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Farm Fresh: Strawberries this good don't need sugar

Thursday, June 26, 2003

By Suzanne Martinson, Post-Gazette Food Editor

Sick of strawberries yet? Not us, not of local strawberries so sweet they could walk up to an uptight type and win him over.

We think there's interest in pies that contain no sugar, and we remembered a recipe we'd tried from Carolyn Beinlich of Triple "B" Farms.

It's a good one, especially if you make the extra effort to buy Western Pennsylvania berries. (See the accompanying list of farmers' markets. For phone numbers of pick-your-own farms, see www.post-gazette.com/food.)

Every recipe using strawberries doesn't have to be a dessert, either. Try Trax Farms Strawberry Onion Salad.

Sugarless Glazed Strawberry Pie

Carolyn Beinlich likes to give this recipe to Triple "B'" Farms customers who want something special for people with diabetes. It is a good dessert to take to a potluck.

  • 1 baked pie shell

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (reserve 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened concentrated pineapple or apple juice
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened red grape juice

Prepare your favorite baked pie shell. Wash, pat dry and hull 1 quart fresh strawberries, reserving and crushing 1 cup. Place remaining strawberries in pie shell. (Ours were large, so we sliced them.)

Combine in saucepan the cornstarch and unsweetened concentrated pineapple or apple juice (we found this with the canned juices) until smooth.

Add the unsweetened red grape juice and 1 cup crushed strawberries. Stir and cook until thickened. Cool slightly.

Pour over berries in pie shell. Chill until set, about 2 hours.

Garnish with Sugarless Whipped Cream.

Sugarless Whipped Cream: Beat 1/2 cup whipping cream until peaks form. Add 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened concentrated fruit juice and beat until blended. Be careful; avoid overbeating. Spread on pie. Makes about 1 cup.

Trax Farms Strawberry Onion Salad

This is a delicious salad that's almost a meal in itself.

  • Bunch romaine lettuce, torn

  • 1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced (raspberries are good, too)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, toss romaine lettuce, strawberries, walnuts and onion. Combine all remaining ingredients in a quart canning jar; shake well. Pour over salad and toss lightly. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Carrie Trax, Trax Farms

Suzanne Martinson can be reached at smartinson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1760.

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