Posted by Jennifer Tyler Lee on June 27, 2013 1 Comment
Experimenting in the kitchen, my six-year-old discovers an easy way to hull strawberries.
Strawberry season is here! Our weekly visits to the farmers’ market always include a stop at the strawberry farmers’ stall. My kids happily fill up on samples, red juicy fruit dripping down their chins. We travel home, our market basket filled to the brim with fresh summer berries.
Exploring fun ways to cook with strawberries for my forthcoming book, THE 52 NEW FOODS CHALLENGE (Penguin / Avery 2014), we discovered that several recipes call for hulled strawberries. But teaching a kindergartener to independently wield a paring knife to carefully carve out the hull of a fresh strawberry was proving to be a challenge (mostly for me!). Precariously holding a ripe, red berry in the palm of his hand while digging away at the center of the berry to remove its hull was not my idea of a safe project.
With a little experimenting, my six-year-old son James came up with this clever idea.
Here’s what you’ll need: fresh strawberries, a paring knife and a chopstick.
Step 1: Make a bridge or fist with your hand, then cut off the green top of the strawberry and discard.
Step 2: Cut off the tip and place it in a bowl.
Step 3: Using a chopstick, poke the hull out by pushing the chopstick through the top of the berry. The hull will pop out easily.
Step 4: Gently remove the hull with your fingers. Voila! Hulled strawberries!
Step 5: Proceed with chopping your berries. Remember to keep the flat side of the fruit down.
What are your easy tips for hulling strawberries? Share your ideas!
Posted by Jennifer Lee on June 06, 2012 0 Comments
Imagine the giddy laughter heard from kids picking and eating their way through an open farm field covered with fresh, ripe strawberries. Pure joy. This week our new food adventure takes us to a coastal farm where you can pick your own strawberries.
Our new food adventure took on a different flavor this week. We were traveling, so cooking wasn’t top on our list. But we found a new food inspiration at a local farm. Nestled in a sun-drenched field along the California coast, my kids discovered the joy of picking your own strawberries.
How and Where Pick Your Own Strawberries
There is something thrilling about venturing into a wide-open field, little pails in hand, to find and pick your own bounty of summer fruit. Maybe it’s the simple pleasure of eating fruit straight from the vine, or the excitement of standing face to face with thousands of sweet buds lining the carefully laid rows of strawberry plants. Whatever the reason, this adventure provided a jam-packed morning for the whole family. It’s a food adventure we’d highly recommend adding to your list of summer activities. A few tips to get you started:
1) Find a local pick-your-own farm. Pick Your Own is a great resource for finding farms in your area, as well as what’s in season.
2) Choose organic. Seek out farms that are certified organic. When grown conventionally, strawberries are considered part of the dirty dozen, which means they can be laden with pesticides.
3) Bring two pails. One for perfectly ripe fruit, the other for just-past-ripe fruit. Farmers will often give you the just-past-ripe fruit for free (as they did in our case this week), and the fruit is perfect for making jam!
4) Save a portion of your bounty for freezing. You’ll appreciate those sweet summer berries in smoothies when the winter blues hit.
5) Use your just-past-ripe strawberries to make jam. The Naptime Chef has a wonderfully easy and tasty recipe for Strawberry Vanilla Jam – yum!
6) Enjoy with friends. Upon returning to our hotel, the resident chef was kind enough to wash and prepare the several pounds of berries that we picked. The most fun part: enjoying an overflowing bowl of fresh local strawberries, and the stories of our adventure, with friends and family.
Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook , Twitter and Pinterest to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes. Crunch a Color is a proud supporter of non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Available online at www.crunchacolor.com and in stores nationwide at Pottery Barn Kids.