It’s strawberry season!

strawberryOne of the best strategies to keep your grocery budget on track is to take advantage of produce that is in season. During the in-season, the produce is question is more plentiful and more locally available. This works out into savings for you- the consumer. Oh- and it is usually higher quality as well. 

That said, we are smack-dab in strawberry season. Not only is strawberry picking a fun family activity (that lets a few sneaky snacks in along the way) is provides a great opportunity to take advantage of seasonal savings with your produce.

What to do with these berries?

Freeze em’

You can’t tell me in deep, dark February that you won’t be craving a little taste of summer via the strawberry. You can head to your grocer then, and stock up on more expensive, less tasty berries, or you can think ahead now.

Clean and hull your berries. To freeze initially, place in single layers on baking sheets lined with parchment. Once they are frozen, you can lift them and bag them for storage.

Strawberry shortcake

Does dessert get any easier (or tastier) than this?

Place sliced berries on a slice of angel food cake (which are easy to whip up from a cake mix) or on top of a biscuit cut in half. Top with real whipped cream. Yummy!

Berry salad

Cut and wash spinach. Toss together with sliced strawberries, sliced almonds and chopped walnuts or pecans. To make a meal of it, include some sliced cooked chicken. Top with a raspberry vinaigrette, and dinner is served (and healthy too!).

Chicken with strawberry salsa

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Mix together 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, a finely diced jalapeno pepper (if you like spice, if not leave it out), and a couple of tsp of raspberry vinegar. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade to cover and let marinate for a few hours.

Meanwhile combine about 2 cups of sliced strawberries with a couple tsp of chopped fresh mint and a couple of tsp of sugar. Include a dash of raspberry vinegar as well.

Place chicken on a greased grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until no longer pink. Serve with salsa and a little bit of plain Greek yogurt on top.