I love strawberry season. It lasts only a few short weeks, but it sure is good while it lasts. We are not growing strawberries this year - well, we are, but they are not big enough to fruit this year - but they can be found all around here. Strawberries are at local farmer's markets, roadside stands, u-picks, and in CSA's. We have picked up strawberries every time we see them, knowing that in a week or two they will be gone. I love making some jam and drying some for granola, but really, sorbet is a must. It is the perfect thing on a hot day.
Making an unheated dairy-free sorbet is really the best way to get the full amazing strawberry flavor. I know many recipes call for syrups with water, but really, who wants watered down strawberries. I want it to taste like an explosion of strawberries in my mouth. I don't like using white sugar and my body doesn't like me using white sugar, so I have experimented to get a scoopable sorbet using a natural sugar. This recipe uses raw honey and a wee bit of limoncello to keep it from freezing too solid (I love our homemade limoncello!!!!). This remains scoopable and a vivid red with the full pow of fresh strawberries. This *only* uses 3 Tbsp of limoncello per full quart of sorbet, but if you wish to have no liqueur in this, you can use 2 tsp of vanilla instead of one (vanilla extract also uses alcohol, which is what helps keep the sorbet from freezing into solid ice chunks) - but it WILL still be hard to scoop since you won't have the same recipe ratio and nobody wants several tablespoons of vanilla extract in their sorbet to compensate. Don't add *extra* limoncello though, as too much alcohol will make it more of a slushie. This recipe really is a great balance of flavor and freeze consistency and sweetness.
This is an unheated strawberry sorbet that packs so much intense strawberry flavor you will want more!
Blend the strawberries & lime juice on high in a blender until smooth.
Strawberry season doesn't last very long, and while we *could* buy strawberries from the grocery store all year 'round, we all know nothing tastes as good as locally grown strawberries in season. This recipe really takes advantage of the natural sweetness and amazing flavor or summertime fruit. I think I have a sorbet recipe for just about every single berry all summer long, but strawberries are the first berries after a long winter and spring, and the taste is just...summer. I sometimes try to tuck a quart of it down at the bottom of the chest freezer so we can find in the fall and get all excited that we still have strawberry sorbet in October - but it never lasts that long. That is partly because I just have horrible secret agent stealth skills, and partly because it is so good and who wants to save some for later when you can have it now, when it is hothothot outside. We had strawberries in our CSA yesterday, and picked up a few extra quarts, so I am going to go make some more sorbet!
I love making truffles. I tend to go in spurts, most often in winter, when I want something small and sweet, but allergy-free and not too much. Truffle bites are perfect. I like that I can go from pulling out the ingredients to popping them in the fridge to set in under 15 minutes. The only thing that is heated is the chocolate!
These are great quick and easy sweet treats for yourself, or they can be packed up into little boxes and gifted for Valentine's Day.
Peppermint Mocha Truffles
These peppermint mocha truffles are easy to make, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and take only a few minutes to prepare. These are sweet treats, but as they contain dates and maple syrup, it is not a guilty pleasure. Make a batch to gift on Valentine's Day, or keep them all for yourself.
In a food processor:
Most of us are not lucky enough to live where citrus grows locally. And while eating close to the source is ideal, in this day and age not everything we consume will be from the corner farm. Salt, pepper, olive oil, coffee, tea…we can make conscious decisions to support fair trade and organic for as much as we can, while still working towards finding local for those things which are available. So for me, citrus is a part of our winter and holiday experience, no matter our climate. I love that sharp blast of citrus as my fingers break the peel on these dark, gloomy days of winter.
Citrus in winter is like the sun - fleeting, delicious, and memorable. One way to balance our distance with citrus is to use everything. Waste nothing. When we find it in season in the winter, use it all, enjoy it all. We use the peels and candy them, make garland, and dry for tea blends.
This recipe is simple to make, but quite a show stopper dessert. It is made in a spiced, fragrant syrup, but it isn't overly sweet. It is nice because it can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a day or so before serving, so it is perfect for the holiday table.
Poached mandarins have a delicate flavour and add a great flair to the end of a holiday meal. This is simple to make, and tastes great. And don't forget to save the rind to make candied or dried citrus peel.
First prep your citrus; gently cut off the ends, peel the citrus whole, and remove any extra pith.
Citrus is a winter treat, to be enjoyed on these dark winter days. We boost our mood as well as our vitamins (A, B-6, C, folate), fiber, and minerals (potassium, calcium, iron). By using the whole fruit, we don’t waste a thing, and get the most from these sunny, fragrant orbs. Yum.
I am a certified aromatherapist, herbalist, organic gardener, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.