Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fresh, Local Strawberries: Two Ways

April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring Arkansas strawberries!  This is such a great time of year, because the fields around Little Rock are bursting with strawberries, and they suddenly start showing up at the Farmer's Markets and on menus around town.  Josh and I had to run a quick errand Saturday morning, and on our way home, we saw an old man in a church parking lot with the sign "Fresh Arkansas Strawberries!"  That's when I yelled, "PULL OVER!"

I jumped out of the car and before we had walked up on the stand, I could smell the strawberries.  We bought two cartons and a few tomatoes.  When I got them home, I rinsed them off and tried not to stand over the kitchen sink eating them all.  Some of them were so ripe, they were bursting with juice.  I cut the stems off half of them and put them on a plate in the freezer.  The rest became breakfast food for the weekend.

Spring Is Here Smoothie

1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup almond milk
1 tbs maca
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs probiotics (optional)
ice and water to blend

The smoothie recipe is simple but really yummy.  Put everything in your blender and let it rip.  If it gets too thick, you can thin it out with a little water or more almond milk.

Sunday morning was supposed to be breakfast taco waffle day, but I woke up craving those beautiful strawberries.  I posed the idea to Josh that we hold off on waffles and opt for pancakes covered in strawberries.  Being the berry lover that he is, Josh enthusiastically agreed.

I took the remaining strawberries, plus a few blueberries from the freezer, and added zest from 1 lemon, juice from that lemon and a tablespoon of sugar to the bowl.  I mixed it up and let it sit on the counter for an hour.  After that, I mashed it up with a potato masher.  Instant berry dressing!

For the base, Josh requested the Vegan Carrot and Coconut Pancakes from Minimalist Baker.  We made these for Easter, and they were so delicious.

Time to assemble!  I layered my pancakes with tofutti cream cheese in between, then scooped a bunch of strawberries to go on top.  Oh.my.gawd.  So good.

I love strawberries, and they definitely make the perfect pancake topping.  I wanted to eat all the pancakes, but I exercised a little bit of self control.

So, next week, we'll have waffle tacos!


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