The strawberry story…
Strawberries are a great super food and among the most intelligent eats nutritionists recommend today. They are fantastically easy to work with in kitchen too! I make use of them a lot. Strawberries are one of the fruits that constantly finds its way to my fruit basket, along with apples, bananas, mandarins and blueberries, and the occasional mangoes and pineapples. And since none in my house is hesitant on strawberries, I am generous in making use of this wonder fruit often and in a variety of ways. Little J loves strawberry flavored anything – give her the fruit and she can manage putting one or two in her mouth without squinting/seizing away the tanginess. Her Dad prefers super berries and high proteins. His personal gym trainer told him about the goodness these have on our bodies and he has been a strong believer of this fruit ever since.
Strawberries are not just among the most popular fruits globally, they are also source of abundant antioxidants and vitamins, protects heart by increasing our good cholesterol, provides a healthy punch, helps weight loss, is known as “brain food”, and what not!
Since they don’t have a strong taste, strawberries are also flexibly adapting and blend in well, when used in a number of food items. One of the things I make often on J’s frequent requests is homemade fresh strawberry sauce. She absolutely loves it and eats it on the side with her pancakes, waffles, crackers, toasted bread, with yogurt, in smoothies, milk shakes, with almost everything that this little girl can think of having in her menu. The sauce sure uses some sugar in the making, but I’ve discovered that it’s the easiest way of getting J and us consume more strawberries in a single serving and finishing it all up more quickly!
So, here’s the quick and easy recipe I do. In the meantime, eat lots of strawberries and have a BERRY good day you all!
- 1 lb or 500 gms of fresh strawberries
- 1 tbsp of orange juice (or lemon juice)
- 5-7 tbsp of sugar (depending on the berries and your taste)
- 1-2 pinch of table salt (or per taste)
- 1/2 tsp all purpose flour or corn starch
Making the Sauce ⇒
- Wash the strawberries and hull them (meaning remove the leaves and tiny core beneath the cap of the berry)
- Slice or chop the strawberries. If you’d like a chunky sauce, slice the berries to a size you like. If you’d like a rather smooth one, chop the berries in anyway!
- Take a saucepan and add the chopped strawberries, orange/lemon juice, salt and sugar
- Heat the saucepan on stove over medium heat
- Do not add any water. The strawberries should cook in the juice they release, plus the citrus juice we add and the melted sugar. However, if you see the sauce getting drier than expected, please add 1 or 2 tbsp of water to it.
- Heat the sauce till the strawberries are well cooked, soft and mushy.
- Sprinkle the flour or corn starch and mix it in the sauce to give it a smooth slurry texture.
- Switch off the stove and let the sauce cool down for a couple minutes. Chunky strawberry sauces provide quite a body to the sauce and looks delightful with the fruit pieces when you use it as a topping.
- If you prefer a smooth strawberry sauce over a chunky one, blend the sauce in a blender. After you blend, the sauce becomes thicker. In order to thin it, pour the blended sauce mix in the saucepan again, add a little water to get the desired consistency and heat for a minute for the sauce contents to nicely mix and warm together. Blending also yields a sauce with hundreds of tiny strawberry seeds. If you do not prefer having the seeds in the sauce, please strain the sauce to get a super smooth, bright red strawberry glory. (I don’t mind the little seeds in my sauce, so I usually do not use a strainer.)
- Refrigerate the sauce. It tastes best chilled. The sauce also has a great shelf life. If properly stored, the sauce tastes as great for 5-7 days, only if you can make that last that long!
Skip the sugars for a sugarless strawberry sauce. Alternatively, you could use sugar substitutes also in this recipe. If using honey, add it after taking the sauce off the stove, since heat destroys some natural honey properties.