May Is National Strawberry Month

What could be better than biting into a fresh-picked strawberry? How about recipes that incorporate the sweetness and juiciness of strawberries into an invigorating beverage?

In honor of National Strawberry Month, we would like to share a simple, delicious and nutrient-packed recipe from Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist and one of the best-known and widely respected food writers in the US today. The recipe for the Strawberry Balsamic Smoothie, below, is from Bittman’s new vegan cookbook, The VB6 Cookbook (Clarkson Potter/Publishers).

Strawberry Balsamic Smoothie (Yield: 1 serving)

Time: 5 minutes

This is so indulgent it will remind you of old-fashioned ice cream. And since smoothies are easy to vary depending on what you have and what you like, use this recipe to play; the variations will help get you started.

• ½ cup unsweetened plain non-dairy milk or silken tofu (4 ounces)
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
• 1 cup fresh or unsweetened frozen strawberries, or a little more
• Ice as needed

1. Put the ingredients into a blender in the order listed, adding ice only if using fresh fruit; if you’re using frozen fruit you probably won’t need any ice.

2. Puree until smooth, stopping the machine once or twice to scrape down the sides. Adjust the texture with a little water or ice, or more cherries. Serve immediately.

More ideas: Vary the seasonings and flavorings with fresh herbs like basil or mint, or spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamon.

strawberry

Reprinted from The VB6 Cookbook. Copyright © 2014 by Mark Bittman. Photograph copyright © 2014 by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House LLC

 

To celebrate strawberries, The Umstead Hotel and Spa’s Sous Chef, Colin Archangelis, shared with us his favorite recipe, which combines strawberries’ immune-boosting dose of vitamin C with the natural detoxifying elements of elderflower, along with antioxidants from lemons.

Strawberry Elderflower Elixir Recipe (Yield: 1 gallon) 

• 4 quarts water
• 3 tablespoons dandelion root
• 2 tablespoons dried lemon peel
• 1 cup elderflower
• 2 lemons’ peel and juice
• ½ cup honey
• 1 cup strawberries , tops removed
• 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
• ½ cup strawberry puree

Combine all aromatics, honey, and strawberries in a nonreactive glass or ceramic gallon container.  Let water come up to a simmer and pour over the aromatics. Allow to steep at room temperature for two hours then refrigerate overnight. The next day, strain through a fine sieve. Season with white balsamic and strawberry puree.