We have been enjoying our first week of summer. I made the spur of the moment decision to join a playdate with a local mommy group for strawberry picking the other day and so glad I did. It was the first time I had finally made it to something with this group and it seems like a good group and they are always doing things so it will definitely be nice to do things with other people.
Even though we lived near Plant City, Florida, where LOTS of strawberries are grown, for three years, this was the first time Kelsey actually went strawberry picking and the first time in a long while for me. We had a nice time, with Aubrey playing on a blanket, the nice quiet with clear air, and Kelsey had a blast running up and down the rows, picking berries, and playing with the other children. I used to love doing u-pick with my father growing up so it’s fun to share something with my children.
Kelsey proved to be pretty good at selecting berries and I certainly put her to work while I was feeding Aubrey. We ended up with about 5.5 pounds of fresh, sun-ripened strawberries. Aubrey pounced on them grabbing a few and squishing them and, of course, Kelsey and I had to sample a couple, too. They are melt in your mouth and sweet.
It was nice to show Kelsey the full circle of gardening since she has been great at helping care for our little garden at home. It was some work and we all got a little muddy, but at least the reward was a big bowl strawberries when we got home. I highly recommend doing a little u-picking this summer if you can. PickYourOwn.org is a great resource for finding locations near you.
I wanted to do something tasty with some strawberries and eventually decided on trying to make something with oatmeal that would be a good snack or for breakfast. I was able to get Kelsey involved by letting her smash the strawberries, pour things in, and stir the bowls. These came out pretty tasty and got the Kelsey, and even the Aubrey, seal of approval! I started out with this recipe and made some changes.
The Troy Strawberry Festival is this weekend and encourages vendors to use strawberries in creative ways. My favorite from the last time we went is the Strawberry “Sweet Heat” Salsa that is made by The Future Begins Today, which helps students pursuing post-secondary education goals.
Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins
- 1-1/2 Cups oats quick or old fashioned, uncooked
- 1-1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 Teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 Cups strawberries, mashed
- 1/2 Cup fat-free milk
- 1/2 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 -1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons greek yogurt
- 1/2 banana, mashed
- sugar to sprinkle on top, optional
Heat oven to 400°F. Line twelve medium muffin cups with paper baking cups or spray bottoms only with cooking spray.
Combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in large bowl; mix well. In a second large bowl, combine mashed strawberries, milk, brown sugar, vanilla extract, greek yogurt and mashed banana; blend well. Add to dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not overmix.)
Fill muffin cups almost full. Sprinkle sugar on top, if desired. Bake 15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool muffins in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan.