Tis the Season: Strawberry Green Tea and Pie Recipes

June and July are my favorite months of the summer simply because it’s time to pick strawberries. Every year during the first week of strawberry picking I convince some of my family members to help me pick strawberries. Two or more buckets picked at the same time is much faster than one.   We usually stop on the way home for coffee and they know that strawberry deliciousness is coming later that day.

Buckets of Berries

What makes strawberries so good for you?  For starters they are low calorie.   One cup of Strawberries has only 50 Calories or one strawberry has 4 calories. Eat away! Strawberries contain Vitamin C, antioxidants, water, fiber and more vitamins and minerals.  In fact they are one of the top 20 fruits in antioxidants, which we need to fight off cancer cells in our body.

This time of year you can get strawberries from local strawberry farms in Minnesota.  The farther north you go, the later the season.  One year we picked locally and two weeks later we were up north by two hours so we picked berries again.  Yes, another pie.   The season will vary from mid-June to mid-July.

I got married on June 20th, 26 years ago and my aunt who made the cake had friends pick fresh strawberries for her that morning to go along with pineapple and bananas which filled the layers of the cake.  It was delicious and everyone still talks about the Finnish Fancy Filled Fruit cake.

Most of the strawberries you buy at the store come from California.   My husband just got back from a mission trip to Baja, Mexico and told me that some of the berries are grown in that region by Driscoll’s Berries and then distributed in California.

Last January we were in Florida and their strawberry season had started. We enjoyed a big bowl of unsweetened strawberries with whip cream at a strawberry farm in Plant City.

Strawberries can be put in green salads, fruit salad, pie, muffins, scones, dessert, jam, fresh smoothies, and drinks or they can just be eaten plain.   I like to freeze some of my berries for future use and just enjoyed strawberries on my cereal.

Here are two of my favorite ways to use them.

Strawberry Green Tea

Strawberry Green Tea:  I made this up one morning while I was drinking my green tea.

1 cup Green Tea (I use blueberry green tea) warm or cold.   Add more ice if it’s Hot.

6 large Strawberries.

6 ice cubes.  Add more if hot.

1 packet stevia/pure via or honey to taste.

Blend in a vita mix or blend tech and Drink.

This is a drink and will not be slushy. If you want it slushy, add more ice.

Love this at Breakfast, lunch or replacement for a dessert.

Strawberry Pie  

I use a shortbread crust because I dislike pie crust.  This is the only pie I make each year.

Pie crust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

½ cup of butter melted

1 ¼ cups flour

3 Tbsp. Powdered sugar

Mix ingredients in a bowl until crumbly.  Pat mixture in a pie plate and go up the sides of the pan.  Crimp dough with a fork on top.  Bake for 20 minutes. Cool

I am not very good at making this pie look good, but it is delish.  My last pie I made in an 8×10 glass pan and only put the crust on the bottom.

Filling   

6 cups strawberries (divided)

1 cup of sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

½ cup of water

Add a few drops of red food coloring if you’re crazy about making it super red. It tastes good without.

Mash 1 cup strawberries and add to saucepan.  Add sugar and cornstarch, water and food color.  Stir over medium heat constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute and cool to room temp.

Fill pie crust with 5 cups whole berries. Pour cooked but cool strawberry mixture on top of strawberries.  Refrigerate 2-3 hours until set and serve with whip cream.

Enjoy the Deliciousness!

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