Meal Planning Monday ~ Strawberry Bliss

           Big, ripe, juicy strawberries are a sure sign that summer is here!  I love strawberries and I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy them.  The grocery stores are starting to run some great deals on berries, so now’s the time to stock up on them.  Stock up?!  Won’t the strawberries go bad before we can eat them all?  Not if you follow my tips!

            I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems like strawberries start to rot just a day or so after you bring them home from the store.  I recently read a great tip for extending the life of your strawberries in First for Women magazine.  When you bring your berries home from the store, soak them in a solution of 2 ½ cups of water with ¼ of white or apple cider vinegar for ten minutes.  The vinegar will kill the mold spores and bacteria that cause the berries to rot and extend their shelf life.  Dry the berries and store as usual.  The vinegar is so diluted, it won’t affect the taste of the berries.

            Recently, my local Meijer store had strawberries on sale 5 for $5, which is an awesome deal!  There are only two people in my family, so even with the vinegar rinse, we wouldn’t eat all the berries before they passed their prime.  However, my husband and I love making protein smoothies, so I hulled and cut up the strawberries and froze them.  I put the sliced berries in snack sized baggies (the perfect portion for a smoothie) and then put the small baggies inside of a gallon freezer bag.  Frozen strawberries also make great additions to muffins and pancakes.  I plan on stocking my freezer full of strawberries (and blueberries!) so that I can enjoy them well past the summer months.

            This week, I’m giving you some great recipe ideas for using those delicious and inexpensive summer berries!

Berry Smoothie ~ 1 cup of frozen berries, 2 ice cubes, 2/3 cup of milk, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder.  Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Cool & Easy Strawberry Pie ~ Try this great no-bake dessert from Kraft that would be perfect for your next summer grill out.  (Thanks to Dyan Price from my Facebook recipe group for giving me the heads-up on this one!)

Strawberry Freezer Jam ~ I am looking forward to making this easy strawberry jam recipe next time strawberries go on sale!

Angel Food Cake with Berries ~ This dessert is sweet and light – perfect for summer!  Mix one 8 ounce container of lemon yogurt with one cup of Cool Whip.  Put a slice of angel food cake on a plate and top with sliced strawberries and blueberries.  Top with a dollop of the yogurt and Cool Whip mixture.  You can also cut the angel food cake in cubes and layer the cake, berries, and topping in parfait glasses.

Red, White, & Blue Waffles ~ Try this for a patriotic breakfast: Skip the syrup and instead top waffles with some vanilla yogurt, add strawberries, blueberries, and some chopped walnuts.

Strawberry Spritzer ~ This is the perfect drink to enjoy poolside!  You can make it with or without alcohol.

Berry Topper ~ Of course, you can always just toss a few berries on top of oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream, cereal, pancakes, etc.

What’s your favorite way to eat strawberries?

 

Comments

  1. Nicholle Bays says:

    I love strawberries in my protein smoothies as well! Other than that, I love them any way I can get them! You can also freeze bananas for your smoothies too! Yummy!