The Best Fresh Strawberry Recipes for Your Summer

 

 

strawberries, chocolate and strawberries, fruit recipes, online cookbook

What is the best thing about having fresh picked strawberries – either that your family freshly picked from a local “pick-your-own” farm or pleasantly packed home from the local farmers market? (See how to package, freeze, and best store extra strawberries for use later in the year).

There are so many super delicious strawberry recipes for using those fresh berries! And the bright, red cheery color makes it all the more thrilling to invigorate your palate with these tasty treats.

 

strawberries in a bowl

 

So, what exactly are the best fresh strawberry recipes? Our favorites include easy recipes like strawberry bread, fresh strawberry muffins, cold refreshing strawberry chilled desserts, and fresh strawberry pie, strawberry salad, and strawberry agua, among others. Of course, it’s super easy to add diced or sliced strawberries to almost any breakfast dish, too, for some color, a burst of flavor, and some healthy antioxidants, too!

Overnight Oats with Strawberries

For breakfast, toss some sliced strawberries in to jazz up your favorite cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt; add them on top of pancakes, waffles, toasted bagel or muffin; or throw some into your favorite smoothie for a healthy strawberry recipe. (Above photo by Jeffrey Deng on Unsplash)

Today I’m highlighting one of my personal favorites, a fresh strawberry pie made with a base layer of creamy goodness topped with reduced strawberries followed by fresh sliced strawberries; of course, followed up with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, because …. why not?!?

Start with a pre-baked pie crust or make a single layer crust from scratch, and let it completely cool after baking.

 

single baked pie crust made from scratch

 

Next we’ll mash enough fresh strawberries to equal 1 cup, and mix it together in a saucepan with 1 cup of sugar, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1/2 cup of water.  After stirring that together over medium heat, we’ll keep stirring until it comes to a boil (which can take a little while!), and then let it boil for 1 minute before removing from heat.

We want that mixture to cool completely before adding it to our pie, so it’s best to place the mixture into another bowl or dish and place in the fridge to cool.

Next, in another bowl, we’ll stir together 3 ounces of softened cream cheese with 2 cups of Cool Whip (or homemade whipped cream).

 

Now smoothly spread the whipped cream mixture over the cooled baked pie crust for the first layer.

Then top that with 5 cups of sliced strawberries (or as many sliced strawberries as you can put on top and not overflow your pie pan).

 

creamy strawberry pie, strawberry recipe, dessert recipe

 

Now we pour the cooled strawberry mixture from earlier over the top of all this goodness and place the pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

Top it with additional whipped cream, if desired, before cutting and dishing up for family and friends.  This treat is a sweet, cold, refreshing dessert for a summer evening.

 

What are your favorite ways to serve up fresh strawberries?  We love hearing about your family traditions and favorites in the comments below.

online recipe box, digital recipe book, online cookbook

 

 

5 Tips for Gelato Ice Cream that Will Make you Lick your Fingers

 

 

5 Tips for a Gelato Ice Cream That Will Make You Lick Your Fingers

We could probably live without a lot of different things: wine, Netflix, bath oils, or even meat. Ice cream, however, is not on that list. Call us addicts, but ice cream is a non-negotiable summer treat.

Although we have to admit, the thing we buy at the grocery store is not always as healthy as we wished. But, making your own ice cream at home isn’t that simple.

Gelato that Will Make you Lick your Fingers

Or is it?

In this article, you’ll learn a few tips that will help you make gelato ice cream that is as firm, creamy, and delicious as the one you buy at the store.

1. Pay Attention to the Ingredients

Your gelato ice cream will only be as good as the ingredients you use to make it. If your goal is to make something that is healthier than the store bought option but still just as tasty, then you need to pay close attention to the ingredients.

Buy free-range eggs, organic milk or raw honey (if possible.) If these options aren’t available, just make sure that everything is as fresh as possible. The same goes for the flavors you’ll use for your ice cream. Opt for an actual vanilla bean instead of extract and always choose fresh fruits instead of artificial flavors.

