Since I was trying to cut down on fruit and beat my sugar addiction, I decided it was a good idea to go strawberry picking. And of course they had a sale on, pick three 4-liter baskets for 25$. So I had to pick three baskets, since I’d be saving money. I went to the Dekok Family Berry Farm on Friday before work, which meant that I had the strawberries beside me at work all day. I actually think this helped. I had to think about it, consciously NOT eat them and force my mind to accept that. Maybe it’ll actually help me get over the psychological aspect of sugar addiction sooner. I did pretty good not eating too many. I also didn’t put any honey in my yogurt that day, just having fresh berries was tasty enough.
When I was young my mom would always make huge batches of strawberry jam and can them. I wanted to make some jam but decided to make a bunch of different things as well. Turns out three baskets was not enough for what I wanted to do and now I’m going to have to pick more!
- Frozen berries: I froze at least 6 liters of berries, about half of them sliced and the rest whole. We eat a lot of berries here so that won’t last long. I hope to freeze at least 10 more liters next week. I always place the berries on parchment paper on a baking pan and then leave them in the freezer for at least 3 hours. Then, remove them from the freezer and transfer to a bag or container. Freezing them all separated on a sheet first will ensure they don’t stick together. Same thing with slices, just put the slices on a piece of parchment paper.
- Dehydrated berries: I dehydrated about 3 cups of berries, sliced onto a couple trays in my Excalibur dehydrator. It worked really well but next time I will try to cut them the same thickness. A few were done after 10 hours (at 105F), but most took another 2 hours. I liked the ones that were cut to at least 1/4″ or thicker. These are a more advanced SCD treat since they are dehydrated.
- Fruit roll-ups: I had never tried this before, it worked so well! I just pureed 1 1/2 cups of strawberries and added a tbsp of honey, then poured that onto a fruit leather lined tray in the dehydrator. 10 hours at 105F it was perfect! These are pretty advanced as well since it’s a dehydrated food, but you can always cook the berries first (make a jam) and then dehydrate into leathers. I wanted them raw to try and preserve nutrients.
- Strawberry jam: Of course I made a bit of jam, just because that’s what we usually do. I didn’t have very much left at this point so I only ended up with about 1/2 cup of jam, but oh my goodness it was the best jam ever! I just cut up the overly ripe soft berries into a pot and put it on low. It simmered while I cooked and ate lunch, trying to stir it every now and then. I kinda forgot about it and when I finally remembered to check on it, the jam was looking really thick and dark, almost as if it was burning, but not quite. I turned it off, let it cool, added just 1 tbsp honey and put it in a jar. Honestly, the texture of it is just like jam from the store it’s so thick. I didn’t bother using gelatin because I didn’t have any and really it didn’t need it. Next time I make jam I’m definitely going to leave it simmering for a long time like this one.
- Strawberry gelato: I made a strawberry gelato with some raw sheep milk. If you’re wondering the difference between gelato and ice cream, gelato is made from whole milk, ice cream from cream, and of course there’s also frozen yogurt from yogurt. I make SCD legal ice cream with yogurt made from whipping cream and have been enjoying that, but wanted to try making some from the delicious milk that I seem to be digesting well. I would have substituted whipping cream yogurt plus more honey if making this SCD legal.
1 1/2 cups sheep milk (or 1 1/2 cups SCD legal cream yogurt + 2 tbsp honey)
1 1/2 cup strawberries (measured whole) + handful of berries chopped coarsley
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
Puree the 1 1/2 cups of strawberries using an immersion blender, food processor, or potato masher. Add yolks, milk (or yogurt), vanilla and mix well. Fold in the chopped strawberries. Process in an ice cream maker according to its directions. Place in the freezer to harden it. Scoop and serve.
My ice cream maker is a Rival electric maker and it will make soft-serve ice cream if you serve it immediately, or if you freeze it long enough it will be like regular ice cream. This is what it looks like half way, if you aren’t patient enough to let it freeze completely.
And just like that, 12 liters of strawberries are all put away for later. I’ll probably go strawberry picking a few more times, and each time make one thing from them in a larger portion. The fruit roll-ups, jam and dehydrated strawberries are so concentrated you need a lot of berries to make a good amount.