Tuesday, 29 June 2010

S is for summer, sweet dreams and strawberry fields forever


Heart shaped, happy shaped, strawberries taste best this time of year. When choosing your strawberries look for smaller ones, as they’re sweeter and contain more nutrients, this applies to fruit and vegetables in general, remember small is best, for food that is fresh! 


Strawberries have inspired us for centuries, once upon a time newly weds were served them in a creamy soup with sugar and borage, it was thought to increase passion and attraction. Lovelier still, the Native Americans believed strawberries grew along the roadside to heaven, what a beautiful sight that would be. 

However, be cautious dear friends, for legend has it that whomever you share a double strawberry, you will fall deeply in love with! On the subject of Love, I'm sure that in cooking for the ones we love, our relationships grow stronger, and love, our greatest teacher hums happily and more brightly throughout our lives. 


Your kitchen is a great place place to express your tastes, needs, dreams and welcome positive people and richer experiences into your life. 


I read a quote today from the actress Hilary Swank, 'Before you eat anything, ask yourself,"What is it about this food that makes me a better me?", an idea we could all do with entertaining. How we treat our bodies and the food choices we make speaks volumes about our own sense of self worth. Quick fixes never last, in love, life and certainly diet. True change happens first from within, 73% of GP's in a recent study agree. Diets often lead one to gaining more weight, not loosing it, so please ditch the idea of dieting and make healthier and more wholesome choices instead.


Most of us have a sweet tooth, and I'm no exception, when the sweet feeling calls, I squeeze SWEET FREEDOM, this golden bliss of a sweetener is a lovely alternative to sugar. It's 100% fruit based, with a low GI, 25% fewer calories and deliciously sweet so you'll use less. It’s also suitable for diabetics as part of a healthy diet and is loved by all who try it.I've said aurevoir to Agave, and Hola! to Sweet Freedom.
 
My friend Karen, recently enlightened me on the woes of Agave Syrup, a favourite for many who follow a raw diet. To create this Goldilocks drizzle, a combination of genetically modified enzymes are thrown together with some chemically intensive processing, including caustic acids, clarifiers, and filtration. Sweet Freedom is free of all of the above, there are no chemicals or enzymes in sight, no added colours, flavourings or preservatives and is GM and gluten free, so what you see is what you get.


Here’s one heavenly and pure strawberry recipe, that will keep you berry happy indeed and play no havoc with your body. I saw this quote from William Butler, a 17th century writer, for me it sums up strawberry love beautifully. 


"Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did." 


Here's one of mine, "Balance was never found in the biscuit tin, enjoy strawberry yogurt cupcakes instead" I hope you enjoy these just as much as we do. xxx



STRAWBERRY YOGURT CUPCAKES


MAKES 10
Butter 125g, softened
Eggs, 3 separated
Sweet Freedom 125g * 
Vanilla pod, seeds scraped
Apple juice 1 tbsp
Strawberries, 5 small
Light brown self-raising flour 190gGreek yogurt 200g,           


FOR THE ANGEL CLOUD TOPPING
Greek yogurt 2 tbsp
mascarpone 1 tbsp
passion fruit 1, pulp scraped out
Sweet freedom, 2tsp
Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp


HEAT the oven to 180’/ Gas 4
BLEND butter, egg yolks and sweet freedom together in a blender, until velvety smooth
ADD strawberries, apple juice, vanilla seeds and yogurt. blend again
SIFT the flour into a large bowl                                                                                                                          
POUR in cake mixture and fold everything lightly until combined
WHISK egg whites to form stiff peaks                                                                                                                   
FOLD in the cake mixture
PLACE 10 muffin cases in muffin tin and fill with cake mixture
BAKE for 30 minutes, check with a cocktail stick, it should come out clean when pressed into the centre of a muffin 


FOR THE ANGEL CLOUDS


BEAT yogurt, mascarpone and passion fruit
ADD sweet freedom and vanilla essence
CHILL the mixture until ready to eat scrumptious cup cakes
SPREAD on top and place prettily a slice of strawberry on each


STRAWBERRY SMILE TIME

5 comments:

  1. Can you please make these for me! Angiex

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  2. I think the photographs of the recipes look wonderful and I love the background pattern, it looks like a Japanese painting.

    I strongly recommend the Angel Cloud Topping, I have used it in another recipe given to me by Sinead and everyone loved it.

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  3. Thank you Penelope! Try these out too, I think you'll like them. Also the Rhubarb and Ginger muffins, they're delicious. xxx

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  4. just had a proper look at these... and wow! can't wait to try!

    do you do much gluten free baking? you're one of the people that convinced me of the benefits back in the day x

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  5. Hi Rebecca,

    Yes, my friend Ruth, a nutritionist explained to me in detail that gluten-free benefits all. I feel much lighter after eating GF treats:)) and am assured the digestive system is a lot happier too as a result.

    I remember years ago us chatting about this! Literally just had a flash back!

    Big hug to you and I hope baby is bouncing and doing well.

    A summer cup cake is coming soon:)) FFX

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