Nothing beats biting into your first strawberry of the season. Bursting with fresh, juicy flavors, strawberries are perfect on their own or when paired with a wide array of other foods. Cooking Light notes that the popular berry is at its peak from April through June.
Not only do they help create stunning dishes, such as strawberry cream cheese bread, almond strawberry chia seed pudding, and strawberry pretzel crostini, but strawberries are also bursting with health benefits.
WebMD explains that they protect your heart, increase your HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and help reduce your risk of cancer. Strawberries are a good source of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants and are free of sodium, fat, and cholesterol. Furthermore, WebMD states that they’re among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity.
Read to start reaping stawberries’ noteworthy health benefits while enjoying their refreshing flavors? Prepare any one of these 7 recipes!
1. Strawberry Griddle Cakes
Thanks to strawberries, plain pancakes are transformed into fantastic flapjacks that will awaken your tastebuds. In addition to mixing strawberries right into the batter, the recipe also piles them on top of the pancakes prior to serving. Saveur’s recipe yields 2 servings. For a morning meal that’s even more flavorful, serve Carlsbad Cravings’ fresh strawberry syrup alongside your flapjacks.
- 1¼ cups sifted flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup roughly chopped strawberries
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Butter and maple syrup, to serve
Directions: Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Beat the egg with the milk. Pour the egg–milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat well. Gently fold in ½ cup of the strawberries. Using a paper towel, grease a large, heavy griddle or skillet with a thin film of vegetable oil, then heat over medium heat until very hot. Use about ¼ cup of batter to form each griddle cake. Cook in the hot pan until bubbles form on the surface and edges are dry. Turn and cook until the other side is golden brown. Serve with butter, maple syrup and remaining ½ cup strawberries.
2. Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread
Cream cheese gives Food.com’s bread a rich, creamy texture, while strawberries ensure it is filled with fruity, aromatic flavors. Chopped pecans are optional, but we highly recommend including them! They’ll add a warm nuttiness and satisfying crunchiness that will tantalize your tastebuds. The recipe for strawberry cream cheese bread yields 12 servings. As an added bonus, Best Health states that eating strawberries can boost your immune system, promote eye health, and fight off wrinkles.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 (3-ounce) cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 1½ cups strawberries, chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. With electric mixer cream butter, sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend flour mixture with butter mixture just until blended. Add half-and-half and only stir just to blend. Drain strawberries and blot dry. Carefully just fold in strawberries and nuts. Dough mixture will be thick. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Let bread mellow for one day and then serve.
3. Strawberry, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Pizza
There are ample nutrients in Cooking Light’s strawberry, pistachio, and goat cheese pizza. Strawberries provide a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, and both pistachios and watercress bring their own noteworthy benefits to this dish. Medical News Today notes that watercress contains a high level of dietary nitrate, which has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance.
According to SFGate, fiber-filled pistachios are a good source of potassium and vitamin K, and may help lower your cholesterol. The recipe yields 6 servings.
- 1 (12-ounce) prebaked pizza crust (such as Mama Mary’s)
- ⅓ cup (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup trimmed watercress
- ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Dash of salt
- Dash of freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup (1-ounce) shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons shelled dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place crust on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove from oven; arrange goat cheese evenly over crust. Combine strawberries, watercress, olive oil, juice, salt, and black pepper; toss gently to coat. Arrange strawberry mixture evenly over goat cheese. Sprinkle pizza with Parmigiano-Reggiano and nuts. Cut into 12 wedges. Serve immediately.
4. Strawberry Pretzel Crostini
Looking for the perfect finger food to serve at your next party? Prepare Southern Living’s strawberry pretzel crostini, a bite-size appetizer that will be a hit with partygoers. Cream cheese and a strawberry mixture are piled on top of pretzel crackers, creating a simple yet satisfying dish. The recipe yields 3 dozen servings.
- 2 cups finely chopped strawberries
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons minced shallot
- Pinch of pepper
- 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 36 pretzel crackers
Directions: Stir together strawberries, basil, brown sugar, shallot, and pepper. Spread softened cream cheese onto pretzel crackers. Top with strawberry mixture.
5. Almond Strawberry Chia Seed Pudding
Perfect for breakfast and dessert, AllRecipes.com’s almond strawberry chia seed pudding is a great no-bake option. Almond milk and strawberries are puréed in a blender until smooth, and chia seeds, honey, and vanilla extract are then stirred into the purée. Cover your pudding with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator until it’s set, which typically takes about 4 hours. Make this dish a touch more indulgent by topping it with Martha Stewart’s Whipped Cream.
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 (16-ounce) package fresh strawberries, hulled
- ½ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Purée almond milk and strawberries in a blender until smooth; pour into a bowl. Stir chia seeds, honey, and vanilla extract into the strawberry puree. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
6. Strawberry Shortcakes
You only need 6 ingredients to prepare Oxmoor House’s recipe via Health. Strawberries, sweetener, cornstarch, and orange juice create a scintillating sauce, which is then spooned over dessert shells for a heavenly dessert. The sauce doesn’t have to be saved for just this recipe, either; it’ll taste great spooned over ice cream, angel food cake, or pound cake.
- 1 tablespoon calorie-free sweetener
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 1½ cups sliced fresh strawberries (about 1 pint)
- 6 spongecake dessert shells (5-ounce package)
Directions: Combine sweetener and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in orange juice. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, and stir in extract. Cool completely.
Combine orange juice mixture and strawberries in a bowl; stir gently. Cover and chill 30 minutes. To serve, spoon sauce over dessert shells.
7. Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Ditch the store-bought granola bars and prepare the Food Network’s strawberry oatmeal bars instead. They’re great as a midday pick-me-up, but they also work wonderfully as dessert. Since it is the season for fresh strawberries, we recommend making Ball’s homemade strawberry jam to use in this recipe, which yields 24 servings.
- 1¾ sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cup oats
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 (10- to 12-ounce) jar strawberry preserves
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan. Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the strawberry preserves. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.