Always a reason to eat strawberries
“Strawberries, strawberries, every year...These must be eaten, enjoying here...Even the best cakes allow it when...Made in kitchen, the cook will be then...Baked with love, served with pleasure”
– Ingeborg Bauer
Strawberries are a deliciously unusual fruit – unusual due to their structure.
With the variety of fruits and vegetables grown throughout the world, the strawberry is the only fruit with seeds on its outside, approximately 200 of them.
Due to this feature botanists call the strawberry a false fruit, aka pseudocarp, since they look at it as a “fruit within a fruit” and not a simple berry at all.
Consumers tend to see strawberries make a huge appearance in supermarkets around April. While they are available year-round, prices vary due to the quantity available, where they were shipped from, and the method of growth (fields or greenhouses).
Being a cool-weather plant, home growers plant April to May, or mid spring. First harvest is typically in June, with a second harvest occurring in the early fall.
With the high heat of July and August, like humans and animals, these plants shy away from the scorching sunlight.
According to a very detailed 2019 scientific study done on the nutritional and health benefits of strawberries (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202899/), “Strawberries are a rich source of nutrients that helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The nutrients lower the post-meal spike in blood sugar and insulin in adults with obesity or excess weight who have insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome.”
In a Medical News Today article (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271285), “Strawberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.” In layman’s terms, this fruit is really, really healthy for the human body!
That’s if you eat them plain without dipping them in sugar, whipped cream, or chocolate. No adding into baked desserts loaded with highcarb ingredients like flours and sugars. If they are, moderation is the key word.
When it comes to purchasing fresh strawberries I personally tend to wait for the sales and buy what others would say is way too much. Why? To process them into manageable savings of course!
Removing the leafy top and center white part, place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, at least 30 minutes.
Transfer to a resealable freezer bag, and store for up to three months. Baked goods such as muffins and quick breads should be individually wrapped in plastic, and can be frozen up to two months.
So it came to pass that, once again, I had overripe bananas waiting to be frozen or baked into bread. At the same time there were enough strawberries remaining, just about to enter their “icky” phase of ripening, so what did I do?
Ingredients: 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (add 3 Tbsp. for high altitude), 3/4 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup (6 oz. container) vanilla yogurt (or sour cream and increase vanilla extract to 4 tsp.), 2 eggs beaten, 3 overripe bananas, mashed well, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 cup thickly sliced, or large dice strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugar. Then whisk in the yogurt, eggs, bananas, and vanilla.
Gradually add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients, folding them together until just combined; don’t overmix. Gently fold in the strawberries. The batter will be very thick but loose.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted in center of the bread, comes out cleanly. Remove pan from oven and let bread cool for ten minutes in the pan. Remove bread and transfer to a cooling rack for an hour before slicing.
Store in plastic wrap; bread will last up to 3 days in refrigerator, or 2 months in freezer.
Makes one loaf.
All these yummy bread recipes I’ve been sharing are increasing your recipe card file. The holidays will be here sooner than later, and homemade baked goods make great gifts!
And yes, you can substitute with blueberries, blackberries or raspberries; still a one cup ratio, or 1.5 cups. Who’s keeping score, right?