Strawberries add incredible flavor to many, many low carb meals, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Take advantage of fresh strawberry season with:
- a strawberry spinach salad,
- simple strawberries and balsamic vinegar,
- a strawberry rhubarb cobbler or
- an elegant strawberry panna cotta.
Check out the video tutorial on some of the more complex recipes at the end of this post.
Strawberries for Breakfast
Probably the easiest way to enjoy strawberries is fresh, sliced, with a bit of sweetener. Here is an easy way to enhance your breakfast strawberries:
Makes about 4 servings.
- 2 c. fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp water
- 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Directions: Put strawberries into a bowl, add the sugar, water and vinegar. Toss gently until the strawberries are coated with the dressing. Serve with rye toast.
Strawberries for Lunch – Spinach Salad
A lunch (or dinner) salad made with spinach, goat cheese and fresh strawberries is easy, delicious, and healthy.
Makes 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each.
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 c. baby spinach
- 3 cups watercress, lettuce or more baby spinach
- 2 1/2 c. sliced fresh strawberries
- 1/3 c. fresh chives
- 1/2 c. toasted chopped pecans
- 1/4 c. crumbled goat cheese
Directions: Whisk maple syrup, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add spinach, greens, strawberries and chives. Toss to coat. Top with pecans and goat cheese.
Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Citrus Syrup
This cobbler biscuit was so light and flavorable! It was the best cobbler I have ever had (thanks to Lucia’s Restaurant).
(adapted from a recipe posted in the Star Tribune by Lucia Watson of Lucia’s Restaurant in Minneapolis)
I poured HeathGlen’s Ginger Lime Syrup over the cobbler instead of Lucia’s citrus syrup, which was outstanding, but the recipe for her syrup is also listed below for a DIY version.
I also added a little cardamom and vanilla to the filling, which took it over-the-top in my opinion. Not the greatest photo, but really incredible taste.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Citrus Syrup
- 3 1/2 c rhubarb thinly sliced
- 4 c. strawberries hulled and sliced
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour or 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Cobbler Biscuit Ingredients
- 3/4 c. sugar divided
- 1 1/2 c. cake flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 Tbsp butter 1 "stick at room temperature
- 1/2 c. buttermilk
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
Lemon Verbena Syrup
- Lemon Verbena Syrup or order Ginger Lime Syrup
- 1 c. packed lemon verbena leaves can substitute mint leaves
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. water
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. **note: Freeze the stick of butter if you want to grate the butter into the biscuit mix rather than use a pastry blender.In a medium bowl, mix the rhubarb and the strawberries with the sugar, corn starch (or flour), lemon juice, cardamom and vanilla. Let sit for 30 minutes to bring out the juices.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (sugar, flour, soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or your hands. **note: if you don't like using a pastry blender, freeze the butter ahead of time and use a grater to grate the butter into the dry ingredients. It's a bit easier to incorporate this way.Add in the buttermilk , egg, and vanilla and almond extract, stir until just moistened. Don't overmix.
- Pour strawberry and rhubarb mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish or individual casserole dishes/ramekins. Drop the cobbler batter on top of the fruit. Sprinkle some sugar over the cobbler topping (brown sugar works well). Bake for 30-35 minutes until cobbler crust is golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling.If desired, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, drizzled with some of the citrus syrup (DIY syrup recipe below or buy ginger lime syrup)
Lemon Verbena Syrup
- Blanch lemon verbena leaves in boiling water briefly to brighten color, then immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and cool completely. Put lemon verbena and cooled syrup in blender and puree on high for 2 minutes. Refrigerate overnight, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Keep refrigerated.
Elegant Dessert – Panna Cotta with Red Wine Strawberry Compote
I had never made Panna Cotta before and the name of it alone was a bit intimidating, let alone the use of “molds”. It was actually very, very easy, and what a taste treat. Intimidated no more. Try it!
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/3 c. whipping cream
- 2 1/3 c. buttermilk
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
To make Panna Cotta:
- In a saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand for 1 minute. Add sugar and cream and heat over low heat until steaming, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and slowly stir in buttermilk.
- Pour custard into six 6-ounce (3/4 cup) ramekins or molds. (I used various sizes of what I had available; some were ceramic and some stainless steel). Cover and refrigerate panna cottas until firm, about 2 hours.
To make Compote & Serve:
- In a small nonreactive saucepan, heat wine and sugar over medium heat until boiling. Lower heat and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes.
- Place strawberries in a medium bowl and pour in wine mixture. Let compote cool to room temperature.
- Dip ramekins or molds into hot water for a few seconds, then invert panna cottas onto individual dessert plates. Shake to loosen, then lift off ramekins or molds. Spoon compote around panna cottas. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Video Tutorial on 3 Low Carb Strawberry Desserts:
Pros & Cons of Various Sugar Alternatives
Strawberries are one of the fruits allowed on most low carb diets (in moderation). Often sugar is added to berries to enhance their flavor and bring it out more. Click here for a detailed analysis of some of the sugar alternatives.