As of today the British Strawberry is officially stepping back into the limelight and shall be touring the country until the end of July. Let’s just hope the clouds stay high as apparently that is a sign for good weather to come. Strawberries love the sunshine, it will make them grow in bright and deep red colours with a delicious sweetness and distinct flavour only British strawberries in season can deliver.
Forget about all those other ones that travel to us from far countries throughout the year to land on the supermarket shelves, only to blind us with their looks but definitely will let us down by their lack of flavour. Here it is also important to know that these very fragile and perishable fruit lose their nutritional value quite dramatically after just two days, so you can imagine what is left after their long journey across the globe.
If you need to have strawberries outside the season, please go for the frozen variety, they are very likely to have been picked at their peak and probably have more nutritional value as well as a better flavour and are perfect for desserts or smoothies. Please read the label to see where they come from, you don’t want to get a cheep import from China. You can also freeze your freshly purchased or picked treasures yourself , best to be done towards the end of this season, so you don’t end up having to buy a bigger freezer.
Strawberries are a pretty special kind of berry, they are packed with phytonutrients, they are an excellent source of vitamin C , a good source of fibre and give us a wide variety of minerals – so here you have one antioxidant wonder, perfect to prepare us and our skin for the hot months to come. Strawberries are a super afternoon snack just by themselves or I like to have a few pieces of extra dark chocolate with them- so good !
Now, what better than to start the season than with gluten free scones, cashew vanilla cream and strawberry chia jam? Chia seeds are perfect for making fresh fruit jam, their gelatine effect saves you a huge amount of sugar and cooking time. The only downfall is that this jam won’t keep as long as your traditional one, but it’s so delicious that there is no need to worry about that really.
Here are some chia jam serving ideas : you can have the jam with your breakfast cereal, on pancakes, in yogurt or even on top of a nice piece of cheddar cheese. In fact you will probably find yourself making some more quite soon after the first batch.
If you’d rather not go through the length of making the vanilla nut cream, plain organic Greek yogurt with added vanilla and maple syrup works a treat too. Enjoy!!
Buckwheat scones with cashew vanilla cream & strawberry chia jam
Buckwheat scones– makes 12
100g of buckwheat flour
75g of oat flour ( simply grind oats in an electric coffee grinder)
50g of ground almonds
1 tsp of baking powder
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp maple syrup or 2 tbsp barley syrup
40g of coconut oil
130-150ml organic rice, almond or cashew milk
1 egg beaten for brushing
Strawberry chia jam
400g of fresh British strawberries
2-3 tbsp of maple syrup-
2-3 tbsp of chia seeds
small bunch of mint leaves ( optional)
Cashew vanilla cream
200g cashew nuts ( also works with peeled almonds)
1/2 vanilla pod
2-4 tbsp of rice or cashew milk
Alternative to cashew vanilla cream:
200g of organic plain Greek yogurt
1/2 vanilla pod (content only)
1 tbsp of maple syrup
- For the strawberry jam, simply wash the strawberries and cut off the little green caps, place in a food processor along with the maple syrup and chia seeds abd lend until you get a lovely jam like texture. Adjust sweetness with more maple to taste. Fill the jam into sterilised small jars, close the lid tightly and leave to set in the fridge for 30min but best for a few hours or over night.
- The cashew cream is really simply done: place the cashew nuts and vanilla pod in a food processor and blend until smooth. I like to add some nut milk to make the cream that little bit creamier. The blending process will take some time, so please be patient, the cream will get there. Fill the cream into a sterilised jar, close the lid tightly and refrigerate. It will keep for up to 3-4 days.
- The scones are also super easy to make, you don’t even need a mixer. First combine the maple syrup with the nut milk and set aside. Next, sift the flours, salt and the baking powder into a bowl, add the coconut oil and rub into the flour, creating a fine breadcrumb like consistency.
- Now start adding a little milk and work it into the flour mix, keep adding a little at a time working into a smooth dough. Buckwheat flour is a very dense type of flour, so you don’t want to overkneed the dough, otherwise the scones turn out quite heavy. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven at at 220C and line a backing tray with baking paper.
- Role out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is approximately 2cm thick, cut with a pastry cutter and lay out on the prepared baking tray. Finally beat the egg in a small bowl and brush the scones to give them a lovely shiny glaze. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Serve them with the cream and jam. I love an Earl Grey with my scones, such a good combo.