Tag Archives: strawberries

{3 Ingredient} Swirly Strawberry Creamsicles

Swirly 3 Ingredient Strawberry Creamsicles | Mama Papa BubbaWe’ve been making super simple {and healthy} strawberry creamsicles since Grae was a wee little thing, and they’ve always been a summer favourite.  Today, with our fridge still brimming with freshly picked berries, we made our best version yet with the addition of a simple ingredient… dates!  

IMG 9708I must admit that though I’ve known about the awesome sweetening power of dates for a long time now, I’ve been a little hesitant to jump onboard…  But, I’m so glad I did!  Using them in our cookie dough boys and our wholewheat strawberry shortcake recently has made me realize that they really aren’t all that intimidating.  Simply soak, puree, and use like honey.  Easy enough, right?  Plus they allow these popsicles to be perfectly sweet even though they’re made with plain yogurt.

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Healthy 3 Ingredient Strawberry Creamsicles

(makes 12 – 14 large popsicles)

  • 3 cups of fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • 4 majool dates
  • boiling water
  • 2 cups of plain organic yogurt, greek or regular

Before beginning this recipe, put the 4 majool dates into a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let sit for 15 minutes.

Pop strawberries into a food processor (or good blender) and puree until smooth or nearly smooth.  Pour the puree into a glass measuring cup and set aside.

Without worrying about washing your food processor or blender, blend your pitted dates and about a tablespoon of the soaking water until smooth (this may require you to stop the processor and scrape down the sides with a spatula a few times).  Add the yogurt and blend to combine.

Using a large spoon, scoop some of the yogurt mixture into each of the popsicle moulds.  Gently pour enough strawberry puree on top to cover the yogurt.  Continue to layer the two until the moulds are full.  

Freeze overnight and enjoy!

♥ 

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Summer Strawberry Shortcake {with Wholewheat Date-sweetened Biscuits}

Strawberry Shortcake with Wholewheat Date sweetened biscuits | Mama Papa BubbaNothing says summer quite like fresh strawberry shortcake, and since our kitchen is currently overflowing with berries after this morning’s trip to Krause Berry Farms, I thought Miss G and I would experiment with a healthier, wholewheat, sugar-free version this afternoon.  The unfortunate part is that our little old house was sitting at 31 degrees, so turning on the oven to bake shortcakes certainly wasn’t our best plan, but you gotta do what you gotta do when you have fresh berries begging to be gobbled up! ☺

IMG 9613While I don’t mind baking with small amounts of honey and pure maple syrup, our recent {and delicious!} cookie dough boys have peeked my interest in baking with dates {and other sweet fruits} instead of the alternative sweeteners I usually turn to.  I’m happy to report, that our first experiment was a total success!  These shortcakes turned out soft, moist inside, and perfectly sweet!  Plus the tiny hint of coconut flavour from the coconut oil made them even more delicious.  

IMG 9617Brad loved them, and I think Gracen thought she’d died and gone to heaven went she saw a little plate stacked with cake, sliced strawberries, and freshly whipped cream coming her way.  

Here’s the recipe to our new favourite summer dessert….

Strawberry Shortcake with Date-sweetened Biscuits (adapted from this recipe)

  • 2 1/2 cups of wholewheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2/3 cup of buttermilk (you can make your own by adding 3/4 of a tablespoon of vinegar to 2/3 of a cup of regular milk and letting it sit for 5 or 10 minutes)
  • 8 tablespoons of coconut oil (in its liquid state)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 majool dates, soaked and pureed
  • 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • strawberries, sliced

Before starting this recipe, place the dates into a small bowl, cover them with boiling water, and let sit for about 15 minutes.  Remove pits and place dates, along with a tablespoon or two of the soaking water in a food processor or blender and process until smooth {or nearly smooth}.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   If you’re making your own buttermilk, mix the milk and vinegar together and set it aside.

