Friday, March 11, 2011

Foodie Friday: Strawberry Quick Bread

A blessing of living in FL, besides all the sunshine we get in January and February, are the strawberries that are grown here. We can get them super cheap this time of year and I often have more than I can use. But don't you worry... waste not, want not! I have a plan for using them up.

Most years, I make and can strawberry jam to last the rest of the year. For example, in January 2010, my family and I picked 30 pounds of strawberries. Most became jam, a bunch were eaten right away, and the rest were individually frozen to enjoy year round.

This week, I found myself with a clamshell of strawberries that had frozen in my refrigerator. I do not like to eat previously frozen berries unless they are in something, so I made something with the berries. I think this recipe will hang around through the summer and next fall as a great way to have a taste of FL winter year round.

Strawberry Quick Bread

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon's worth)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup mashed strawberries (about 1 clamshell's worth)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (sub with apple sauce if you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour a 9x5 loaf pan (or just use a can of baker's spray like I did).

Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, salt). In a separate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients (eggs, lemon zest, oil, mashed strawberries). Combine wet & dry ingredients and whisk until well blended.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Then, cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it to a rack to cool completely. This step will take at least an hour.

Additional notes:

  • You can add walnuts or almonds. I think they would both go well with the strawberries. My husband doesn't like nutty things, so I left them out of mine. 
  • Substitute apple sauce for the vegetable oil. I didn't try that with this recipe, but it is a common way to reduce the fat and calories in baked goods. I usually do, but we've eaten all the applesauce in this house.
  • Let your kid mash the berries! This was Charlotte's job today and she loved it. I don't have a traditional masher, so I gave her one of the beaters from my electric mixer and it worked just fine. I had to finish up a few large pieces she missed, but she like participating.
  • To get the best flavor and easiest slicing, wrap the bread in plastic wrap while it is slightly warm and let it sit over night.
That last note? It won't happen in our house! There's no way I can keep everyone's hands off of strawberry bread that long. And next time I make this, I'll probably do it in either a mini loaf or a muffin pan. We don't like waiting for things around here and the 60 minutes to bake was crazy long!

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