Chilled Strawberry Soup

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients 

4 cups fresh Barrie Hill Farms strawberries          1 tbsp sugar

1 cup cranberry juice                                              1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

1 cup water                                                             juice of 1 lemon

1 cup low-fat yogurt

 

Slice six strawberries for garnish and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine remaining strawberries, cranberry juice, water, yogurt, sugar, mint, and lemon juice.

Puree the mixture in the bowl using an immersion blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then return to the bowl. Cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve garnished with strawberry slices.

Blueberry Avocado Salsa

This fruity Blueberry Avocado Salsa is a refreshing snack or a delightful side to grilled meat and fish recipes.  You can spice it up with some jalapeno or add more sweetness by doubling the strawberries.  Either way, it’s going to make your meal!

Blueberry Avocado Salsa from Barrie Hill Farms

Combining delicious blueberries and strawberries from Barrie Hill Farms is the perfect way to celebrate summer and you’ll find that entertaining has never been this easy.  The kids will love this too and it’s such a wonderful way to get those necessary nutrients into them during those important years of growth.

Blueberry Avocado Salsa from Barrie Hill Farms

Blueberries Are Considered A Superfood!

  • Low in calories but high in fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin K
  • Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all the popular fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids appear to be the berries’ antioxidant with the greatest impact.
  • Several studies suggest that blueberries and blueberry juice reduce DNA damage, which is a leading driver of aging and cancer.
  • The antioxidants in blueberries have been shown to reduce a predominant risk factor for heart disease by preventing oxidative damage to “bad” LDL cholesterol

Blueberry Avocado Salsa from Barrie Hill Farms

How do you cook your fresh picked blueberries?   Share in the comments section or tag us #barriehillfarms on social media with your creations.  We’d love to share your inspiration with our readers!

Blueberry Avocado Sala

This fruity Blueberry Avocado Salsa is a refreshing snack or a delightful side to grilled meat and fish recipes.  You can spice it up with some jalapeno or add more sweetness by doubling the strawberries.  Either way, it’s going to make your meal!

Prep Time: 15 days
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: blueberry avocado salsa
Servings: 4
Calories: 59kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 5 medium strawberries, hulled, chopped into chunks
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • zest of two limes
  • 1/2 cup avocado, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor or blender and pulse. For a chunky salsa, pulse 6-7 times. If you like it creamy, 10-12 times.

  • Season with salt and pepper and pour into serving bowl. Add avocado and mix. Serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe can easily be doubled.
If you want some heat, add some jalapeno pepper.  Sweet and spicy is awesome!

Nutrition

Serving: 75g | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 14.8mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!

Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.

More Blueberry Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Berry French Toast Casserole

Blueberry Pizza

Balsamic Blueberry Steak Crostinis

When are Blueberries Available at Barrie Hills Farm?A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.

Quick Strawberry Jam (Refined Sugar Free)

This delicious Quick Strawberry Jam has only three ingredients, contains no refined sugar and is ready in only 20 minutes!

Quick Strawberry Jam , refined sugar free from Barrie Hill Farms

Fresh picked strawberries at the farm is a highly anticipated event each year and we love the excitement in the fields, the kids laughter on the wagons and the happy faces when they taste the sweet, juicy berries.

We also love that you’ve been sharing your photos and recipes on social media with us so please keep inspiring us with your unique creations!

Freshly picked strawberries make the best jam! Barrie Hill Farms

This will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 2 months.  A perfect hostess gift for all those grilling parties this summer!

Quick Strawberry Jam is very simply made with a toss in the food processor of your berries until they are chunky.  You don’t want mushy jam!  Cook it up with some honey (or maple syrup if you prefer) and a wee bit of lemon juice and you’ve got yourself a treat for these beautiful summer mornings.

Quick Strawberry Jam made with freshly picked berries and no refined sugar. Barrie Hill Farms

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!

Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.

What are you doing with your strawberries?   Tag us at @barriehillfarms or #barriehillfarms so we can share.

Quick Strawberry Jam (Refined Sugar Free)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: quick strawberry jam
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 284kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 quart strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1/4 cup honey (raw if you have it) or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Place strawberries in your food processor and process until strawberries are coarsely chopped. Don’t overdo it! You don’t want mushy jam.