2. Don’t Fear the Fat

You might think that since you’re making the gelato, home and you have total control over the gelato ice cream ingredients, you can create a low-calorie dessert that you can enjoy without feeling guilty. That’s true, but you will have to sacrifice taste if you want a lower calorie intake.

The fat content in the milk, cream cheese, and heavy cream gives the ice cream it’s soft texture and divine taste. Instead of opting for low-calorie ingredients and making gelato ice cream that will get icy in the freezer and that no one will truly enjoy, serve smaller portions. That way, you can control your calorie intake and still enjoy a savory treat.

3. Know When to Add the Flavors

One of the most common mistakes people make when making gelato ice cream in their homes is that they add the flavors as they are cooking the custard. Instead, they should be added after the custard has cooled down.

If you add them when the mixture is still hot, the flavors will lose their aroma, and the taste won’t be as pronounced. If you’re using an ice cream maker, you can even wait until right before you pour the ice cream to stir them into the custard. It won’t take your machine more than just a few seconds to distribute the flavors evenly.

The same rule applies for mix-ins, such as nuts, chocolate chips or whole fruit chunks.

4. But, I Don’t Have an Ice Cream Maker

Who said that you need one to make gelato? You can use your blender, and the result will be just as delicious. Not to mention that it’s simple to use, fast, and you won’t make a mess in your kitchen. You’ll also have more control over the consistency of your ice cream. You can make it smooth like a cream or chunky by adding lots of fruits to the mixture.

As a rule of thumb, use frozen fruits instead of fresh ones. Not only that they make a delicious base, but they also add to the thickness of the gelato.

5. Keep It Creamy

If you’ve ever tried to make gelato ice cream at home, then you might have noticed that it tends to get gritty when you store it in the freezer. You can do a few things to ensure your ice cream will scoop easily.

First of all, as already mentioned above, make sure that you aren’t using low-fat ingredients. Secondly, you can add a tablespoon of alcohol, such as fruit liqueur, coffee liqueur or vodka to the custard. Honey, corn syrup, and commercial stabilizers can also give your gelato ice cream a soft and creamy consistency.

The container in which you’re storing the ice cream can also make a difference. A shallow container covered with a plastic wrap will prevent your gelato from setting up too firmly.

Bear in mind that homemade ice cream can be stored in freezer for a week. After that, it will begin to lose its flavor and texture. So, eat it quickly!

 

There you have it, folks! Keep these tips in mind next time you’re making gelato ice cream and we guarantee it will be so delicious that you will lick your fingers clean.

Do you have any recipe you’d like to share? Leave it in a comment below.

 

10 Easy Masa Harina Substitutes

 

 

10 Easy Masa Harina Substitutes – Healthy Recipes

Today’s guest post is from Lita Watson of Quick Easy Cook, and she’s sharing with us about easy ingredient substition options for masa harina, which is basically ground corn flour.

masa harina in bowl

In the past, it was created by drying corn kernels, cooking them in water slaked in lime, grinding them and then drying them again.

Once the flour was ready, it was combined with either water or oil to form a “masa,” which was commonly used to create corn tortillas and other Mexican recipes.

These days, however, masa harina is produced by grinding corn in food processors and adding lime and a little bit of oil. The resulting flour is finer than that produced by hand and grindstone.

The only downside is that the grinding process may remove some of the nutrients, but that hardly matters if you just enjoy the taste of Mexican food.

It’s also worth mentioning that although masa harina is commonly associated with tortillas, it can also be used to make other types of food, including pasta, cornbread, and various traditional Mexican cuisines.

In fact, because masa harina is basically corn flour, it can be used as an ingredient in any recipe that includes corn. So it’s important to remember that masa harina is a lot more versatile as an ingredient than most people think.

However, what many people don’t understand is that the flour itself is not that special. Although certain varieties of masa harina are made from unique varieties of Mexican corn, at the end of the day, it is still just fine corn flour.

So if you can’t find any masa harina then click here to know more information about Masa Harina substitute, or have a look at the ten examples listed below:

Corn Meal

Corn meal is probably one of the best substitutes for masa harina. It’s made of corn and it shares a lot of the same characteristics as masa harina.

