strawberry love

Could anything be more summery than strawberries? And I’m not talking those sad strawberries that are languishing in the supermarket over winter….I’m talking about the juicy, red and incredibly sweet strawberries that start hitting the shelves in May/June that are so tasty, it’s like eating candy- juicy, fresh, healthy candy! I swear I could eat an entire pint of strawberries everyday and never get sick of them- make that 2 pints a day- I would put them in/on everything if I could!

Strawberry

And lately I feel like I have. Most of my breakfasts, snack and desserts have featured this lovely fruit and even a couple lunches! Probably one of the greatest things about strawberries is that they pair incredibly well with both sweet and savoury flavours- they go just as well with arugula, herbs, vinegar and pepper as they do with chocolate, cream and banana. And that was my mission with this post- to celebrate the strawberry for all it’s strengths!

Not only are strawberries super tasty, they also boast some serious nutritional power!

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Source: WH Foods

Check out all those vitamins and nutrients in only 46 calories!

In addition to all those vitamins, strawberries are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that play a role in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, even other inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease and arthritis. Inflammation plays a role in pretty much every illness and malady that plagues us, so eating more anti-inflammatory foods can only be a good thing!

Now that you know why you should eat strawberries, here’s a few recipes that let this wonderful berry shine!

First up: Strawberry Basil Smoothie!

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This smoothie was inspired by Farmers Market Vegan’s Blueberry Basil Smoothie. As soon as she posted it I knew I had to test out some herbs in my smoothies. However, I had strawberries on the brain so I adapted her version and it worked out perfectly!

Strawberry Basil Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Sugar-free, Raw)

This smoothie tastes so fancy and complex! The sweetness of the strawberry is complimented beautifully by the creaminess in the avocado, the freshness of the cucumber and the subtle pepper taste of the basil. As soon as I finished it I wanted to make another! Not really needed though- this smoothie is packed with fibre and healthy fats so it will keep you going till lunch! Then you can make another one ;)

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced before freezing
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/3 of a large cucumber
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Blend until smooth!

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Doesn’t that strawberry look like a heart? So fitting!

Next: Strawberry Avocado Salad

I had always known that strawberries, balsamic vinegar and pepper went well together, but I didn’t know just how good the combination could be. Peppery arugula, creamy avocado, crunchy pecans and an almost wine-like flavour from the balsamic vinegar bring out the sweetness and subtle tartness from the strawberries to create a show-stopping salad!

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Strawberry Avocado Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Sugar-free, Raw)

Serves 2.

Salad:

  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1 large handful arugula
  • 1/2 cup heaping sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 an avocado, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with the balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below) and serve immediately.

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

The key with dressings like this is to blend them! This helps them emulsify and STAY emulsified. I find that if you simply whisk the ingredients they will separate after being stored. So for this dressing I like to pop all the ingredients into a small blender and blend for a few seconds. An immersion blender would work as well! You can just whisk them all together if you prefer. It would be just as delicious.

This dressing makes more than is needed for the salad. Drizzle some over the salad and store the rest in a glass jar in the fridge. It goes well with just about any salad ingredient!

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Need even more strawberry goodness in your life? Try these recipes!

Raw Strawberry Banana Buckwheat Porridge

IMG_0561 gluten free feed

Raw Strawberry Cream Cake

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Or whip up some raw vegan chocolate and dip those strawberries in :)

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I don’t know about you, but now I’m craving strawberries. Excuse me as I go snag one (or 10) from the fridge! See you all tomorrow for What I Ate Wednesday!

I am submitting the smoothie recipe to Allergy Free Wednesday.

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34 thoughts on “strawberry love

  1. I love all these ideas! I’ve had strawberry basil lemonade before, but never a smoothie- that sounds so refreshing! I also love strawberry salads. In fact, sometimes, I’ll just eat a bowl of strawberries drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The way the natural sugars react with the vinegar is just magical. Great post!

    • I haven’t done that with strawberries in ages- you’re so right though, especially with a good quality balsamic- it’s bliss!

      I’ve never had strawberry basil lemonade! Clearly that is a must-try this summer. Thanks for the idea :)

  2. Will definitely give this a try (probably subbing out the almond milk)…I’ve never tried any herbs in my smoothies! Food for thought (I’ll have to start experimenting with my leaves and sprigs now!)
    Lovely post, as always :)

  3. I may be a weirdo, but I would make this smoothie and add some freshly ground black pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar! I love those two seasonings with strawberry and basil! I have strange taste buds! That salad looks splendid too! Hooray for strawberries :)

    • Hahah oh I am right there with you- I thought about adding arugula and balsamic, but decided for that round to keep it simple. I bet pepper and vinegar would be steller! If you try it, you be sure to tell me!