  • Place contents in large saucepan on medium-high heat and add honey and lemon juice, stirring well.

  • Cook for 8-10 minutes at a low boil. Remove from heat and transfer to a heat proof jar and let cool at room temperature before sealing and storing in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or 2 months in your freezer.

Nutrition

Serving: 15g | Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 746mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 284mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Strawberry Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Sugar Free Strawberry Topping

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Rhubarb

A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.

Sweet Hot Coriander Salmon with Strawberry Tomato Salad

A simple rub for this Sweet Hot Coriander Salmon and Strawberry Tomato Salad and it’s ready for the grill. The salad is a simple as chopping and tossing. some fruits and veggies.

Now the ingredients are a little quirky but when I saw a recipe online for coriander roasted strawberries I knew this would work with my favorite fish as well. I’m here to testify that they are a fantastic combination and I loved it!  You have to know by know that I’m usually going to throw some kind of twist to the recipe, right?  The kitchen is meant to be fun!

You can grill this or pan fry and toss it in the oven. I’ve included both instruction and it will give you melt-in-your mouth deliciousness. You’ll want to use a good pan, preferably cast-iron. I have regular cast iron as well as  enamel-coated cast iron pans that I use for almost everything.  You’re going to sear it briefly on high heat then pop it into the oven for a few minutes and presto – dinner is served!

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!

Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.

What are you doing with your strawberries?  We’d love to see what you’re up to in your kitchen.  Tag us at @barriehillfarms or #barriehillfarms so we can share your creativity!

Sweet Hot Coriander Salmon with Strawberry Tomato Salad

A simple rub for this Sweet Hot Coriander Salmon and Strawberry Tomato Salad and it's ready for the grill. The salad is a simple as chopping and tossing. some fruits and veggies.
 


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: grilled salmon
Servings: 4
Calories: 104kcal

Ingredients

  • SALMON
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 5 ounce pieces of wild salmon
  • 1.5 teaspoons coriander
  • 1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
  • pinch of sea salt
  • STRAWBERRY SALAD
  • 1,5 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped in half
  • 1/2 pound assorted small heirloom, cherry and grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon loosely packed lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • SALMON
  • Preheat oven to 400F
    Combine coriander, brown sugar, chili powder, Sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Season with salt. Pat salmon dry and rub mixture into both sides of fish, including skin. Let sit for 15 minutes. In the meantime make the salad.

  • OVEN METHOD
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large non-stick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Sear salmon fillets skin-side up 2 minutes. Flip, then transfer skillet to oven and cook 7-10 minutes more or until salmon is just cooked through. (depending on thickness) Be careful not to overcook. Mine took 7 minutes and my oven tends to run hot.

  • GRILLING METHOD
  • Place the salmon, skin-side-down, on the grill and cover. Cook, undisturbed, until the salmon just starts to release its fat (opaque mayonnaise-like stuff) and/or the flesh flakes easily, 10 to 15 minutes for most 1 inch thick fillets. Allow another 10 minutes for each extra inch of thickness.

  • Good salmon is expensive so if unsure, use a thermometer. It makes life so much easier!

  • SALAD
  • Combine all ingredients and serve in bowl or arrange on platter leaving room in center for salmon. Make this first because the salmon is going to require your attention.

Nutrition

Serving: 141g | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 41.8mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More Strawberry Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Sugar Free Strawberry Topping

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Rhubarb

A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Fresh Strawberry Cake is one of the best ways to celebrate the season!  The strawberry cream cheese topping is what makes this special!

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Now this cake is not what you would call ‘healthy’ but if you’re eating healthy on a regular basis, I see no reason why you can’t treat yourself now and then.  It is super moist and delicious!

