For the first time in almost 50 years, a strawberry moon hung in the sky on the day of the summer solstice. Summer also happens to be strawberry season, making this unique celestial phenomenon an appropriate way to kick off weeks of enjoying ripe berries in as many ways as possible.
Here are a few ways to get the best from summer strawberry season.
Make a Cake
Putting strawberries in cake doesn’t make it healthier, but you can pretend it does as you enjoy the burst of juiciness they offer in the middle of layers of chocolate or vanilla. You can also blend berries into frosting for a natural red color that adds a mix of sweet and tart to the finished product, or go for creaminess all the way through by making a strawberry cheesecake instead.
For those who enjoy dishes that literally ooze fruit flavor, crumbles, crisps and cobblers offer a chance to go crazy with strawberry goodness. Crumbles feature streusel topping with seasonings such as cinnamon layered over the top of fruit and baked in the oven. Crisps are similar to crumbles but include oatmeal in their toppings. Cobbler invokes the memory of childhood comfort food with a warm biscuit layer perfect for sopping up excess juice.
Strawberries and Cream
All the pictures from dedicated raw foodists on Instagram make diving into a bowl of fresh fruit seem like the perfect idea on the morning after a strawberry moon. Take this concept one step further by turning a pint of strawberries into layered parfaits for the whole family. Fool, a classic British dish of layered whipped cream and berries, is a delicious and healthy dessert if you make it with coconut or cashew cream.
Nothing is more refreshing during the heat of strawberry season than a tall glass of your favorite frosty beverage. Strawberry lemonade is the most obvious way to enjoy berries in a drink, but you have many other options from a simple strawberry banana smoothie to alcohol-infused libations such as tequila sour or sangria. On the hottest days, homemade strawberry ice cream is a true treat. Create a creamy dairy-free option using coconut milk or coconut cream.
Classic Strawberry Desserts
Strawberry shortcake, pie and jam are quintessential summer dishes if you love this succulent berry. Each features saucy or syrupy berries as the star of the show, and you can make the recipes as simple or elegant as you want. Add a little high-quality balsamic vinegar to your jam or a bit of rum to your pie for a “grown up” pie variation, or serve shortcake in martini glasses as the finish of a dinner party.
Any way you slice them, strawberries make the perfect summer treat. Grab as many local berries as you can while they’re still in season to enjoy peak flavor in all your favorite recipes.
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