July 2, 2009 at 7:38 a.m.
Some of the first fruits to bear are behind their ripening stage, such as strawberries. I called one of the local berry patches and was told that berries would be ready to pick in about 2 weeks and that would be about now.
Remember not to wash them until you are ready to use them. For the best flavor, let them reach room temperature before serving. Strawberries have a lot of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and fiber. They're also fat-free, low in calories and very low in sodium. What a nutritious fruit for us to eat!
I have some new strawberry recipes that I hadn't tried before and I'd like to share them with you.
FRUIT AND YOGURT SALAD
3 c. fresh strawberries (if berries are large, cut them in half)
2 c. cantaloupe, cut in bite-size pieces
3 fresh peaches, cut in bite size pieces
1 banana, sliced
1 c. small green grapes, (red grapes may be used)
1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 t. vanilla
3 T. sunflower seeds
In a large bowl, combine fruits and coconut. In a small container or jar with a tight fitting cover, combine yogurt, honey and vanilla; shake well. Carefully fold yogurt mixture into fruit. Turn into a pretty bowl if you wish. Garnish with sunflower seeds.
Makes 8-10 servings.
This is a good dessert that you can make ahead of time.
STRAWBERRY WAFER SQUARES
64 vanilla wafer, divided
1/4 c. sugar, divided
5 T. butter or margarine, melted
2-1/2 c. cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1-1/2 c. whipped topping, thawed
3 c. sliced strawberries, cut in small pieces
Crush 40 of the wafers; mix with 3 T. of the sugar and butter until well blended. Press firmly onto bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan; set aside. Pour milk into a large bowl. Add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk or rotary beater for 2 minutes or until well blended and mixture starts to get thick. Let sit a couple of minutes to thicken. Gently fold in whopped topping. Spread half of the pudding mixture over crust; top with remaining 24 wafers. Cover with rest of pudding mixture.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Meanwhile toss berries with 1 T. sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut dessert into 24 squares (larger pieces if you wish). Serve each square with about 2 T. of berry mixture. Refrigerate any leftover dessert.
Makes 24 squares.
CREAMY STRAWBERRY DESSERT
This recipe is very quick and easy to make.
1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
1-6 oz. container strawberry yogurt
2 T. sugar, or 1 1/4 T. sugar sweetener
Spoon berries into sherbet or sauce dishes. In a small bowl, combine yogurt and sugar, mixing well. Drizzle over berries.
Makes 4 servings.
Note: If you wish to use plain yogurt, swirl in a few teaspoons of your favorite strawberry jam. I use low-sugar jam for the topping.
NO-BAKE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1-1/2 t. pure vanilla or 2 t. imitation vanilla flavoring
1-8 oz. container whipped topping, thawed
1-6 oz. prepared graham cracker pie shell
1 lb. about 3 c. fresh strawberries, halved lengthwise, trying to use the same size berries
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Fold in sour cream and vanilla until just combined. Fold in whipped topping. Turn mixture into the pie crust. (There may be some filling leftover. If so, use it to be decoratively piped onto the top of the pie. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Starting in the center of the pie, arrange berries in a circular pattern around edges, overlapping pointy end of berries. Use the rest of them to make another row pointing toward first row. Sound complicated? Just think about it a minute and re-read it. Better yet, arrange them the way you like.
Makes 8 servings.
Note: If you prefer to make your own crust, combine 1-1/4 c. graham crackers with 1/4 c. sugar and 1/3 c. melted butter. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely.
TFD: Do you know when the first celebration of the Independence Day, July 4 was? It took place in Philadelphia, 1777, one year after the Declaration of Independence and during the height of the Revolution. Entertainments included church bells ringing, bonfires, fireworks, and music provided by the Hessian Band that had been captured at Trenton on December 26. The local Quakers complained about the windows broken from all the noise. However it didn't stop the celebration. The first official celebration was made a holiday in Massachusetts in 1781. History lesson concluded!
Please be careful in whatever you do to celebrate this historical day. Especially using fireworks as part of your entertainment.
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