The only difference is that corn meal is not as fine, so you may have to put it in a blender if you want to get the right texture.

Grits

Grits is another good substitute for masa harina. Like corn meal, grits are made from corn, so they both share the same general taste and characteristics as masa harina.

The biggest difference is that most types of grits are made from American corn, so they may not have quite the same taste or texture as real masa jarina made from Mexican corn.

Grits in a scoop

Regular Flour

The problem with regular flour is that it doesn’t have the same taste as masa harina. So if you’re going to replace masa harina with regular flour, try to make an experimental batch or two and see if it turns out well.

If these batches taste close enough to that made with regular masa harina then go ahead and keep using flour. If not, then you can either try a different substitute ingredient or tweak the recipe to get the desired taste.

Ground Corn Tortillas

If you can’t find any masa harina, then one option you can try is to place some corn tortillas in a food processor and grind them up into a fine flour.

The resulting material can be thought of as “recycled” masa harina, which you can then use as an ingredient for your recipes. One word of caution though. Don’t use flavored tortillas since their flavoring could overpower the taste of your food.

This mixture will, obviously, not quite work exactly as adding simple masa harina to your recipe since the tortillas will also have other ingredients in them; probably best to stick with this substitute primarily as a thickening agent.

Ground Up Corn Tostadas, Corn Tortilla Chips and Corn Taco Shells

Like corn tortillas, tostadas, taco shells as well as corn tortilla chips are (sometimes) made from masa harina. So if you grind them up in a food processor, you may end up with a mixture similar to masa harina.

To ensure that the tostadas, tortilla chips and taco shells are made from actual masa harina, check their ingredients. Only buy the ones that are made from actual masa harina or masa preparada.

These are best used as a thickening substitute rather than as a flour ingredient in another recipe.

Cornmeal in bowl with scoop and corn on the cob

Corn Starch

Like masa harina, cornstarch is created from corn kernels. What makes it a little different from masa harina, however, is that the cornstarch is finer, which is why it is often used in baby powder.

Corn starch is particularly useful for Mexican soup recipes that use masa harina since they have very similar tastes. However, it can also be used as a substitute in other recipes.

Fresh Masa

Fresh Masa is basically masa harina before it’s dried and ground into corn flour. So if you can’t find masa harina, you might as well get the next best thing: fresh masa. Not only is it a good substitute for masa harina, it also a better ingredient for making tamales.

Masa Preparada

Masa preparada is basically an upgraded version of masa harina. In many ways, it’s easier to prepare than masa harina, so it’s definitely a good substitute. The downside, though, is that masa preparada tends to cost more, so it may not be the most affordable substitute.

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is a rare product, but it’s still a good substitute option. This starch-like substance is made from a tropical plant called Arrowroot and can be used to thicken soups and sauces.

Compared to masa harina, Arrowroot powder has the same texture, but it does have a somewhat different taste. If you’re going to use this substance as an ingredient, make sure you will be okay with its different flavor.

wheat flour in bowl with wheat stalks

Polenta

Polenta is an Italian dish that is similar to grits. It is generally made from corn meal, but it can also include farrow, millet, chestnut and various other ingredients.

What makes polenta a good substitute for masa harina is that it is easily available in many stores. It usually looks like coarsely ground corn, but also comes in finer varieties.

Also, using polenta is no different from using masa harina, so you should have no trouble using it if you’re already used to the cooking with the latter.

Conclusion

There are quite a few masa harina substitutes to choose from, but not all of them are the same.

Some don’t have the same taste as masa harina, while others differ in terms of texture, availability, and cost. So if you don’t have access to quality masa harina, consider your alternatives carefully, and don’t be afraid to try something a little different.


About Lita Watson

Lita Watson from Quick Easy CookHi there! I’m Lita, voice of QuickEasyCook.com and I’m absolutely in love with cooking blogs. I’m a beginner in cooking and I try my best to make it quick and easy. Even though, it’s not always quick and easy to keep up with fancy dinners. So I keep learning and blogging about quick and easy ways to create delicious and yummy foods for my two kids and wonderful husband.