Well, my patio-grown strawberry experiment seems to have been a success. For the past 3 weeks or so I’ve been rewarded with about a daily dozen ruby red jewels. That may not seem like a lot, but considering I only have about 16 plants total, I’d say I’m doing pretty well.
One of the challenges I’ve been having with growing the strawberries this year has been pollination. Colony collapse disorder has taken it’s toll on honey bees all over the country and Colorado is no exception. My area specifically is undergoing a lot of development and colonies of wild pollinators just aren’t around.
The first couple weeks my plants had blossoms, I wasn’t paying attention and was disheartened to find vine after vine of dead flowers. I’ve since been more proactive and everyday I take my handy dandy pollinator (also known as a q-tip) and pollinate the blossoms myself. It’s tedious and impractical and there’s no way I could do it if I had an entire strawberry field full of plants. But for my tiny little project, I’m willing to put in the effort to make sure I get their delicious bounty. It just makes me appreciate how vital pollinators are to agriculture.
To reward my persistence, I decided to make a sweet and tangy strawberry pudding. Cool and refreshing, it is the perfect dessert for a hot summer’s day.
Paleo Strawberry Pudding
* 4 TB cold water
* 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
* 3 cups fresh hulled strawberries (you could use frozen if you want)
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1/2 cup plain coconut milk yogurt (you can use greek yogurt instead if you like dairy)
Mix the gelatin and water in a small, microwavable dish and let sit for 1 min. Microwave for about 20 sec until gelatin is dissolved but not boiling. Stir until smooth.
Add the strawberries, honey, and vanilla to a food processor or blender and puree. Add the yogurt and pulse to combine. With the food processor running, slowly add the dissolved gelatin. Cover and chill until set, about 4 hours. Garnish with more chopped strawberries or mint sprigs.
Note: This is an excellent way to use older strawberries that have lost their texture but still have great flavor.