Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sensational Strawberries

Strawberries - Sweet, succulent, and supremely satisfying, these delicious little red "fruits" (they're technically not a true fruit, but we'll forgive them for that!) are not only tasty, but they pack a powerful nutritional punch - and also lend themselves beautifully to such items as kitchen decor, toys, and clothing and accessories.

Some fun facts about strawberries:
  • They actually have more vitamin C than a medium sized orange (per serving of 8 berries)
  • In a recent study, strawberries ranked second among the top ten fruits in total antioxidant capacity - one reason why they may help prevent cancer and heart disease!
  • Strawberries are actually a member of the rose family.
  • Strawberries may help relieve headaches! They contain natural salicylates, an ingredient that's found in aspirin!
  • The second wife of Henry VIII, Queen Anne Boleyn, had a strawberry-shaped birthmark on her neck which unfortunately, some claimed, proved she was a witch.
  • The average strawberry has 200 seeds, and is the only "fruit" with its seeds on the outside.
  • There is a museum in Belgium devoted to this wonderful fruit!
  • The strawberry is the state fruit of Louisiana
Strawberry themed items are plentiful on Etsy, so my shopping trip was easy except for having to narrow down my selections! Here are my picks in the strawberry category!

This darling Strawberry fairy from coccinelfe is almost too cute for words!

Adorable and so girly-girl, this Strawberry Patch Bow by PeachyandPip would look sweet on any little girl in your life!

Do you love chocolate covered strawberries? Then you're sure to love these chocolate covered strawberries wine glasses from heidimariedesigns. What a fun way to dress up your dessert party table!

One of my favorite ways to eat strawberries is in strawberry shortcake - but I'm talking about the old-fashioned, made with biscuits and freshly whipped cream strawberry shortcake that I grew up on... not the overly sweet spongecake shells and sugary whipped cream that most people think of! So I will end my post with a recipe for making this treat from scratch, but if you want to use Bisquick or your favorite biscuit mix for the dough, that will work just as well!

Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

5 cups fresh strawberries
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
Shortcake (see recipe below)
3 cups chilled whipping cream
Sugar to taste

Wash and hull strawberries; drain. Either leave the strawberries whole or slice. In a large bowl, place strawberries and sprinkle with sugar; cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Prepare shortcake.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste - I prefer less)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease two large baking sheets.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter or margarine until particles are the size of small peas; stir in egg and milk.

On a lightly floured surface, using 1/2 cup dough per biscuit, pat dough into eight (4-inch rounds.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown.
In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form; fold in sugar. (Tip - put your beaters and your mixing bowl in the freezer to chill them before whipping the cream)

To serve, split baked shortcakes into halves. Ladle strawberries onto top of shortcake and top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Tips: Best served when shortcake is warm. Shortcake can be reheated.

Makes 8 servings.


paintingpam said...

I'm going to remember strawberries when I have a headache, next time. Thanks for the info!

SCJ Jewelry Design said...

Strawberries...My all time favorite food!

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