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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Strawberry Avocado Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Sugar-free, Raw)
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.
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!
Need even more strawberry goodness in your life? Try these recipes!
Or whip up some raw vegan chocolate and dip those strawberries in :)
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.