      Whenever strawberries are in season I go mad for them- they are only around for so long so I feel eating them multiple times a day is justified ;)

  4. Yum, girl, I think I need to go have 10 myself! Just picked up 3 pints from my farmers market this weekend and they are almost gone. Theres such a different between fresh and store bought ones! Isn’t it amazing how much vitamin C they have?!?! And they also pair so well with my favorite fruit…bananas!

  5. The banana buckwheat porridge is calling my name! The smoothie looks interesting! You have to try my strawberry pudding…. Mmmm Im a strawberry lover too. Time to go picking them soon :)

  6. thats a lot of good stuff in this pretty berry. now i cannot find any reason to not eat loads of it this summer. the smoothie sounds amazing! and i have a load of basil and mint growing in my balcony garden!

  7. Strawberries are the best Gabby! My ultimate fave dessert as a kid was strawberry shortcake (mostly because we never got whip cream save but once a year on my birthday) and we would steal ripe berries from gardens all over the neighbourhood.
    They are the perfect summer fruit – when in season for sure! These recipes all look awesome..our fave way to enjoy is sliced and tossed in a little sugar and let sit for 30 minutes. The juices come out and the flavor really intensifies. Heaven! :)

    • I remember loving strawberry shortcake too, or at least our version of it- some store-bought angel food cake, whipped cream and strawberries. Super simple, but I looked forward to it every summer!

      Heheh I love the thought of you as a little girl running around stealthily picking berries :)

      Hope you had a lovely day Shira!

  8. I just purchased my first 2 pints of native strawberries this week…in a few more weeks our PYO Berry Patch will be open; nothing beats a freshly picked strawberry still warm from the sun!

    …I love your salad, I made one similar this weekend – I love paring the sweetness with strawberries with more savory foods :)

    • Fresh picked berries are undoubtedly the best! I best you churn out the most amazing recipes with them too!

      Some fruits just go amazing with savoury foods- even strawberries with just some black pepper is delicious. It’s a versatile little thing :)

  9. I am so with you! I LOVE strawberries! I’ve been splurging on them because the organic ones are still expensive at the store but I couldn’t wait! I love that you included the nutrient info too. It’s amazing that something so sweet and yummy can be so great for you. Gotta love nature’s candy!

    All of your recipes look great as always, but I’m so into that salad! I’m definitely going to have to try that one soon! The smoothie sounds so interesting and refreshing!

    Have a great day Gabby!

    • Thanks Sarah! Strawberries that are perfectly ripe are the way I kow summer is here!

      Let me know what you think of the salad! It has avocado so you really can’t go wrong right? ;)

      Hope you enjoyed your day as well!

    • Thanks so much! The avocado gives the smoothie awesome creaminess, same with the frozen banana. It’s one of my best ones yet!

      The cake is delicious :) I will be returning to that recipe again and again.

      Thank YOU for stopping by!

  10. I’ve been absolutely loving strawberry salads lately – especially with toasted walnuts! I also love doing them up like footballs when NFL season rolls around – they’re so cute dipped in brown chocolate with white chocolate piped across the top to make them look like a football.

  11. I’m so happy my smoothie inspired you! Basil has definitely become one of my favorite additions to otherwise mildly flavored smoothies. I also tried my Blueberry Basil smoothie with fresh tarragon the other day an it turned out phenonmenally.

    • Your post described it perfectly- gives the smoothie a mysterious quality. I think I’ll be including it a lot more from now on :) Thanks for the inspiration! Tarragon you say…I’m going to have to try that too!

  12. Strawberries are luckily all year round in Aus so I’m enjoying a bowl as I type – addictive, addictive, addictive they are, especially in your recipes :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  13. I love strawberries but the only ones I can find at the moment are from spain and they are seriously bad! :(( hoping to get some local ones soon! strawberries and balsamic make such a divine combo!

    • It always makes me mad when I see bad produce- not worth the money or energy to ship it, so wasteful! We’d be much better off just having seasonal produce available to us. That being said, I hope you get fresh, yummy strawberries soon! And eat tem everyday until they’re gone ;)

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