Early last week, the media reported that several punnets of strawberries in Queensland had been found to be contaminated with needles, initially the strawberries had all come from one farm. Unfortunately, this soon spread with copycats following suit, to what is now over 100 reports of contaminated punnets of strawberries throughout all states of Australia. Strawberry growers have been hit hard, with some stores not stocking strawberries and many people avoiding buying them. This is potentially catastrophic for some businesses, so we need to continue buying strawberries, cutting them up as a precaution rather than biting into them is a safe and easy solution. There was and still is a lot on social media supporting this, which is so good, the power of social media is strong! I also hope to encourage you to pick up some strawberries and get cooking by giving you the following great ideas for them…
The following recipes all contain strawberries and can be found here on the website:
Thermobexta’s Strawberry Vanilla Jam
Thermobexta’s Strawberry Sauce
Thermobexta’s Apple Berry Pancakes
Thermobexta’s Strawberry and Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
Thermobexta’s Strawberry and Lime Mocktails
Thermobexta’s Vanilla Strawberry Swirl Baked Cheesecake
In these recipes, also found here on the website, you can replace the blueberries with the same weight of strawberries:
Thermobexta’s Spiced Blueberry and Pear Overnight Oats
Thermobexta’s Apple and Blueberry Nut Crumble with Coconut Custard
Thermobexta’s Banana Berry Brekkie Smoothies
Thermobexta’s Fast Blueberry Sauce
Thermobexta’s Virgin Blueberry Mojito Slushies
Thermobexta’s Fruity Vodka Slushies – if you’d like to keep the blueberries in this, replacing the mango with strawberries would also work beautifully.
From my cookbooks, the following recipes use/can use strawberries:
In Feel Good Food Made Easy:
Raspberry Cheesecake Porridge – replace raspberries with strawberries, same weight (two of my kids actually prefer this porridge to be made with strawberries over raspberries!)
Blueberry Chia Pudding – replace blueberries in both the pudding and the sauce with strawberries, same weight.
Flourless Lemon and Raspberry Torte – replace raspberries with diced strawberries, same weight.
Chococherry Self Saucing Pudding – replace cherries with chunks of strawberries, same weight.
In Lunches and Snacks Made Easy:
Strawberry and Coconut Slice
Blueberry and Lemon Muffins – replace the blueberries with chopped strawberries, same weight.
Perfect Pikelets, four ways – the apple and cinnamon version of these would be lovely made with (the same weight of) strawberries in place of the apple, with or without the cinnamon.
Some other easy ways to use up strawberries:
Balsamic roasted strawberries – Five or six years ago I cut out a page from one of the free Woolies magazines and made on repeat this very simple recipe. It’s just divine! I shared it in the Facebook group back then and people went crazy for it, I haven’t actually made them for ages but will be doing so again very soon. Pre-heat oven to 200C and line a large tray (with sides) or baking dish with baking paper. Wash and remove hulls of two punnets (500g) of strawberries. Slice them in half or if they’re really big, into quarters. Place on tray/dish, top with a couple of tablespoons each of balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar or rapadura. Combine then bake for 15-20 minutes. Store in a jar in the fridge until all used up. The vinegar helps to preserve these and you will find they will keep for quite a while. Serve on Greek yoghurt, custard, ice cream, porridge, stewed apples, etc. or just eat on their own. Blitzing down to a puree and using to flavour soda water is a really yummy and refreshing way of using these.
Strawberry fruit leather – Place 2-3 punnets of strawberries (hulled, halved) in your thermo bowl, along with a banana or two (broken up into a few pieces) and if you like, an apple or two (cored and quartered). Be sure to not fill the bowl further than the max fill line. Adding a touch of vanilla is also nice but not essential. Blitz on speed 9 until smooth. You want a thick texture, not super runny liquid, if it’s too runny you can add another banana. Spread mixture onto lined dehydrator sheets or lined oven trays, about 3-4mm thick. Place in your dehydrator or you can do them in the oven set to the lowest heat it can go down to. Leave them until the sheets are no longer sticky to touch. Timing for this will vary but usually around 4 or 5 hours in the oven, possibly a bit longer and definitely longer in the dehydrator.
Sliced or diced – and scattered on top of Greek yoghurt, ice cream, granola, custard, stewed apples, fruit salad, chia pudding, rice pudding, the list is endless!
On toast – Spread toast with ricotta, top with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Dipped – Melt some dark chocolate, use as a dip for strawberries!
I hope you find some inspiration in this post to grab yourself a few punnets of strawberries and turn them into something delicious! It’s so important that we support Australian growers at all times, but coming together and showing support at times like this is even more important. Let’s not let the stupidity of very few, negatively affect the lives of the strawberry growers.