"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"
Strawberry Strawberries Forever
Sung by: Anne Lemmen
Written by: Ingeborg Bauer
Available Only At: Amazon Music
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 “fruits within a fruit”, and not a simple berry at all.
Consumer wise, we 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 in from, and method of growth (fields or greenhouses). Being a cool weather plant, home growers plant April to May, or mid-spring; first harvest is typically 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.
In a very detailed, scientific 2019 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 is if you eat them plain, no dipping in sugar, whipped cream or chocolate. No adding into baked desserts loaded with high carb ingredients like flours and sugars; and if they are, moderation is the key word.
When it comes to purchasing fresh strawberries, I personally tend to wait for the sales, and buying, 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 3 months. Baked goods, such as muffins and quick breads, should be individually wrapped in plastic, and can be frozen up to 2 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?
Strawberry Banana Bread
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
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9”x5“ 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; do not overmix. Gently fold in the strawberries. The batter will be very thick, but loose.
Remove pan from oven and let bread cool for 10 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.
Think of it this way, all these yummy bread recipes I have been sharing is 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 and ½ cups, who keeping score, right?