Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Strawberries - Keeping it fresh!

When strawberries are this fresh and this sweet, it’s a pity to include them in recipes where they will be altered in any way. There’s something rather special about the ones growing in Mgarr on the island of Malta. This is made amply clear by all the fruit and vegetable vendors in trucks and little shops around the island having signs and boards saying that their strawberries are from Mgarr.

Here are some ways of serving the plump, delicious fruits:

-         With a fresh gbejna and local honey as a starter or cheese plate after a meal

-          In a smoothie with other fruit, ginger and yoghurt/milk.

Overnight oats:

-          Place 2/3 cups of quick-cooking oats in a jar or other container with a wide open top
-          Add 2/3 cups milk of your choice (regular, almond, coconut)
-          Optional: add 1 tablespoon Chia seeds to make the consistency thicker
-          Optional: add 1 tablespoon of any jam of your choice

Place in the fridge overnight. In the morning the consistency would have thickened to a porridge-like one and the oats would have absorbed moisture. Just before eating, add ingredients of your choice, such as nuts, seeds, peanut butter, honey and fresh fruit.  If you prefer, you can add ¼ teaspoon of sugar but if you’re using strawberries there really is no need as they are already very sweet.

This is a healthy and tasty snack that will give you energy for some hours as the oats release sugars into the blood slowly and so you will not have a rapid spike in your blood glucose, followed by a slump which will make you feel tired. Starting out your day with a blood sugar stabilizing food such as oats may make it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control the rest of the day, especially when the rest of your day is also supported with nourishing fiber-rich foods. If you prefer a warm breakfast, you can add about 1/3 cup more milk and heat the mixture up in the microwave for 2-3 minutes before adding the fresh fruit or nuts/seeds.

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