I have fallen in love with strawberries all over again. It happens every year. I wait and wait for those local red beauties to be ripe in my area, not flown in from some greenhouse many miles away, where the insides are white and hard. I will (sheepishly) admit, that I do have a wee basket or two of the imported imposters, early in the season, when I just can’t wait, and am almost always disappointed. But I usually just say to myself: “You knew this would happen, just be patient…”
In my humble opinion, strawberries should practically melt in your mouth, with dark sweet red goodness inside each one of them. And that’s exactly what this year’s crop is like. I seem to not be able to get enough. So I go to 2 out of 3 market days in Vancouver just to get more.
My favourite vendor is Brian with Capella Farms from Surrey. He’s a friendly guy who, when asked if they were sprayed with any chemicals at all, replied with a proud smile: “There’s nothing but sunshine and rain on these strawberries!!”. I love it. And I love the care he takes in making sure every strawberry in each basket is fresh, periodically going through them and picking out the over-ripe ones. Such care and love in one’s business and produce is what brings me to these markets. I just know that goodness seeps into my body and makes things work really nicely in there.
It’s difficult for me to do anything with these red nuggets but eat them just like that. I don’t want to cover them up with other tastes that would just mask their true purpose. They will occasionally make their way into a smoothie, or in a strawberry-rhubarb crisp in the winter when I have some frozen ones. But if you want to have a super-special summer strawberry experience, you can try the simple recipe below. It maintains the fruit as the star, while actually enhancing them, if that were possible.
Reason #1: The just-ripe-off-the-vine strawberries just don’t compare to store-bought imported ones. Hands down.
Reason #2: They score higher than apples, oranges and bananas in most nutrients, and are particularly high in vitamin C, various antioxidants and flavanoids which help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Reason #3: Strawberries are the only known fruit to carry their seeds on the outside. How cool is that? Strawberries know how to be vulnerable. We can learn a lot from them.
Strawberries & Coconut Whipped Cream
What you need:
(note: the coconut milk has to go in the fridge at least 3 hours before you make this!)
1 bowl of fresh juicy local strawberries
1-2 cans of coconut milk, not low-fat (1 can serves 2 people, 2 serves 4 or more)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
What to do:
- Chill the cans of coconut milk for 3 hours or overnight, so the cream will rise to the top
- Rinse strawberries in a colander, let drain
- Once chilled, carefully open the coconut milk cans without shaking them. Scoop out the cream from the top into a mixing bowl.
- Whip the cream with the vanilla until it gets thick. It won’t be as stiff as regular whipped cream, but it will taste SO fantastic, you won’t mind.
- Place strawberries in pretty serving dishes. Spoon the cream over top, and enjoy!