Tips and Recipes
Strawberry Picking Tips August 13 2014, 0 Comments
Strawberry picking ranks in our top 10 favorite family food adventures. It’s not too late to add this fun activity to your summer list. Grab a bucket and let’s go!
1. Scout Out a Great Location
Check localharvest.org for a list of U-pick farms in your area. Seek out farms that grow organic berries. When grown conventionally, strawberries are considered part of the EWG's Dirty Dozen and can be laden with pesticides.
2. Bring Two Boxes
Use one box to pick perfectly ripe berries. The best berries will be bright red and firm. Remember that strawberries do not continue to ripen once they are picked. Use your second box to collect just past ripe berries. Farmers will be happy if you help them pick their bounty and they’ll often give you over-ripe berries at a reduced cost—perfect for making jam, fruit leather or our current favorite: Strawberry Sorbet Rocket Pops.
3. Cook Up Something Delicious
Tip: Hulling strawberries is a fun activity for your kids. Place a paper clip, chopstick, and a pairing knife on a cutting board, along with a big bowl of ripe strawberries. Challenge your kids to find the easiest way to get the inside out.
A mother of two, Jennifer Tyler Lee is the author of The 52 New Foods Challenge (Penguin Random House/Avery 2014) and the creator of the award-winning series of healthy eating games, Crunch a Color®. Her family cooking adventures have been featured by Jamie Oliver, Rachael Ray, Laurie David, Pottery Barn Kids, and Whole Foods. She is a featured blogger at The Huffington Post and a regular contributor to the James Beard Award-Winning magazine, Edible.
Basic Knife Skills: Hulled Strawberries (Week 24, 52 New Foods) June 27 2013, 1 Comment
Exploring fun ways to cook with strawberries, my six-year-old discovered this clever (and easy) way to hull a strawberry.
Summer Fun: Pick Your Own Strawberries 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.