My roots and love for Wisconsin run deep, ever since we traded the Chicago urban corporate scene for organic farming and sustainable living on our rural farm and bed and breakfast, Inn Serendipity. And at heart, I’m a four-season loving gal. But man, that fourth season of winter can run a bit long here. Fortunately, I have a secret weapon in my freezer: a bumper crop of June strawberries.
Obviously, these little red berries are now rock, hard frozen. While I practice my local, seasonal, eating mantra like the next foodie, let’s face it, frozen berries aren’t in the same league as their summer counterparts. While these berries still pack a flavorful punch, the consistency ranks close to mush.
But don’t loose your lust for berries.. Here are three easy tips to maximize the frozen berry flavor and embrace the mush factor:
1. Blend A Smoothie
Smoothies appear regularly on our B&B morning table and can be easily adapted based on whatever you have around. Here’s our typical mix:
3 T. honey
1 c. plain yogurt
½ c. milk
½ c. fresh or frozen strawberries (or raspberries, blueberries)
2-3 bananas, depending on size
About 5 ice cubes
* Blend honey in blender with yogurt and milk, then add remaining ingredients and blend. Blend the honey, yogurt and milk first, or the ice cubes will freeze the honey, making it difficult to blend.
* Pour into serving glasses. Champagne flutes add an elegant touch and garnish with a lemon balm, or mint leaf.
2. Sauce It Up
This basic sauce can be used on just about anything, from ice cream to pancakes. Tastes particularly inviting during the winter when served warm.
1 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 c. water
1 c. raspberries (or blueberries)
1 T. butter
* Mix sugar, cornstarch and water in saucepan. Boil until thick. Add berries and butter and cook again until warm and thick.
3. Do a Daquiri
Call it our mental escape. There’s nothing like a frozen, tropical drink around the woodstove to get your through the Wisconsin winter. Throw those frozen berries in the blender and enjoy:
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri
Makes two cocktails (triple for a pitcher)
8 whole frozen strawberries (or other frozen berries)
¼ c. rum
½ c. Triple Sec **
1 T. lemon or lime juice
¼ c. powdered sugar (or to your sweetness taste)
Fruit-flavored sparkling water (or any juice or water in a pinch)
* Place strawberries, run, triple sec, lemon juice and powdered sugar in a blender. Pour in sparkling water until strawberries float (about ½ c.). Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
** = Triple Sec is a clear, orange flavor liqueur. You can use more run with a dash of orange juice if you don’t have Triple Sec around.
Photo credit: John Ivanko