Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strawberries and Eco Living article on strawberry leaf infusion

I had never gone strawberry picking until a couple weekends ago.  It was so beautiful in the strawberry fields, and I had a lot of fun spending time with family and friends and eating the ripe berries (despite being in a lot of pain that day.  But like most days I just grin and bear it).  The strawberries were so different than the store brought kind, they brought to mind the few small strawberry plants we used to have when I was very, very young.  They were very tender (melt in your mouth), juicy, and sweet (the sweetness was in some ways more subtle, but in other ways more explosive in taste).  And the fragrance: the boxes filled my sister's whole kitchen and my car with its sweet scent!  Pure bliss!  So if you have strawberry farms in your area, I highly recommend visiting one!  Fun activity for the family, and the strawberries are not only super delicious but very inexpensive too.

So for my newest eco living I thought that I would write about strawberries, but decided to focus on the leaves (which are often thrown out instead of used).  My article is on strawberry leaf infusion.  The leaves can be made into an infusion and drunk, or they can be used in skin and hair care!  Very simple to make, and your skin and hair will look great!  Not to mention it tastes pretty good too.  In the article, I included a link to a previous eco living article that included a strawberry scrub recipe.

Last week (a few days after berry picking) I also made chocolate gluten free, no refined sugar strawberry shortcakes with garden fresh mint (I looked at a lot of recipes online but made my own).  I used a little agave to sweeten them (but not too much).  They came out alright, but since I made a recipe off the bat, I think I need to make it a few more times before I perfect it!  It was so nice making a no refined sugar, flour free dessert though (I used to bake a lot, but in past years not that much but trying to bake a little more again).  I used coconut flour so the combo of organic chocolate/cocoa, coconut, fresh peppermint from my sister's garden, cinnamon, strawberries, and organic whipped cream was yummy (needed more organic cocoa powder and to be a little more moist though).  Working with coconut flour is tricky because you have to use a lot more eggs than usual but I really like using it as a flour, and I seem to do well with the combo of not using a grain flour in desserts and eating something high in protein.  (I still use whole grain flours in other desserts though, but the combo of whole grain, agave, AND fruit--so all three-- is often overkill for me: too starchy/sugary and would make me react). I froze most of my berries (we gathered a lot) but used fresh berries in this.  So yummy!

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