Strawberries are now available, either local or Ontario. There is so much fun in thinking of the different ways I can use fresh strawberries (they are here in season for such a short time). I have made strawberry chia seed jam, added strawberries to my salad using lettuce from my garden, made strawberry oat crumble bars and froze some for later use either in a smoothie or more jam. Make the most of our local food in season!
Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Avocados
This recipe is a guide. Use what you have.
My spinach was a bust but the lettuce and kale are growing like crazy. So instead of using spinach I used kale, leaf lettuce and Swiss chard for the salad. Pumpkin seeds and green onions were another switch. Make extra dressing for a few more salads. If you are making one, might as well make more!
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Dijion mustard
1 Tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp each grated orange zest and fresh ginger root (do
not use dry)
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
2 tsp poppy seeds (optional)
5 oz spinach or lettuce
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 cups chopped or sliced cooked chicken breast
1 cup peeled, diced English cucumbers
1 large avocado, diced
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
Add all dressing ingredients to a blender and whirl until emulsified. Magic Bullet-type works well or even a whisk.
Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add half the dressing and mix gently with tongs. Add more dressing if needed.
Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars
Just because a recipe calls for a certain ingredient doesn’t mean you have to use it! But within reason. I usually follow the same theme. Switch it around because if it isn’t in my cupboard doesn’t mean I am going to run out and buy it! In this case I didn’t have sunflower seed butter so I used almond and I also didn’t have brown rice syrup. I just added more maple syrup.
*The recipe calls for strawberry chia seed jam (recipe in paper from before) but if you don’t have it just use store-bought or regular homemade jam.
1 1/4 cups strawberry chia seed jam or store-bought jam
1 cup hulled sunflower seeds or your preference
3 cups large flake rolled oats
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp brown rice syrup
2 Tbsp sunflower seed butter
1. If desired, roast the sunflower seeds in the oven at 350°F, on a baking sheet, spread out for 12 minutes. Set aside.
2. Line a 9-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang, which will make it easy to lift out the bars later.
3. In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds, oats, and salt and process until you have a coarse flour.
4. In a small pot, melt the oil over low heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the maple syrup and sunflower seed butter until well combined.
5. Pour the wet mixture on top of the oat mixture in the food processor and process until mixture comes together. The dough should feel heavy and oily with no dry patches. If it is too dry add a bit of water, a teaspoon at a time.
6. Set aside 1 1/4 cups of the oat mixture for the topping. Place the remaining oat mixture over the base of the pan in an even layer. Spread and pack down the crust with your fingers or a large spoon. Prick the crust with a fork about 9 times. Par-bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Spread the jam over the crust and crumble the remaining oat mixture evenly over the jam.
7. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the topping is slightly firm to the touch. The colour won’t change unless you actually burn it!
8. Let cool in the pan then completely cool it in the fridge. Lift out the slab and cut it into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.