Thursday, April 5, 2012

Local & Plastic-Free: Strawberry Granita

I have a deep deep love for strawberries... well, not just any strawberries.  Local in-season strawberries.  Ever since we moved to Wilmington and I ate berries picked straight from the plant... I couldn't go back to buying strawberries out of season.  Seriously.  Every time I tried to buy berries that had been shipped in from Florida or California (no offense!)... I'd always be disappointed in flavor and texture.  Then when I started to really focus on reducing our plastic waste, buying out of season strawberries was an easy thing to say adios! to.   So all fall and all winter... I blend frozen strawberries (that I picked) in smoothies to give me my strawberry fix... and I wait and wait and long for fresh picked strawberries.

...and then I go overboard!
On Tuesday, my kids and I went to Lewis Farms and picked around 30 pounds of strawberries!  What can I say? Once you start it's really hard to stop!!!  SO... biggest question I've gotten from people I've told that fun fact to is:  What the heck are you going to do with all of those berries?!?

Ummm... eat them of course ;) 

Besides eating them in their most beautiful state... I'll also be making fruit leather, tarts, jam, shortcakes, and more including some recipes I've been wanting to try in Blissful Bites.  Today, I tried my hand at making strawberry granita!  Plain and simple... it was amazing!  It was so good that my kids came back for seconds, thirds and fourths!  To them it was like a sno-cone (a healthy one without artificial anything!) and they couldn't stop eating it!  (That my friends is a victory!)

Strawberry Granita
from Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

2 pounds strawberries
6 TBSP organic raw sugar
1 cup water
juice of 1 small lemon (optional)

Slice strawberries into a large bowl.  Add sugar to strawberries and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

In a blender, add strawberries including liquid, water, and lemon juice.  Process until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a shallow pan (13x9 glass dish or 2 qt casserole dish).  Place in the freezer.  After about 30 minutes, check the mixture to see if it's begun to freeze.  When the mixture begins to get icy around the edges, take a fork and stir the edges to the center every 20-30 minutes.  This process of scraping and stirring will take about 2 hours (depending, of course, what size dish you use and the depth of the liquid this could be less or more time).  Once the mixture is "frozen" scrape evenly with a fork into flakey crystals. Serve immediately or store in the freezer for up to one day.

NOTE: If you don't want to do the "work" of making granita, you can easily make this mixture into popsicles!  Instead of pouring the strawberry mixture into a dish, just pour into popsicle molds! :)  Mmmmm....

Warning: Watch out because if posting about strawberries is anything like picking them... there may be many more strawberry posts on the way... but hey! they're prettier than cigarette butts right?!? ;)