Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Strawberries

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The arrival of June brings with it of one of our favourite fruits: strawberries. Their arrival marks the start of warmer weather, an abundance of bright, juicy, locally grown fruit and berry based desserts, drinks and smoothies by the truckload (ideally enjoyed outside in the garden, but looking out the window I think we'll settle for snuggled on the sofa). Their sweet flavour is perfectly complemented by creamy accompaniments (it's not a British summer without strawberries and *coconut* cream), but they also work just as well with other sweet, tart flavours. 

Naturally, strawberries have a short 6 week season, running from early June until mid-August, part of what makes them so lucrative. 80% of British strawberries are of the Elsanta breed, and many places offer the opportunity to pick your own - although if you're lucky enough to have garden space, it's also easy to grow your own. Bursting with vitamin C and antioxidants, and lower in sugar than most fruits, they're not only a delicious choice, but also a healthy one.

RECIPE IDEAS

- The perfect breakfast addition - add them to the top of your porridge, serve with creamy coyo, blend into overnight oats, add to your chia pudding, enjoy them with pancakes or add to the top of french toast. 

- They're also delicious blended into smoothies - strawberries, almond mylk and banana is a guaranteed winner. 

- They're perfect for baking too. Our particular favourite is strawberry and peach crumble -the perfect way to make use seasonal fruits into a quick and easy dessert. 

- And of course we can't forget about the joys of strawberries and chocolate. We love avocado chocolate mousse topped with fresh strawberries 

- Another favourite of ours is to make them into strawberry chia jam - add it to toast or porridge, or use it in replacement of shop-bought jam in a traditional Victoria sponge cake. 

- Strawberries aren't only limited to sweet - they also make the perfect addition to a salad. Try with spinach, walnuts and a creamy tahini dressing for a simple but effective dish.