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The Essential Summer Fruit: Strawberry

It's not summer without the plump red juicy strawberry. Did you know it's the only fruit with its seeds on the outside? The first garden strawberry was grown in Brittany, France in the 1750s. Today here in the UK over 168,000 tonnes are consumed (2015). I don't know about you but I love them. Here are just a few great ways to enjoy them.

Red Juicy Strawberries
Red Juicy Strawberries ©MDHarding

The Essential Summer Fruit: Strawberry

The Strawberry Season

It's always better to eat in season and support local producers. Strawberries are harvested between June until August in the UK, but with technology, the growing season has extended from April until October. Throughout the year strawberries are also imported from Spain, Israel, Morroco and Egypt.

Fresh Grown Strawberries at Cairnie Fruit Farm
Fresh Grown Strawberries at Cairnie Fruit Farm ©MDHarding

Grow your own

It's so easy now to grow your own strawberries. Have you tried?

There are over 103 species of strawberry, though there are a few to keep in mind if growing in the UK. These are Alice and Elsanta. The most popular is the Elsanta with its superb flavour and large yields of glossy, red fruit. The best time to plant is in April with ample time for the plants to become established before the warmer fruit-producing months. They love sandy well-drained soil, light, water and feed.

Fruit Picking

A great way to enjoy the essential summer fruit is to go fruit picking. There are loads of PYO (pick your own) fruit farms across the UK. The Balloon Tree, just outside York has come highly recommended with it's bursting succulent strawberry fields and other freshly grown produce.

Located over in Fife is the Cainie Fruit Farm and Mega Maze. It's a great day out for the whole family.

Did you know you can also sign up as a seasonal fruit picker? It is hard work but you're out in the great outdoors and can enjoy the free exercise. Another way to enjoy fruit is a visit to the local Farmers Markets and shops. They have a huge selection of products from freshly picked fruits, jams, chutneys and much more!

Fruit Picking at Cairnie Fruit Farm
Fruit Picking At Cairnie Fruit Farm ©MDHarding

Strawberry Recipes

Strawberry Surprise

There is nothing like chocolate-covered strawberries. Have you tried them with popping candy? Your in for a real treat - surprise!

Strawberry Surprise
Strawberry Surprise ©MDHarding

Strawberry Ice Cream

One of the easiest ice cream recipes is Andi Peter's Three Ingredients Ice Cream.

The delicious three-ingredient ice cream is made with 300grams of strawberries, 397grams of condensed milk and 300ml double cream but you could substitute strawberries for another fruit or perhaps nuts.


Mash strawberries in a bowl and set them aside. Whip the double cream on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Add the condensed milk into the double cream and gently fold. Pour the mashed strawberries into the mixture and gently fold in until combined. Then pour the whipped mixture into a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze for about 5-6 hours or overnight.

I used an empty 2-litre ice cream tub and with the above ingredients, these filled it, almost half full. The creamy treat was so easy to make and went down well with the whole family.

Strawberry Ice Cream
Three Ingredient Strawberry Ice Cream ©MDHarding

Strawberry Cheese Cake

The four easy steps BBC Goodfood Strawberry Cheesecake is easy and delicious!

Here is how you can make yours: - click here.

I used a pie dish I bought from Ikea, instead of a baking tin. This also took out the need to use parchment paper. I also substituted a vanilla pod with vanilla essence. Hand mixing the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence. I also added strawberries into the mix. It took a little bit longer to set. If you do this, be careful with the number of strawberries, as it could make it really wet.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did (yum).

Strawberry Cheesecake
Strawberry Cheesecake ©MDHarding

Strawberry Daiquiri

Are you looking for a wee treat to start the weekend? A strawberry daiquiri is refreshing, fruity and alcoholic or you can make it without the rum if you prefer.

Strawberry Daiquiri
Strawberry Daiquiri ©MDHarding

Strawberry Jam

Have you ever thought about making your own strawberry jam? It is so easy and wow, the aroma in the kitchen is amazing! I love Mary Berry's Strawberry Jam Recipe.

You will need:

Jars (4)

Strawberries 1kg

Jam Sugar 1kg

1 Lemon (juice only)

Cooking Thermometer (I bought mine from Amazon)

You can make as much or as little as you would like, with the option of adding these white and red cloth lid toppers (I bought mine on Amazon as part of a set that included labels, jute string and pre-cut lid toppers).

  1. With a large heavy sauce pan, add the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.

  2. Stir over a medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

  3. Then increase the heat and bring to a boil (temperature 105 celcius/220 Fahrenheit).

  4. Transfer to sterilised jars, leaving to cool, before placing on the lid.

The jars should be washed and placed wet into a preheated oven 160 - 180 Celcius, on an oven tray for 15 minutes. The lids should be placed into boiling water. I use a large plate and pour the water from the kettle. By the time the jam is ready, the jars and lids are done.

Bramble jam, Apple chutney and strawberry jam all potted up in jars with red and white cloth lids secured with jute string on a wooden chopping board, surrounded by fresh strawberries and brambles.
Homemade Jams and Chutneys ©MDHarding

I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to enjoy the best of the quite essential British strawberry. Yum!

What is your favourite strawberry treat? Let me know in the comments below or drop me an email to:

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