Since moving to the country there have been more than a few surprises. One of the most notable has been the lack of organic food and selection. When I go back to the city and visit a grocery store, I feel amazed at the abundance of options. The produce section looks like a rainbow buffet.
Now that the outdoor Farmer's Markets have opened up again, much of my food shopping moves from the grocery store to the park. It's my most favourite time of the year.
Meals start being centred around what fresh fruit and vegetables I come home with rather than shopping with a recipe in mind.
And of course, with fresh strawberries in season, all I have on my mind is eating them all. My kids agree. There's nothing like the taste of in-season, local summer berries.
Strawberries are notorious for rating on EWG's Dirty 12 list year after year. This year, they top the list. And since leafy greens are the only organic produce at my local farmer's market, if I want fresh Ontario strawberries, it's conventional or none at all. Rather than buy the strawberries that come from afar, I choose to feed my family some seasonal berries and wash them really well using baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and water.
Since I picked up four pints of berries there were plenty to wash. I followed this fruit and vegetable wash recipe and poured the ingredients all over the berries letting them soak in the cleaner for a short while before rinsing them off individually.
Cleaning the berries was a labour of love. It took about 30 minutes to wash them all and cut off the stems. I ate about half a pint with my four-year-old during this process. I'm powerless over strawberries.
Although fresh berries are naturally sweet, I decided to make my strawberries and cream recipe for dessert. Its been a family favourite since childhood when my Nana and my mom would serve up strawberries sprinkled with sugar and topped with whipped cream.
This recipe is so easy and delicious. Sprinkle freshly washed and cut strawberries with about 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. I used coconut sugar because that's what I had in my pantry but any will do. Let the berries sit in until you're ready to eat them. A few hours lets the sugar soak in.
Serve the strawberries into your favourite dessert bowl. Top with whipped cream. The ladies in my family always made their own whipped cream but I'm not a fan of homemade cream. The dairy hurts my belly. When I want whipped cream, our go-to is Gay Lea's Real Coconut Whipped Cream. It's dairy and lactose-free- no belly aches! Plus, my kids love the slightly tropical taste. We enjoy it on top of our Chocolate Avocado pudding, too.
I gave Matt a quick lesson in how to spray his own whipped cream. I'm afraid I've created a monster now. He indulged more than once. I did too.
Strawberries and Cream Recipe
- 2 pints of fresh strawberries, cleaned, cut in half and destemmed
- Sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of coconut sugar
Let berries sit in a bowl for 1-2 hours minimum. Spoon into a dessert bowl. Top with Coconut Whipped Cream for a tropical flavour.
Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.