Slice of Fresh Strawberry Cake

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Fresh Strawberry Cake is one of the best ways to celebrate the season!  The strawberry cream cheese topping is what makes this special! 
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: strawberry cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 749kcal

Ingredients

Cake

  • 8 ounces softened butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp strawberry extract (or vanilla if you don’t have strawberry)
  • 2 cups puréed fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup softened sour cream
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 ounces softened butter
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup puréed fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp strawberry extract (or vanilla)
  • 6 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

  • To make the cake:Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add strawberry extract, puréed strawberries, and sour cream. Beat until combined.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined.
  • In a clean, medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire racks. Cool completely.
  • To make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add puréed strawberries and strawberry extract beating until combined. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
  • Spread frosting between cake layers and on the top and sides. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries, homemade vanilla ice cream, strawberry sauce and a sprig of mint, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 749kcal | Carbohydrates: 120g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 414mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 95g | Vitamin A: 905IU | Vitamin C: 15.9mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!

Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.

 

More Strawberry Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Strawberries with Honey Lemon Syrup

Strawberry Topping (Sugar Free)

Strawberries with Honey Lemon Syrup

A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

This Strawberry Rhubarb Compote is so delicious! It was an experiment that I was a little leery about because I started out with the intention of making a simple rhubarb compote but wanted to avoid adding a lot of sugar. Yummy strawberries….and then the maple syrup…and then freshly squeezed orange juice. Result – DELISH and HEALTHY! Skip the refined sugar.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote in a large bowl

Best of all, this yummy little sauce is ready to eat in 10 minutes. You can use this on yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, cake, trifle or go all out and make a rhubarb bellini! I think this would be great as a sorbet as well – just freeze it. Then combine this with ginger-snap cookies? Whoa – now we’re getting crazy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote in a large bowl

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Yummy strawberries….and then the maple syrup…and then freshly squeezed orange juice. Result – DELISH and HEALTHY! Skip the refined sugar.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: strawberry rhubarb compote
Servings: 4
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Robyn Gleason

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb (or frozen), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups fresh strawberries (or frozen), sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Instructions

  • In saucepan, bring rhubarb, maple syrup and orange juice to simmer; cook, stirring, until slightly tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in strawberries; cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Let cool before storing in jars.

Nutrition

Serving: 390g | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 48.3mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!

Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.

 

More Rhubarb Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Rhubarb Salsa

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Rhubarb

A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.

Balsamic Chicken with Strawberries, Basil and Feta Cheese

This dish is as simple as roasting the chicken breasts – feel free to use thighs if you prefer – with a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. While it’s cooking, wash and cut your strawberries and combine them with basil and feta cheese. Goat cheese would be a nice option here. Top your chicken with the strawberry mixture and drizzle with a little more balsamic vinegar and you’ve got dinner.

Balsamic Chicken with Strawberries, Basil and Feta Cheese

Those beautiful juicy berries are from Barrie Hill Farms. When I heard the strawberries were ready I got out there as quickly as possible because they go fast!

Balsamic Chicken with Strawberries, Basil and Feta Cheese

Balsamic Chicken with Strawberries, Basil and Feta Cheese

Roast your chicken breasts – feel free to use thighs if you prefer – with a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. While it’s cooking, wash and cut your strawberries and combine them with basil and feta cheese. Top your chicken with the strawberry mixture and drizzle with a little more balsamic vinegar and you’ve got dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: balsamic chicken, chicken with strawberries
Servings: 4 persons
Calories: 260kcal
Author: Robyn Gleason

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
  • 4-6 ounces feta cheese, chopped or crumbled
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Place chicken in baking pan, salt and pepper both sides and drizzle with half of the balsamic vinegar. Roast for 25-35 minutes depending on the thickness. Check to ensure the internal temp reaches 165 F. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • While chicken is roasting, prepare strawberries, cheese and basil – combine in small bowl.
  • Top chicken with strawberry mixture and drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar. Serve

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal | Protein: 48g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 145mg | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 836mg | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!

Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.

 

More Strawberry Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Strawberries with Honey Lemon Syrup

Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa

Strawberry Topping (Sugar Free)

 

A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.

 

Strawberries with Honey Lemon Syrup

A  simple, healthy, vegetarian dessert. I thought about the flavors I love with berries and this yummy syrup was born. Topping it with whipped coconut milk is the best!

Strawberries with Honey Lemon Syrup in a bowl

This is super simple. Combine your honey (raw if you have it) and lemon juice and mix them with your berries for 20 minutes or so. Add a few beautiful basil leaves and you’re done.

