Today is my daughter's last day of school. This year has flown-by faster than other years...our family is thrilled for a few days of downtime before our summer plans begin shortly. We'll be headed in separate directions for most of the summertime, each doing our own agenda and enjoying the freedom that summer brings to the mind, body, and soul.
Earlier this week, my daughter and I went to our favorite farmers market (Kenilworth Farmers Market) to pick-up our first CSA share of the season. We have been members of One Straw Farm's CSA program for many years. I love the dedication that Joan & Drew Norman and their entire team bring to their farming practices. Each week, from early June until Thanksgiving, we choose 8 items for our share. Some weeks, I may pick all of one type of veggie (in late August, all I want are the heirloom tomatoes!) while other weeks, I pick a wide variety of produce to enjoy.
It's early June in Maryland, which is when local strawberries are abundant. Have you ever stopped to compare local strawberries to the cultivated strawberries that are available year-round at the grocery stores? They're totally different. Local strawberries are small and irregularly shaped; their colors may be erratic, they oftentimes still have their stems attached. This type of strawberry is (usually) very sweet and highly perishable, so sadly we need to consume them quickly to best enjoy them. The rest of the year, we can easily find cultivated strawberries, usually grown in Mexico or California. They tend to be larger and firmer in texture, and they lack true strawberry taste. This week, while local strawberries are available, do a side-by-side taste test. See which strawberries you prefer. If it's the local berries, stock-up on them now and enjoy them fresh while you can!
For this week's recipe, I used some of these beautiful local strawberries in an easy make-ahead breakfast. I prepare lots of porridge at my house, it's my husband's typical take to work breakfast. His porridge is usually topped with a mixture of frozen organic berries, I buy large bags of them at Costco and they're perfect for his breakfast. But when fresh local strawberries are available, I feel compelled to use them everywhere! I've even blended them into the coconut milk, which is the liquid part of this porridge recipe. The combination of coconut and strawberries is reminiscent of strawberry shortcake, but less sweet. The subtle pink color is a pretty backdrop for the toppings that I've included on top of each bowl.
Strawberries & Cream Oat Porridge is a nourishing breakfast or an energizing afternoon snack. I've enjoyed it throughout the day this week as I tested and re-tested the recipe! I hope that you put your fresh berries to use and enjoy them while they're available. As always, please let me know if you've made my recipes, if you enjoy their taste, and how they make your body feel.
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Strawberries & Cream Oat Porridge
Ingredients: (note - use organic whenever possible)
1 can (13.5oz) coconut milk
1/2 C chopped strawberries
1 t vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1 T maple syrup or honey (optional)
1 1/2 C rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
1 T chia seeds
1 T ground flax seeds
To serve: chopped strawberries, desiccated coconut flakes, cacao nibs, maple syrup or honey
Into the container of a blender, add the coconut milk, chopped strawberries, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blend until completely smooth. Taste and add maple syrup or honey, if additional sweetness is desired.
In a large bowl, toss together the rolled oats, chia seeds and ground flax seeds. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the oats and stir to combine. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least one hour (or overnight), stirring periodically. The oats and seeds will absorb the coconut milk mixture and soften into a silky porridge.
To serve, divide the porridge into bowls. Decorate with any or all desired toppings and enjoy as a delicious breakfast or snack!
recipe yields 2-3 generous portions
double the ingredients for additional portions
porridge keeps well, in a covered container in the refrigerator, for 2 days
replace the strawberries with frozen berries, if fresh strawberries are not available; substitute blueberries or raspberries for the strawberries, if desired