries over salad. Sprinkle chevre over each salad.
Grilled Halibut with Strawberry Mango Salsa
· 2 cups (500 mL) diced BC Strawberries
· 1 mango, diced
· 1/4 cup (50 mL) diced red onion
· 2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh lime juice
· 2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped cilantro
· 1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
· 1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey
· salt and pepper to taste
· 3 halibut steaks, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
· Vegetable oil
1. In medium bowl; combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
1. Brush halibut with oil. Place on barbecue grill over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side.
2. Spoon salsa over each steak and serve immediately. Serve remaining salsa separately.
· 3 cups (750 mL) sliced BC Strawberries
· 3 tablespoons (45 mL) balsamic vinegar
· 1 loaf unsliced Italian or French bread
· 1 pound (500 g) Brie or Camembert cheese, sliced
· freshly ground pepper to taste
· Chopped basil (optional)
1. In medium bowl, gently toss strawberries and balsamic vinegar; set aside.
2. Slice bread in half horizontally, place on baking sheet. Arrange cheese slices over bread halves. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to bubble. Remove from oven and arrange strawberries on top, sprinkle freshly ground pepper, slice bread and serve. Garnish with basil if desired.
Recipes from www.bcstrawberries.com