Strawberries with Honey Lemon Syrup in a bowl_2

Strawberries with Honey Lemon Syrup

A  simple, healthy, vegetarian dessert. I thought about the flavors I love with berries and this yummy syrup was born. Topping it with whipped coconut milk is the best!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: strawberries
Servings: 4 persons
Calories: 139kcal
Author: Robyn Gleason

Ingredients

  • 4 cups strawberries, washed and quartered
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey (raw if available)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Instructions

  • Combine lemon juice and honey well, stir in berries gently and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whip coconut milk until frothy.
  • Spoon mixture into each bowl and top with fresh basil and whipped coconut milk.

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 262mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 87.5mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Follow us on Facebook for more delicious farm-fresh recipes, and updates on our growing seasons!

Recipe courtesy of Simply Fresh Dinners,  A partner with Barrie Hill Farms in bringing fresh recipes to your table.

 

More Strawberry Recipes from Barrie Hill Farms

Cantaloupe Strawberry Soup Recipe

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade with Rhubarb

Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa

A calendar showing when crops are available at Barrie Hills Farm.

Top Recipes Featuring Locally Grown Ontario Foods

top-local-food- recipes-holiday-dinner

With the holidays and first day of winter coming up soon, there’s no better time to plan out a lovely dinner of local food recipes that will bring together your family and friends. From appetizers to dessert, we have all your local food bases covered in a delicious grouping of Ontario asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, and apples.

Ontario Strawberry and Blueberry Savoury Appetizers

It’s chilly outside, but your house is warm from the oven and filled with the mouth-watering scent of home cooked foods. Your family and friends arrive, cheeks red from the snow and ravenous from the drive – but don’t worry, you’re ready and waiting with two amazing appetizer options. The first is a Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa that pairs perfectly with your favourite cracker or some corn tortillas. It’s sweet and spicy flavours combine in a unique and tongue tingling way, and best of all you only need strawberries, Jalapeno, red onion, cilantro and lime.

If you think that your guests are amazed at your culinary prowess now, just wait until they see your Balsamic Blueberry Steak Crostinis. These delightful bite sized snacks are a perfect combination of sweet and savoury, and are completely customizable. This crostini recipe includes steak that’s as spiced as you want, your favourite soft cheese, a tangy green such as spinach or arugula, and an Ontario blueberry balsamic dressing. Not only does this dish make an impressive presentation and taste delicious, but the blueberries provide some amazing health benefits as well.

Ontario Apple and Asparagus Main Courses

Everyone has settled in by now, the wine and conversations are flowing and you’re ready to unveil the next dish – a winter chill-defying Asparagus, Spinach & Garlic Soup. This simple dish is made using only a few ingredients, but never fails to impress with it’s elegant presentation. You can add in milk or Ontario potatoes if you want to make it creamier or thicker, and the garlic in the recipe lends an extra savoury note to this humble but warming dish.

It’s time for the main event, and in a fresh twist on a classic dish you’ve prepared Oven Roasted Chicken with Apples & Grapes. The combination of meat and fruit will surprise not only your guests, but their taste buds as well. The addition of sweet Ontario apples and tart grapes brings out the natural flavours in your chicken and adds additional juiciness to the entire dish. This healthy and deceptively simple main course shows amazingly on your table and will definitely spark a conversation.

Nestled beside your chicken is the fantastically colourful Autumn Kale, Apple & Quinoa Salad that combines some of our favourite tasty superfoods. This salad looks complex but will only take you a couple minutes to prepare, and can be customized in a couple of ways to suit your taste. Barrie Hill Farms grows a variety of Ontario apples, all of which can be picked yourself from our fields. The Zestar! apple was chosen for this recipe because of its sweet-tart taste that can be compared to a Honey Crisp. It’s firm crisp flesh holds up very nicely if you want to make it ahead of time for dinner.

Local Strawberries for Holiday Desserts

Dinner is over and everyone is sated, smiling and nestled down by the fire to chat and laugh, but you’re not done yet! You have one last showstopper of a dish to finish out an amazing and delicious night: a Sugar-Free Strawberry topping. This super simple, three-ingredient dish is sugar free and can be eaten on its own or on top of any number of desserts. Pairs perfectly with a drink and some entertaining stories from the past.

