MEAL PLANNING WITH STRAWBERRIES

Here’s what I love about living in California; the beach, the diversity from Northern to Southern California (and every town in between), and strawberry season.  So it’s only natural that strawberries would be the next best ingredient to inspire our ‘Monday Meal Plannin’ post.

We’ve shared in the past the importance of purchasing local and organic produce.  We know that this is very idyllic thinking and the reality is easier said than done; simply because there’s no organic option or because it can be so spendy.  Just know that you are in good company as we are often faced with the same issue.   It kills me that fresh organic produce isn’t made accessible to anyone and everyone, shouldn’t chemical-free produce be the norm?!  Seems like the food industry has gotten away with murder… slowly but surely I think we are finally making steps in the right direction with educated awareness not only for our own health but with Mother Earth in mind.

Most of you have probably heard about the “dirty dozen”.  According the Environmental Working Group the dirty dozen includes fruits and vegetables that have the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions – or to grow them organically yourself.  Unfortunately strawberries are at the top of the list along with apples, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas and potatoes.  So when it comes to these guys I stand firm and only buy them when “organic” is available.

The interesting thing about shopping locally and seasonally is usually organic options are much more accessible…and even better, sold at a reasonable price.  Typically it’s the off season where we end up paying an arm and a leg because they are having to smuggle produce in from abroad.  So with that said, we have been stocking up and eating strawberries anytime the opportunity presents itself.  Here are a couple new ways to use this ruby red goodie this week.


 

CRUNCHY TOAST W/ SWEET BERRIES AND CHEESE

Often when you purchase organic berries they can often begin to spoil within a day or two as there are no unnecessary added preservatives keeping them alive.  So I love that this recipe puts them to use once they are approaching that “overripe” stage by letting them macerate in some sugar.   Plus there’s nothing better than crunchy toast along side some hot tea in the morning.
Full recipe from Flourishing Foodie


 

STRAWBERRY CAPRESE SALAD W/ PISTACHIO PESTO

We live in this small beach cottage that just celebrated it’s 100th birthday.  A ton of “charm” comes from older homes…for example we have no air-conditioning.  Now most of the time this works out as we are blessed with enough of an ocean breeze to keep us content, but about three weeks of the year (usually mid August) we melt miserably.  During those days you can’t pay me enough to stand in front of a stove or oven.  So this “no-cook” caprese salad recipe is a breath of fresh air.  And this pistachio pesto looks like it takes the dish to the next level.
Full recipe from How Sweet It Is

 

MARBLED STRAWBERRY COCONUT POPS

We love making popsicles in the summer, or maybe I should rephrase that…we love eating popsicles in the summer.  These pops includes five ingredients (aside from the berries) that I have on hand any day of the week.
Full recipe from Sugar and Cloth

For more meal planning ideas be sure to check out our Pinterest.