The Love Food Surrey team have discovered their residents throw away enough strawberries to cover a tennis court every week!
We buy ours from a local fruit farm, but even bought fresh they go off very quickly.
Fortunately the Surrey Facebook fans were eager to share their favourite ways of using up strawberries before they go off.
Here’s what they said and I’ve thrown in a couple of my own strawberry recipes just for good measure:
Emma and Chloe voted for smoothies and I have to agree that they are a fab way to blend a healthy, quick breakfast.
At Zero Waste Towers we blend a few strawberries with a cup of soy milk and a banana for an instant and nutritious start to the day.
Karen, Liz and Anja voted for jam. Anja freezes her strawberries ready for making jam later in the year which is a fantastic idea.
This week I came across a simple sounding recipe for strawberry jam in my Co-operative magazine; which eliminates the need for stirring or waiting too long:
Roasted strawberry and vanilla jam
- 3kg ripe strawberries
- 2 vanilla seed pods
- 2.5kg caster sugar
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees
- Hull the strawberries and place on a large roasting tin
- Mix the vanilla seeds and sugar together and place in a separate roasting tin
- Put both tins in the oven and roast for 30 minutes until the strawberries soften
- Remove from oven and combine the vanilla sugar and strawberries – the heat of the sugar will make the strawberries melt into a gooey jam consistency
- Cool the jam a little while you sterilise 10 jam jars
- Fill the jars, cover with waxed paper and seal
- The jam will store in a cool, dark place for up to six months
Liz is with me on making icecream and shared the tip that even blended strawberries freeze well.
Here’s my ‘instant strawberry ice cream’ recipe which comes with a disclaimer. Basically you need a decent blender for this – something that can handle ice – please don’t contact me with WEEE waste because you’ve blown the motor on your smoothie maker! I have a Vitamix which is a beast of a machine which can blend virtually anything.
All you do is throw in a handful of frozen strawberries, a cup of yogurt or milk and sweetener of your choice (we use agave syrup). Blitz for one minute and you’re downing a bowl of delicious icecream before you can say “food waste!”
Carolann and Liz like to make sorbet with their strawberries. I’m not a sorbet kinda gal, but I bet it tastes good.
Remember, the freezer can be our best friend in reducing food waste. Frozen strawberries won’t defrost well for eating out of a bowl, but used in recipes such as jam, icecream or smoothies, they are perfect.
Over on the Love Food Hate Waste site, I found this top tip from Vanessa. She wrote “To use up excess strawberries, freeze on a flat baking tray. When frozen put them in a bag and store until needed.
Put frozen strawberries in an ovenproof bowl, cover with a thick layer of crumble topping and bake as usual. It’s a touch of summer in deepest darkest winter!”
And if they’re past their best and you can’t bear to throw them on the compost heap?
Well, Diane shared this beautiful tip!
“Slightly off strawberries can be mashed and spread on your face as a skin tonic. Leave for 5 minutes, wash off and hey presto! Fresh, clear, toned skin!”
Mrs Green’s strawberry Cranachan
I love Cranachan as as instant and satisfying dessert. My twist on this traditional Scottish recipe uses strawberries instead of raspberries.
6 tbs porridge oats
150ml whipping cream
6 tbs honey
4 tbs whisky
1 punnet small strawberries (cut if too large)
Toast the oats in a hot pan until they start to brown, then leave to cool.
Meanwhile beat the cream until it’s softly whipped then stir in the honey and whisky.
Layer the oat mixture, cream and strawberries into bowls and chill before serving
Mrs Green’s Strawberry tart
This is a quick and easy recipe I came up with recently after a visit to our local fruit farm:
- Make a pastry shell and bake blind
Meanwhile prepare the filling by mixing together the following:
- 200ml double cream
- 250 grams cream cheese
- dash of vanilla essence
- 3 tablespoons agave syrup (or whatever sweetener you prefer)
Cool the pasty shell, fill with the filling and top with sliced strawberries. Sprinkle with icing sugar or drizzle with more agave syrup.
What about you? How do you ensure your beautiful strawberries reach your belly and not your bin?s