Summer is here and so is the best of our growing season. Local produce not only tastes better, it also supports Canadian growers, as well as reduces our carbon footprint. While there are many stars of our local growing season, strawberries are the favourite of many.
The small, unique and deliciously red berries from fields across the country are available for a short window, but pack a punch that keeps us coming back for more each year.
If you find yourself purchasing more strawberries than you know what to do with this summer, here are a few ways to enjoy them:
Take it Outdoors
Strawberry skewers on the barbecue will be your new party trick. Lightly oil and grill strawberries to top a salad. Or soak them in rum or bourbon or a touch of vanilla extract or balsamic for a non-alcoholic option before skewering and barbecuing for a few minutes, flipping once for a deliciously warm topping for your favourite ice cream or cheesecake.
S’mores The Way
For a sweet and tart twist on the summer classic simply add sliced strawberries to your usual s’mores combo or take it to the next level with chocolate hazelnut spread and a few slices of banana, instead of the traditional chocolate combo. Marshmallow-dipped strawberries also make a great fireside companion. Melt marshmallows on the stovetop or use marshmallow fluff and dip a skewered strawberry in the melted marshmallow, roasting to perfection over the fire.
Jazz Up Your Jam
Making jam with local berries is a tradition, and while your standard strawberry jam is delicious on its own, why not make a few new variations? Try adding a cup of prosecco to your standard jam recipe for a sparkling surprise or some fresh-chopped basil for a savoury spin on the classic favourite. Spread on a scone or add to a charcuterie board for an extra taste of summer.
Savoury is The New Sweet
A summer salad with strawberries — like a spinach salad with pecans and a poppy seed or balsamic vinaigrette — may already be in your repertoire, but there are many more ways to use strawberries in a salad. Mix strawberries and fresh basil, drizzle with a mixture of olive oil, honey and lime juice and serve with grilled President’s Choice Halloumi. Strawberries, feta and mint is also a delicious combination and can be used like a salsa with fresh naan.
Local strawberries are now available at Loblaws stores across Canada.