While Shrub syrups do have sugar in them, they are much lower in sugar than a simple syrup and you do not need to use very much to get a flavor bomb from them. Typically used as a “drinking vinegar” in cocktails and mocktails, shrub syrups are not just for beverages.
Fresh fruit salads made with seasonal berries can be an awesome low carb dessert and a shrub syrup with healthy apple cider vinegar enhances the fruit flavor and takes it to the next level.
Low Carb Strawberries & Cream
This really isn’t a recipe, but it is a wonderful low carb (can be keto) summer dessert. Basically just slice seasonally fresh strawberries and add a bit of heavy whipping cream. I added a couple tablespoons of Ginger Lime Syrup to these berries to enhance the dessert.
Berries are the one fruit that most low carb and keto diets allow. The fiber to sugar ratio is good and if you keep it to about 1/2 cup, they will not derail your diet. Heavy whiping cream is allowed on low carb and keto diets, but of course you need to be aware of the caloric density of cream and not go wild every day.
We grow organic strawberries on the farm and the season is so short here in Minnesota that I really rush to get the most out of these jewels. Although watermelon is not available locally yet, it is such a good pairing with strawberries that I had to get some at the grocer. Please note that watermelon is definitely not low carb and does have a healthy dose of sugar. Just leave out the watermelon if you are making this on a low carb lifestyle. It’s still delightful – just not as sweet.
I tried this salad with several of HeathGlen’s syrups (the Blackberry Mint Syrup, the Orange Chipotle Shrub Syrup and the Ginger Lime). My favorite was the Orange Chipotle , but I do enjoy spice in most of my dishes. All of the low carb shrub syrups would work with this……..just pick your favorite flavor. Remember, you don’t need to add sugar to the strawberry salad when you use the syrups, and it doesn’t take much syrup for a punch of enhanced flavor.
Strawberry-Melon Salad with Low Carb Shrub Syrup
- fresh strawberries (I used about a 1/2 pint for 1 salad)
- 1 small watermelon (optional, eliminate if low carb)
- Orange Chipotle Shrub Syrup (or your favorite flavor)
- Feta cheese (optional)
- fresh mint for garnish
- Rinse the strawberries, take stems out, and cut in half. Place about 1 cup halved strawberries in small bowl.
- If using watermelon, cut the watermelon in half and use a small melon ball scoop (or spoon) to extract 1 1/2 cups watermelon balls. Add to bowl with strawberries.
- Drizzle orange chipotle syrup over fruit. I used about 1/4 cup syrup, but it all depends on how sweet you want it and how sweet the fruit is to begin with.
- Let the fruit sit in the syrup, refrigerated, for 1/2 hour to overnight. When ready to serve, gently stir the fruit salad, garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy.
Make your own Low Carb Shrub Syrups (aka Drinking Vinegars)
You can also make your own low carb shrub syrup by juicing some oranges, adding sugar over heat until dissolved, infusing the simple syrup with a cheesecloth bag of dried chipotles for 1 hour or more.
Cool and add apple cider vinegar to taste, realizing that the vinegar will taste fairly harsh at first, until it melds with the simple syrup over time. I usually allow mine to mellow for about a month before using. The proportions of juice to sugar to vinegar are approximately 1/3 of each.
For more information on DIY shrub syrups click here.