Simply Strawberry

 Simply Strawberry

Its first look is pleasing to the eyes and appealing to the senses! The impressive seasonal fruit most of us wish to have in many forms – strawberries! It has been one of my all-time favourites for a long time and trying out new delicacies with this delicate, vibrant and burst of mouthfeel expression has been truly wonderful.



It is one of the most important fruits from the berry family, consumed for its high pack nutrient content and of course, its pleasant personality. A fruit which blends itself into various types of recipes, from a morning breakfast cereal bowl to being tossed into salads, in jams, marmalades and preserves. They promise to be around us all year through. Strawberries are one of the most well-liked and best voted fruits globally by a great number of foodies, not to forget the only fruit with its seeds on its outer side!
One of my latest trial with strawberry has been with watermelon and minted strawberry gazpacho shots refreshing and nutritious. They are a must for detox diet!

Health benefits

  • Packed with antioxidants, excellent source of vitamin C, it helps us lower cholesterol.
  • Improves health of hair, skin and is good for eyes too.
  • Reduces inflammation and lowers blood pressure.
  • Rich in fibre and is cholesterol free.
  • Helps lose fat and in weight management.
  • Considered good for the heart and an anti- ageing ingredient.
  • Good immunity boosting fruit.
  • Considered good for bones.
  • High in Omega-3s fatty acids.
  • Contain good amount of folate and prevents anaemia.



Uses in kitchen and bakery-confectionery

  • A fresh strawberry milkshake remains on top of the charts for most of us.
  • Strawberries taste amazing fresh, just the way they are tossed into various combinations as salads with mild dressings work well. Combine them with greens, herbs, cheese and honey-ginger.
  • Health shakes, smoothies and frozen yogurts with strawberries are tasty. Try them with French toasts.
  • Freeze strawberries to store them for a few extra days.
  • A strawberry mousse, cheesecake, jelly with custard with a combination of fresh fruits.
  • Strawberries coated with chocolate for a nice dessert platter works well and appeals to a lot of people. Dark or white chocolate compliment them well too.
  • Strawberry coulis or a sauce to use for plating desserts add a totally different dimension to the final product.
  • A breakfast/ brunch counter usually has toppings with strawberry to go with freshly made pancakes, waffles, or being flambéed with some brandy/ rum.
  • A great ingredient for a garnish for a salad, a chilled soup, a set dessert, toppings for decorating cupcakes and iced muffins.
  • Fresh strawberry salsa is a good way to use it in dips and accompaniments to go with cold starters to desserts.
  • Strawberry sorbet, ice-cream, strawberry cream to me works wonders with seviyan payassam. Add a bit of fresh strawberries to sago strawberry pudding and kulfis. How about trying a strawberry tiramisu?


Seasonal shake
8-10 fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
2 cups warm milk. You can use oats, soy or almond milk
½ cup oats, simmered and cooked in a cup of milk for 10 mins with 1tbsp jaggery/ brown sugar could be used. Allow to cool.
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sliced cashews
1 tsp raisins
1 tsp sunflower seeds/ melon seeds
1 ripe banana




Prepare all the ingredients for the shake. In a blender jar, combine together all the ingredients. Churn up the contents into a smooth shake. Check for sweetness and adjust accordingly. Pour into glasses. Serve immediately. You can garnish it with fresh mint, fresh sliced strawberries, kiwi fruit/ seeds of your choice.

Chef’s variations
We can use healthy cookies/biscuits as well to add to our shake in place of oats cooked in milk. Try using variety of ingredients like fresh pomegranate seeds as well to be a part of the garnish. Assorted berries can also be used to make varietals.

Nutty Strawberry Chia Pudding
10-12 fresh strawberries
For pudding
2 cups milk. You can use oats, soy or almond milk
Sugar/ honey/ dates/ jaggery. Sweeteners to choose as per taste
1/4 cup chia seeds, soaked in two cups of water for 20 minutes
Chopped assorted nuts – apricots/ sultanas/ almonds/ pista
2-3 tbsp grated milk chocolate/ white chocolate
½ cup crumbs of digestive biscuits
½ cup fresh fruits like banana/ chickoo



Prepare all the ingredients for the dessert. In a saucepan combine together the milk, soaked chia seeds and sweeteners to taste, cook on low flame for 6-8 mins. Divide the mixture into two parts, to the first part add the crushed powdered digestive biscuits, fruits, nuts and mix well, pour into a glass/dessert cup. o the second mixture add the white or milk chocolate and nuts and mix well, pour this mixture in the same glass or bowl and allow to set in the fridge for an hour, garnish with fresh berries and serve.

Chef’s variations

  • Try the pudding with vanilla custard, chocolate sauce and some cake crumbs as well for a varied flavor.
  • Fresh strawberries layered between date and walnut brownies and topped with a nice saffron rabdi tastes delicious!
  • Use fresh strawberry puree. Blend it into low fat cream cheese and greek yogurt layer it with oatmeal cookies/ ragi cookies and serve it like a chilled dessert.

Strawberry power pack salad
For the base of the salad

2 cups assorted lettuce leaves – iceberg/ romaine/ cos/ Lollorosso
For the body of the salad
1 cup cut fresh strawberries
1 cup sliced green cucumber
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup cut cherry tomatoes
¼ cup sliced pink onions/ red radish
For the dressing of the salad
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
8-10 mint leaves
1 tsp mustard paste
½ tsp rock salt/chaat masala
1 tsp honey
For garnish
Assorted fresh herbs/ choice of seeds like melon/sunflower/pumpkin or assorted nuts like slivers of roasted almonds/pista etc.



Prepare all the ingredients for the salad. Assemble the dressing elements into a mixing bowl and stir well or shake in a jar format. Arrange the base of the salad on a serving plate. Drizzle the dressing over just before serving. Garnish appropriately as per choice of options and serve.

Chef’s variations

  • Try the same salad with elements like boiled cubes of eggs, chicken cubes- roasted/grilled/boiled, sliced grilled prawns/fish, use shredded white/purple cabbage as a base.
  • I also like to add a little date puree at times into a dressing with berries in a salad since they balance the flavors well.
  • Can also have this salad only with a combination of fruits like papaya, kiwi, mango, pineapple, pears, grapes etc and the feta cheese.

The author is a celebrity master chef having specialisation in over 33 international cuisines. Also known as a culinary guru in India as well as foreign lands, he is a winner of several national awards and global recognitions. With over 21-plus years of experience with various sectors associated with hospitality like hotels, airlines, television and print media and also in the field of education. He is a well-known academician, food designer, author, writer and consultant to a number of food companies and the F&B industry



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