Our strawberry crop is abundant this year. It is the best we have seen in a while. You can find these ever-bearing Seascape strawberries at our markets or at our farm stand. While prices may vary from market to market, you can get some good deals if you by in bulk. If you are able to, buying in bulk is a great way to stretch your market dollars. Canning or freezing is great way to stretch the strawberry season! Read Daniel Blaustein-Rejto’s blog post Cost-Saving Tips for Shopping at Farmers’ Markets for some more great ideas to stretch your budget.
It can be hard to not eat all the strawberries fresh from the pint! When I have a little excess of fresh seasonal fruit, I like to blend the sweet goods into a morning smoothie. Smoothies are great way to pack in some protein and other less-tasteful, nutrient-dense supplements. It makes for a great workout recovery beverage, if that is your thing. The little ones will think they are getting dessert for breakfast.
STRAWBERRY PROTEIN POWER SMOOTHIE
1 Pint Fresh Strawberries
1 Frozen Banana
1/2 Cup Yogurt
1 Cup Liquid (Milk – cow’s, almond, coconut, water… your preference!)
1/4 Cup Hemp Seeds (optional: choice protein supplement)
2-3 Teaspoons of supplements (optional: I like to mix it up and use spirulina, maca, superfood blends, and/or mesquite powder)
Use a blender and process until desired consistency. Add more fruit to thicken or more liquid if too thick. I like to add fresh market greens when they are around. I have found that you can get away with adding a few leaves of almost any greens without compromising the flavor of the smoothie. I like to use kale, collards, or chard.
Our local natural foods co-op in Corvallis, First Alternative, has a great smoothie supply section in the bulk cooler at their North Store. You can find raw powders of acai berry, camu camu, maca, mesquite, wheatgrass, and cacao, whole hemp seeds, bee pollen, soy lecithin, and cacao nibs. They also have carob powder and great superfood smoothie mix from Bright Earth Foods. Buying in bulk eliminates packaging waste, is less expensive because you are not paying for individual packaging costs, but perhaps best of all you can assess the product before you buy it for freshness and color. You can also buy exactly how much you would like to try or use. It is a good thing!