Strawberry Fields, Family & Fresh Cream

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In May while I was down South visiting friends I jumped at the chance to go strawberry picking.  I haven't done this in years so it was nostalgic for me to be in a beautiful open field filled row after row with strawberries.  My friend Gayle and her two sweet girls, Louisa and Amelia are my photogenic, strawberry loving buddies. 
Strawberry season is in it's full glory here in the northeast.  Unfortunately strawberry picking is over in some parts of the country but fortunately we have access to these juicy red jewels most of the summer. In this month's post I will share with you the benefits of eating fresh, organic strawberries and a simple recipe to dress them up if you are looking for a new and easy summer dessert. 
Amelia got right to business - there is nothing like a freshly picked juicy strawberry - it's too good to wait!
The health benefits to eating fresh organic strawberries:
  • Strawberries rank 3rd (right behind blackberries and walnuts) for antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants (like vitamin C) are nutrients that help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals - rogue molecules that attack healthy cells. 
  • Unwanted inflammation can be improved by regular intake of strawberries.  Research indicates that eating a cup of berries 3 - 4 times per week is recommended to see these anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • The diverse phytonutrients in strawberries work synergistically to provide many cardiovascular benefits: decreased oxidation of fats in the cell membranes of cells that line our blood vessels and decreased levels of circulating fats, including total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

STRAWBERRIES IN A HONEY & LIME DRESSING WITH FRESH CREAM
serves 4

I adapted this recipe from the Food & Wine Annual 2013 cookbook.  It makes a wonderfully fresh dessert for summer months.  If you are feeling naughty you can serve this on top a shortcake! 

Ingredients:
1 quart strawberries, thinly sliced
4 TBSP honey
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp lime zest, plus more for garnish
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:
1.  Put strawberries in a bowl and set aside.
2.  Combine 3 tablespoons of honey with the lime juice in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Turn of the heat then stir in the lime zest and cardamon.  Let the sauce cool.
3.  Pour honey lime sauce over the strawberries and refrigerate for 25 minutes.
4.  Whip the heavy cream in a bowl with the last tablespoon of honey until soft peaks form.
5.  Place strawberries in four small bowls and top with cream.
6.  Garnish with lime zest and serve!


For more refreshing recipes with strawberries click here and here.

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