Strawberry picking and licking

strawberry-picking-7It’s Wimbledon season again, which means sunny days, Andy Murray hoping to make it to the final and strawberries everywhere. It’s  the perfect chance to rediscover how great it is to ‘Pick Your Own’.

2cstrawberry-pickingI spent a lovely morning this weekend at Cattows’ Pick Your Own in Heather, Leicestershire, where they host the Strawberry Fields festival in August. Myself, my friend and her littlest Noddy fan were there hunting for treasure. Children love strawberry picking, grubbing around for the very best berries, like ruby prizes hiding under the rows of plants. I’d forgotten just how proud kids get when they find a monster berry. And while they’re busy filling their baskets and their bellies, they’re learning where their food comes from.

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Pick Your Own isn’t just good for children either, British strawberries straight from the field taste amazing because they’re fresher and have been warmed by the sun. And you’ll be doing your bit for local farmers as well as keeping down food miles.

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You get to choose every berry and can sample different varieties. At Cattows they clearly mark each row with the names, so you can decide which are your favourites. We picked the big and juicy Fanella berries as they were just at their peek.

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They’ll probably eat far too many and have bellyache if you don’t slow them down a bit but at least these sweet treats are natural. Then when they’ve filled their punnets you can take your strawberries home to make cakes, tarts, jams, cordials and ice creams, there are so many recipes to try.

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I love this recipe for real strawberry ice lollies with yoghurt – a great reward for all their hard work picking on a hot day. Perfect for keeping them happy while you sit back and watch the tennis final too.

To make strawberry and yoghurt lollies:
130g husked strawberries
300ml natural yoghurt
50g caster sugar
A pinch of black pepper

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In a bowl blend the berries, yoghurt and sugar (add sugar slowly you might not use it all if you have very sweet strawberries). Then simply add a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, pour into moulds and freeze. They’re so easy but they taste great.

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