Whisk together the wholewheat flour, baking powder, and sea salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, coconut oil, egg, and pureed dates until as smooth as possible.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just barely combined.  Divide the dough in 8 to 10 balls and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops are slightly golden.

Whip cream until peaks begin to form, then add maple syrup and whip for an extra few seconds to combine.  

Slice strawberries.

To assemble, cut shortcakes in half horizontally, placing the tops aside temporarily.  Place a heaping scoop of strawberries on each shortcake bottom, then top with a generous spoonful of freshly whipped cream, and place the tops back on.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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Strawberry Fields {A Visit to Krause Berry Farms}

Today we did something I’ve been wanting to do with Miss G for a long while…  We went strawberry picking!  After asking local parents for their favourite strawberry farm recommendations, we decided to head out to Langley to visit Krause Berry Farms.  Promises of giant fields filled with berries, a gorgeous market selling fresh produce and baked goods, playground fun for kiddos, wine tasting for adults, and a farm animal petting area sounded too good to pass up.

IMG 9547IMG 9548IMG 9556We arrived early and the farm was already bustling with visitors.  We got our buckets weighed, put down our loonie deposit for a wagon, and headed out to the furthest corner of the strawberry patch.  

IMG 9561IMG 9559IMG 9565The berries were plentiful and our buckets filled quickly, though strawberry picking isn’t easy work.  It was hot (really hot) out and by the time we were about halfway through our hour and a half long picking session, Grae and I gave up on crouching and full-on sat down in the strawberry field (slightly less glamourous, but oh so much more comfy!)

IMG 9568While my little helper was interested in berry picking and very patient about it all, she didn’t so much want to pick the strawberries herself.  She did pick a few here and there, but sitting beside you while you filled her bucket for her was much more her style.  That and sneaking a semi-clean strawberry into her mouth every once and a while…

IMG 9580IMG 9583With two extra-large sand pails full of ripe strawberries, we decided to have them weighed, pay for them, and check out the rest of the farm.

IMG 9584IMG 9585IMG 9587First stop – the playground.  Grae loved the tractor-shaped play apparatus, and even though it was cooking by this time, it did provide some shady spots to play in.

IMG 9593Next up, we visited the market.  Oh my goodness, this may just be my favourite part of the farm.  Not only can you purchase all kinds of local produce both from the farm and from other local farmers, but the bakery is stocked full of delicious breads, shortcakes, cookies, and cakes too.  Plus there’s a fudgery stocked with over 40 different kinds of fudge and all sorts of canned goods and fun kitchen gadgets too!

IMG 9604After a quick stop to see the animals out back (there weren’t that many and the enclosures didn’t really allow for easy petting, but G enjoyed it anyways), we stopped to take a couple of photos along the raspberry bushes.  By this time, we were all hot, sweaty, and tired, and Gracen was feeling straight up silly.  For one reason or another, she decided that the only way she’d have her photo taken was if her tongue was out, and by that time, I really didn’t blame her. Sometimes joining the crazy is just more fun.  ☺

It was a lovely day and I’m already trying to figure out if we’ll have time to make another trip out when Krause’s u-pick blueberries are ready in mid-July… Though next time we’d do things a little differently as by the time we got home, most of our berries were already pretty mushy.  

Notes to self:  

1) Stacking fresh, ripe strawberries in big, tall buckets leads to severe strawberry smushing – bring big, shallow containers next time instead.  

2)  Locking your berries in a hot vehicle on a 30 degree day doesn’t help the situation – next time, play first, pick last.

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{Heart-Shaped} Strawberry Crispy Rice Treats

I must admit, since creating our first batch of healthy{er} crispy rice treats, we’ve made several batches since. The good news is that through all of the ‘testing’, we’ve learned that they last really well in an airtight container on the counter, they can be made into fun shapes using silicon moulds and ice cube trays, and they can easily be cut into shapes with cookie cutters {all while holding their shape just as well as regular Rice Krispie treats do}.  The one lesson we’ve learned along the way is that if you overdo the cereal, they turn out crunchier, more dry, and not nearly as yummy.  Lesson learned.

