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Aveen Bannon

The days are longer, the sun is brighter, and the strawberries are getting sweeter—hello, strawberry season! Thanks to Keelings’ state-of-the-art strawberry glasshouses, Irish strawberry season runs from March to the end of November. This means we get to enjoy tasty, Irish-produced strawberries for longer! And there are many perks to eating seasonally…

Why is eating seasonally produced fruit so much tastier? If the fruit is produced out of season, it can typically be harvested before it is ripe and transported significant distances to where it will be sold and consumed. The ripening process is then controlled to cause even, uniform ripening. While this is a completely safe process, it can alter the taste and, of course, add air-miles. Seasonally produced fruits, on the other hand, happen naturally or with the assistance of greenhouses. When a fruit naturally ripens on the plant and is harvested when ripe, it results in tastier and sweeter-tasting fruits. Strawberries are a great example of how sweet and delicious in-season varieties are!

As we know, strawberries are a powerhouse of nutrition, full of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fibre. As well as their undeniable health benefits across the board, strawberries are special because they are sweet, fun and versatile, making them an attractive choice for kids. Often, even the fussiest eaters will be partial to a juicy strawberry. Their vibrant colour and the tactility of eating them by hand makes them fun and interactive for kids when tucking in. From adding fresh strawberries to breakfast to eating them as a snack in school or even savouring them as a dessert, the options for strawberries really are endless.

Eating strawberries fresh and whole is best for health benefits, but there are plenty of ways to get them into children’s (and adults’) daily diets if this is not preferred. Here are some healthy, fun ideas that are quick and easy to increase strawberries in the diet this Easter:

Healthy Strawberry Milkshake (Serves 2 Adults)

Ingredients:

  • 500 ml of milk (your choice what kind)
  • 160 g fresh Keelings Irish strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

(Add one frozen banana to thicken if preferred, or transform into Strawberry Smoothie.)

Method:
Simply blend and serve. Get everyone involved in chopping and blending for this delicious drink the family will love.

Strawberry Pancakes (Makes 6 Pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 350ml milk
  • 200 g fresh Keelings Irish strawberries (chopped)
  • 30g butter, melted

Method:
Sieve flour into a bowl. Add egg, milk and butter, whisk until well blended and a batter is formed. Stir in half of the strawberries. Heat a greased large pan over medium heat. Pour 2 or 3 tablespoons of pancake batter into the pan. Flip the pancake when bubbles begin to appear and then cook until golden. Serve with the remainder of the fresh strawberries and other chosen toppings.

Strawberry FroYo (Serves 4 Adults)

Ingredients:

  • 240g Keelings Irish strawberries that have been frozen
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 200 ml of plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Method:
Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy (about 4 minutes). Consistency is best when served immediately but this FroYo can be frozen in an airtight container for a later time too.

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