REAL Strawberries + Smoothie
by Laura Frerichs, Tastemaker in Residence
It's June and that means strawberries are in season around the country. And I'm talking about REAL strawberries, with flavor, juice, sweetness grown on a farm near you. Not the huge, perfect-looking ones at the grocery store that are hard and taste like sweetened cardboard. Local strawberries are the real deal. It also might be worth seeking out organic strawberries as conventional strawberries just made the top of the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" Produce List of fruits and veggies most contaminated with pesticides and therefore best to buy organic.
On our CSA farm, we grow June-bearing strawberries organically and the weeds are challenging on this perennial crop. Our crew spent all afternoon yesterday pulling thistles out of our strawberry patch. Bugs, like the tiny tarnished plant bug, also like to chew on the new forming berries and cause puckered fruits, so we have to be vigilant about scouting and monitoring for those as soon as the flowers form. On top of that, this year we had a late killing frost in mid-May and it killed the first strawberry blossoms. We lost about 30% of our crop we think, but luckily we still have strawberries that are sizing up and ripening soon. It's a tough crop!
So especially savor those wonderful strawberries and put some up in the freezer for later this summer and winter. They are a delightful treat to have in morning oatmeal, on pancakes, and in smoothies. Here is one of our favorite strawberry smoothie recipes:
1.5 cups frozen (or fresh if you have them!) local strawberries
1 frozen banana
1 cup orange juice
dash of water
1/2 cup plain yogurt, kefir, or non-dairy alternative
handful of raw spinach or kale
- Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Add more liquid (juice or water) if needed.
- If you need a bit of sweetness, add in a Tablespoon of honey or maple syrup.