Healthy Strawberry Crispy Rice TreatsWhen planning some of the treats we’d serve at our annual Valentine’s Tea, Gracen’s most enthusiastic suggestion was “Crispy treats! Valem-time ones!”  Making the treats pink came to mind first, but since I’m not crazy about feeding Miss G a bunch of unnecessary food dyes, that got nixed shortly there after. 

IMG 5456The next thing that came to mind was one of Grae’s favourite treats… Freeze-dried strawberries.  We buy ours at Trader Joe’s, but I have seen them in other stores as well.  They’re just strawberries, but the process of freeze-drying them causes them to be super crunchy and astronaut food-like.

IMG 5458I asked Grae if she’d like to experiment with making strawberry crispy rice treats, and she was on board all the way.

IMG 5460IMG 5462To get started, we took about a half a cup of freeze-dried strawberries, ground them to a powder in our food processor, and added them to the wet mixture while following our usual crispy rice treat recipe.

IMG 5466Of course, Miss G licked the cashew butter spoon, because, well… That’s probably the best part about helping with this recipe.

IMG 5468Once we’d combined the cereal and the wet mixture, we took another portion of freeze-dried strawberries, crumbled half into the mixture itself, and then sprinkled the other half on top of the mixture after pressing it down firmly on a baking sheet.

IMG 5472IMG 5472We let the mixture cool completely, then used a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped treats.  Miss G liked helping with this job, but it required some serious muscle, so I had to help out.

IMG 5477It’s a simple twist, but so far the feedback’s been great…  Strawberry crispy treat success! ☺

 

Healthier Crispy Rice Treats

  • 1/2 cup of organic brown rice syrup (found in the all-natural aisle of most grocery stores, somewhere between the nut butters, syrups, and honeys)
  • 1/2 cup of cashew butter (macadamia works great too)
  • 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, ground into powder
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
  • 4 cups of crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, gently crumbled

Measure the brown rice syrup, cashew butter, ground freeze-dried strawberries, and maple syrup into a large pot.  Warm over medium heat, stirring almost constantly.  When the mixture is hot and liquidy (but not bubbling), add the vanilla, give it another quick stir, and remove the pot from the heat.

Add in the crispy rice cereal and mix well to ensure the cereal is evenly coated with the sticky mixture.  Next, add in a 1/4 cup of the crumbled strawberries and stir to distribute them evenly.

Dump the mixture onto a parchment-line baking pan and press it down firmly.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of freeze-dried strawberries on top of the mixture, and gently press them down into place.  

Allow the mixture to cool completely (or almost completely).  Use a cookie cutter to cut out heart-shaped treats.

Enjoy!

♥ 

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‘Heart in a Hole’

Heart in a HoleThis morning Gracen and I made one of our go-to breakfasts… Eggs in a hole.  Except we always make ours with a fun shape instead of a plain old circle and then change the name just a tad. ☺  On this morning’s menu?  Hearts in a hole. 

IMG 5136 I love this breakfast because it’s so easy, but it’s more fun than just plain eggs and toast.  Plus Grae gobbles it up every time and all you really need is eggs, bread, a little bit of oil, and a cookie cutter of some sort.  

IMG 5138This is really so simple that it doesn’t warrant instruction.  Just place the cookie cutter in the middle of the bread…

IMG 5141And really push down.

EggsThen place the bread, along with the cut out in an oiled pan warmed over medium heat and carefully crack the egg into the hole.  Because we like our eggs cooked hard, we cover the pan right away.

CookedWhen the white appears cooked through, flip everything over and let it cook a couple more minutes.

IMG 5146That’s it – breakfast is served.  And today, just for fun, we added strawberry hearts too.  (This meal may just have to be repeated on Valentine’s Day.)

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♥ 

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