Winter seems to have finally given up the ghost (she says, hoping not to jinx it!) and the bulbs we planted in the autumn are peeking their heads cautiously out and dotting the ugly post-winter earth with splashes of colour. Snow shovels have been put away and boots retired to the basement. It’s time to start thinking about all those spring menu items we’ve been hankering for these past few months… Something I miss in the winter is fresh berries. I always have a stash of (Canadian) frozen blueberries and raspberries on hand for cooking and baking but I love the spring and summer when I will often buy fresh berries and they will end up being my meal. Of course, we are lucky in Canada that we can get berries from California pretty much year round, but in the winter this is really something I will only buy for a special dish or if we have company. So whilst I do prefer to buy local when I can, it is nice to have the luxury of year round produce from warmer climes.
With the arrival of spring come many more seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables to look forward to and I’m thrilled to be participating in the California Giant Berry Farms’ “Put Some Spring In Your Step” Promotion. Cal Giant is a California-based company on a quest to provide perfect strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to their customers – all while promoting delicious nutrition, an active, healthy lifestyle, and charitable giving. And this spring, they’re offering tips that will most certainly put some spring in your steps.
Their website is home to a ton of delicious berry recipes as well as tips for healthy living. For example, did you know that 4lbs of strawberries will provide a delicious and nutritious snack for an entire little league baseball or soccer team? Kids love berries and what better way to encourage healthy snacking? How about tossing some blueberries or raspberries in your water bottle for a burst of freshness as you sip throughout the day? I know I get bored drinking plain water sometimes and berries are the perfect addition – natural sugars for a hint of sweetness. For a more decadent treat on a hot summer’s day (they *are* coming…), how about freezing berries to replace ice cubes in a refreshing glass of home made lemonade? Not just tasty but pretty too!
I have to admit that one of the things I look forward to in the warmer weather is ice cream and frozen yoghurt and since I now have my own ice cream maker, I am excited at all the possibilities this affords. As a consolation prize for having to cancel all my spring break plans, I bought myself a number of new cookbooks (ahem…) including David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. As an even better consolation prize for being so sick, I made myself some strawberry frozen yoghurt using his recipe and some California Strawberries (treating myself again!).
Oh my, I may never buy frozen yoghurt again! Look at the beautiful bright hue that the strawberries lend to this:
After a few days in the freezer, the hue lessens slightly (not sure why – some chemical reaction?) and it hardens a little, requiring a quick zap in the microwave to achieve the soft, almost thickshake-like consistency that I prefer.
Topped with a fresh strawberry, it’s a decadent-tasting dessert with all natural ingredients.
Hankering after your own berry treats? Well California Giant Berry Farms is offering not one but TWO lucky readers (United States and Canadian readers only, sorry international friends) of eat. live travel. write. the following prizes:
A shipment of fresh berries!
A $25 Gift Certificate to Academy.com (Academy Sports & Outdoors)!
In addition, I will be entered into a drawing and THREE bloggers will receive a $500 donation to the charity of their choice completing the “trifecta” of delicious nutrition, an active, healthy lifestyle, and charitable giving!
How to enter?
Leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite way to enjoy fresh berries.
for a bonus entry, tweet the following message and come back and leave a separate comment on this post.
I just entered to win FRESH BERRIES from @californiagiant Berry Farms from @eatlivtravwrite ! You can too! http://bit.ly/igqBO9
Contest closes Sunday, April 10th at 6pm EST. I will choose two winners using Random.org and announce them the following day.
** Don’t forget to check out next month’s “Forever Nigella” event – I’m hosting a street party in honour of the Royal Wedding and would love for you to join me. All the details here.