mmm….Strawberries


That’s how MAM refers to strawberries….it’s not just strawberries, it’s a tummy rubbing, “Mmm…strawberries” every time. The girl loves strawberries, and so do I. That’s why I knew she would love the California Strawberry Commission’s website for kids, Strawberryville.com.

Strawberryville is filled with fun activities and facts about delicious, nutritious strawberries. My daughter is enamored with the fact that the strawberries have legs and sunglasses. She’s a little young for most of the activities, but she enjoys watching the animation on the screen. School-aged kids would definitely enjoy checking out the matching and trivia games, along with some of the easy to make, kid friendly recipes.

This year California is experiencing a bumper crop, which means that the vitamin-rich fruit should be readily available at a store near you. There are hundreds of recipes available at the California Strawberry Commission’s websiteStrawberry Shrimp Ceviche, anyone?

One of my favorite combinations is Strawberry Spinach Salad. It’s always tricky to find a tasty, low-fat dressing to go with it–there are plenty of full-fat options, but low-fat options are hard to find. Last summer when I was posting for Tales from The Scales, I shared a yummy, lower-fat salad recipe. Here it is, again, with the disclaimer that the sugared almonds make it not-so-healthy, so proceed with caution. (plain almonds or mandarin oranges are good alternatives)

Spinach Strawberry Salad

8 cups fresh baby spinach, about 8 oz
2 cups slice fresh strawberries, about 8 oz

Sugared Almonds

½ cup slivered almond
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp water

Dressing

5 tsp balsamic vinegar (12 year old is best)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp liquid honey
1 ½ tsp poppy seeds
3 tsp finely chopped fresh olives
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

1. SALAD: Break off root ends and tough stems (if any) and discard.

2. Place spinach in a large bowl, add ice and cover with water; set aside to chill.

3. SUGARED ALMONDS: In a small saucepan, combine almonds, sugar and water.

4. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar is almost completely melted and nuts are golden, stirring occasionally- (there will be unmelted sugar on nuts).

5. Spread almonds on a large plate; let cool and then break into small pieces.

6. (Make ahead, as nuts can be stored in an air-tight container for about 3 days).

7. DRESSING: In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, poppy seeds and chives.

8. Drizzle in olive oil and whisk until blended.

9. Now whisk in mustard until well blended.

10. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste.

11. Remove spinach leaves from water, pat dry on paper towelling and break into pieces.

12. Add to a large mixing bowl.

13. Add sliced strawberries and toss lightly to mix.

14. Add dressing and toss gently until spinach and berries are lightly coated.

15. Add almonds, toss lightly and serve.

16. TIP: Packaged ready-to-use baby spinach can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets.

17. There are 8 cups of baby spinach in (one- 6 ounce) package.

18. NOTE: Only make enough salad that will be eaten at this one time serving. The salad will get somewhat soggy if kept for another day.

I found the above posted on recipezaar.com (posted by William Anatooskin)

This post is part of a blog tour hosted by Mom Central.

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