by Julie Badger Jensen
Strawberries . . . red, ripe and ravishing . . . a beautiful addition to any meal. Delightfully versatile – – they are spectacular in a simple salad or elegant dessert. Strawberries make wonderful garnishes for cakes and pies or as toppings for crepes, ice cream, waffles, or pancakes. The possibilities are endless.
Whether picked fresh from the garden or supermarket, always look for bright red berries that are still a little firm. Don’t worry too much about size . . . the small berries are often more sweet and juicy than the big ones. Handle strawberries with care. Use them as quickly as possible. For longer freshness, leave them unwashed and place in a paper bag before refrigerating. When ready to use, prepare them by gently rinsing berries and thoroughly drying on paper towels.
And don’t forget the nutritional value of strawberries! They are an excellent source of Vitamin C and also contain iron and other trace elements. They are great for calorie counters . . . containing just 45 calories in a whole cup.
A few favorite recipes follow for you to enjoy, but the delicacies you can create are limited only by your imagination. Whether you serve strawberries simply or elegantly, family and friends are sure to gather AROUND THE TABLE.
Healthy and delightful drink
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 / 4 cup sugar
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 / 2 cup pineapple juice
1 cup crushed ice
Sprinkle berries with sugar. Place in blender or food processor with yogurt and pineapple juice. Blend well. Add 1 cup crushed ice. Blend. Makes two generous frosty drinks.
STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD
Full of nutrition
A great accompaniment for many main dishes
1 (10-oz.) pkg. baby spinach greens, washed
1 qt. strawberries, sliced
1 / 4 cup sugar
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Lightly sprinkle sugar over strawberries and toss with spinach greens. Serve with Celery Seed Dressing.
Celery Seed Dressing
3 / 4 cup sugar
1 / 2 cup honey
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. onion, finely grated
1 / 2 cup lemon juice
1 cup vegetable oil
1 / 2 tsp. celery seeds
Blend first six ingredients in blender. Gradually add oil and celery seed while blending.
Pass dressing for individual servings. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Salad serves
CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES
Adored at any occasion
24 fresh, unblemished strawberries
12 oz. dipping chocolate
Begin by washing whole strawberries and letting them dry thoroughly on paper toweling. Dip on the same day.
To melt chocolate, place in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 90 seconds, then stir well. Continue to microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until smooth. Or to melt chocolate in the oven, place chocolate in an oven pan. Preheat oven to 120 degrees and place pan in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until chocolate is soft. Remove and stir until smooth.
Hold each strawberry by its stem and dip half of the berry into the chocolate. Let the excess drip back into the dish or pan. If desired, you can also dip the berry into finely shredded coconut or chocolate sprinkles or double dip in white dipping chocolate. Place each berry on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and refrigerate until served. Plan on preparing and eating this treat within 24 hours.
ANGEL BAVARIAN WITH STRAWBERRIES
2 envelopes, unflavored gelatin
1 pint whipping cream
1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
2 cups sugar
3 cups milk
pinch of salt
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 angel food cake
Dissolve gelatin in 1 / 2 cup of milk. Separate eggs. Mix yolks, remaining milk, 1 1 / 2 cups sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Cook mixture until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add gelatin mixture. Let cool.
Whip cream and egg whites separately. Fold cool custard into cream and then into egg whites. Break the angel food cake into egg-sized pieces in a 9×14-inch pan. Pour custard mixture gently over broken cake. Set at least 10 hours.
Frost the cake with remaining cream. Slice the strawberries and sprinkle with remaining 1 / 2 cup sugar. Refrigerate berries and dessert separately. When ready to serve cut into individual squares and spoon strawberries over top. Serves about 12.
FRESH STRAWBERRY PARFAITS
These eye-catching treats are beautiful and so easy to make!
3 cups ripe strawberries
1 pint whipped cream
1 pkg. Strawberry Danish Dessert
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding and pie filling (6-oz.)
2 cups milk
Wash, stem and slice berries into a bowl. Sugar to taste and refrigerate at least
1 / 2 hour. Make Danish Dessert according to directions for pudding. Cool completely. Make vanilla instant pudding according to package directions, using only 2 cups milk. Let set 1 / 2 hour or longer. Then fold in 2 / 3 cup whipped cream, sweetened to taste. Reserve the rest of the cream for topping.
Layer all ingredients in parfait glasses, beginning with strawberries, then vanilla pudding mixture and Danish dessert. Top with whipped cream and strawberries. Makes 6 parfaits.
STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM CAKE
A “cool” dessert for any occasion
1 angel food cake
1 1 / 2 qt. (6 cups) strawberry ice cream, slightly softened
1 pint whipping cream
1 / 2 cup sugar
red food coloring, a few drops
Slice the cake twice horizontally to make three layers. Spread half of the softened ice cream on the bottom layer. Cover with the middle layer of cake. Spread remaining ice cream on top. Then cover with top layer of cake. Freeze the cake until very hard. After cake is frozen, prepare whipped cream, adding 1 / 2 cup sugar. Mix in enough red food coloring to turn whipped cream pink. Frost cake, top and sides, with whipped cream. Return to freezer until serving time. Decorate with fresh strawberries.
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