Locally Grown Foods All Year Long

This is the time of year when we gather to celebrate the past 12 months, and what better way to do it than with local foods gathered from the fields in your neighbourhood. Here at Barrie Hill Farms we’re eagerly looking forward to spring, but until then are making use of our winter stores of fresh produce to create some delicious recipes for family and friends.

Strawberry Picking 101: Tips for Bringing Home the Best Berries

Strawberry-Picking-Barrie-Hill-Farms

Strawberry picking in June is an Ontario tradition you don’t want to miss out on. If you haven’t tasted fresh-picked strawberries, then it’s definitely time to sample Ontario’s sweetest treat! Make the most of your first strawberry picking excursion, and ensure your berries are at their best with these suggestions.

When Does Strawberry Picking Season Start?

Strawberries are at the peak of freshness from the end of June to mid-July in Ontario. Since availability is entirely up to mother nature, it’s wise to check with your local farm before planning your trip. Many farms also have an annual Strawberry Festival. Strawberry Festivals are held when strawberries are at their freshest, and usually attract crowds of strawberry lovers with strawberry-themed entertainment and strawberry treats.

To be prepared for your day of strawberry picking, it’s important to bring water, wear a hat and bring sunscreen. It’s also a great idea to bring a gardening pad to comfortably rest your knees on as strawberries are harvested from the ground. To prevent waste, you can also bring your own shallow containers from home.

Strawberry Picking Tips:

• Be choosy with your berries. Pick only the ripe berries that are red all the way to the hull (green tops) and leave the rest to ripen on the plant. Unlike other fruits like tomatoes, strawberries do not ripen after picked.
• To pick the berry, don’t grasp it on the fruit itself, but pinch the green stem and gently twist it. Allow the berry to gently fall into your hand. You can pick with two hands to speed up the process.
• Lay the berries gently in a shallow container, and do not stack them too deep, as the weight of the berries on top will cause bruising on the berries below.
• The ideal berry-picking day is overcast because the berries are cooler and won’t spoil as quickly. It’s perfectly fine to pick in the rain. In fact, it’s enjoyable to pick in a light summer rain!
• Pre-plan what you will do with your berries, and freeze the left-overs, so there is no waste.
• Pick enough strawberries to share with friends.
• Carefully transport the berries home and refrigerate them immediately in a shallow dish, after removing any bruised or spoiled berries. Don’t store them in a hot car for any amount of time as this will speed up spoiling.
• Wash and hull berries (remove the green top and white core) only when you are ready to eat them, as adding moisture by washing will cause them to grow mould. After washing, gently dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture.

How to Freeze Fresh Strawberries

Don’t worry if you over-picked your strawberries! They can be easily frozen to enjoy in milkshakes, smoothies or over ice cream. The trick to freezing strawberries is to do this before they have started to spoil.
1. First, remove any mouldy or soft berries. Next, hull, wash and carefully dry your berries. Since they will be soft after thawing, you’ll want to ensure you chop them to your preferred size before you freeze.
2. Once you have prepared your berries, lay them out on a cookie sheet with a layer of parchment beneath, without touching. Freezing them separately is important, otherwise, they will freeze together in a hard lump that will be too difficult to use.
3. After the berries have fully frozen, transfer them from the cookie sheet to freezer bags and squeeze out all the air before sealing. If prepared well, berries should last 6 months in the freezer, and are ideal to add to your morning smoothie recipe.

Our Favourite Fresh Strawberry Recipes

Strawberries are best enjoyed in classic recipes, such as strawberry-rhubarb pie, strawberry shortcake, jam, and of course, sliced and topped with whipping cream. Strawberry Pie can also be made ahead and frozen to enjoy later.

Celebrating the harvest with strawberry picking and strawberry festivals is a tradition that comes from Ontario’s agricultural heritage. It wasn’t that long ago that harvesting the berries and preserving them for the rest of the year was a very important task, as it meant the sweet taste could be enjoyed for later. Now that strawberries can be imported from other parts of the world, this important piece of Ontario history needs to be preserved. Plan to make strawberries part of your own family’s summer traditions and make memories to cherish out of this short and sweet growing season.