SOURCE: Fresh from Florida and Florida Specialty Crop Foundation

December 05, 2013 04:00 ET

Sensational Strawberry Snacks

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Dec 5, 2013) - (Family Features) Strawberries are a quick and easy snack for adults and children. It's no wonder why they're a top fruit juice in kitchens and lunchboxes everywhere. Plus, these tasty fruits are packed with almost 140 percent of immune system boosting vitamin C.

"Strawberries always put a smile on my face," says Chef Justin Timineri, executive chef and culinary ambassador, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "My favorite recipe for them is to simply 'Rinse, eat and repeat.'"

You can find more snack ideas and recipes at http://bit.ly/floridaberries.

How to buy
Choose strawberries that are plump, fragrant and firm, with no signs of bruising or leaking.

How to store
It's best to eat strawberries on the day of purchase. You can freeze strawberries by hulling, lightly washing and drying them. Arrange in a single layer before placing in the freezer.

Hulling tips
Never hull strawberries until after they have been washed or they will absorb too much water and become mushy.

Sign-up to receive a FREE copy of the"Kids in the Kitchen" cookbook at: http://bit.ly/flfffkids.

 
Strawberry Dessert Pizza 
Yield: 2 to 3 servings 
 
Crust: 
1/2 pound butter, two sticks
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
   
Topping: 
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sugar
3 pints Florida strawberries
   
Glaze: 
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon water
   

To make crust, cream together butter and sugar with mixer until fluffy. Add egg, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract until mixture is smooth. Add flour and mix until smooth dough is formed. Place finished dough in between two sheets of wax paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness and in round shape. Place dough in greased 12-inch pizza pan and bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes or until crust is light brown. Cool completely. To make topping, combine cream cheese, honey and sugar until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cookie crust, leaving 1/2-inch border uncovered. Place sliced strawberries around outside border; fill in middle of pizza. To make glaze, combine honey and water; brush over top of finished pizza.

Kids Can: Glaze top of finished pizza. Place sliced strawberries on top of pizza.

Grown Up Alert: Adults should help with oven.

 
Strawberry-Mango Milkshake 
Yield: 3 servings 
 
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat milk
6 ice cubes
1/3 cup plain yogurt
10 Florida strawberries, hulled
1 mango, peeled and sliced
   
Garnish: 
1 dollop whipped cream
1 Florida strawberry
1 slice of mango
   

Put everything but fruit into blender; blend on low, gradually increasing speed. Once smooth, add fruit and finish blending until completely smooth. Pour into tall glass and enjoy.

 
Fluffy Stuffed Strawberries 
Yield: 16 servings 
 
1 pound Florida strawberries
8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
3 ounces low-fat yogurt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
   

Cut stems off strawberries and carefully scoop out 2/3 of inside with knife or spoon, creating a cup. Be careful not to make any holes. Cut piece off bottom tip of strawberries to allow them to stand up. Beat cream cheese and yogurt until fluffy. Fold in vanilla extract. Working in batches, place cheese mixture into pastry or sealable bag with small corner cut off. Fill strawberries with cheese mixture. Garnish with mint and serve.

Kids Can: Place cheese mixture into pastry bag and fill strawberries.

Grown Up Alert: Adults should stem the strawberries.

 
Strawberry Muffins 
Yield: 12 servings 
 
1 1/2 cups Florida strawberries, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   

Combine strawberries and 1/2 cup sugar in small bowl. Set aside for 1 hour. Drain and reserve liquid and strawberries separately. Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. Mix eggs, butter, vanilla extract, remaining sugar and liquid from strawberries in medium bowl. Add flour mixture. Stir until combined. Fold in reserved strawberries. Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Kids Can: Spoon mixture into muffin cups.

Grown Up Alert: Adults should help with oven.

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