Strawberries are wonderful for breakfast or any kind of sweet treat

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By: Mary Ann Lienhart-Cross

Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth

When the strawberries are ripe, do you start your day with strawberries smothered in cream? Or do you go for the healthier option of yogurt.

Strawberries are an excellent breakfast fruit, as one cup supplies the entire day’s need for vitamin C. Strawberries, fresh or frozen and sliced, make just the right topping for cold or hot cereal. Strawberries and sour cream or sweetened whipped cream also make an unsurpassed topping for waffles, pancakes or French toast. Mix the berries with a little sugar and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve and draw juice from the berries. Be cautious with the standing time since too long a standing period will cause the berries to soften and lose some of their flavor.

One of today’s hot food trends is dipping strawberries. Serve fresh strawberries au natural, with caps still attached, for dipping in yogurt and/or powdered sugar-sweetened cream cheese. There’s also the classic chocolate dip, or think about caramel or butterscotch. Summer is a good time to plan to enjoy some fruit fondue with any of your favorite flavors and fruit combinations.

Strawberries are a natural when thinking about your soda fountain favorites. Add a few whole berries to a cold glass of sparkling ginger ale or lemon-lime soda. Making shakes thick with strawberries can be done so you can stand a long spoon up in the middle and it won’t move. Just puree one pint of fresh strawberries in a blender, add one pint of softened vanilla ice cream and blend until smooth. If you want, you can freeze it for about one hour and, just before serving, blend a few seconds until smooth. To serve and enjoy the shakes, spoon into tall glasses and garnish with whole strawberries and whipped cream.

For a real old-fashioned treat, enjoy some strawberry lemonade. Puree two pints of fresh strawberries in the blender. Combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water and heat till the sugar is dissolved, then add 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice and chill thoroughly. Next add the strawberry puree to the chilled lemon mixture. Place crushed ice in glasses and pour the strawberry lemonade mixture over the crushed ice and garnish with a fresh berry.

One of my last ideas is to create parfaits. The classic strawberry parfait is always spectacular to look at and sheer bliss to eat. Slightly crush strawberries, sweeten them just a little, and alternate with layers of vanilla yogurt, ice cream or frozen yogurt in a parfait glass or tall goblet. Top with whipped cream and a large strawberry. You can also substitute vanilla pudding or custard.

Enjoy! 

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