“Let me take you down ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.”
~ The BeatlesFor me, the first arrival of local strawberries in the market — more than any other ingredient — signifies the official beginning of summer.
Here in California, strawberry season is already well underway.
I thought this would be an apropos time to explore summer’s favorite fruit from the cannabis connoisseur’s perspective, including some tasty medicated strawberry recipes, favorite strawberry marijuana strains, and even strawberry themed music to enjoy it all by.
• When buying strawberries, look for plump, bright red, fully ripe berries. The top leaves should be attached, green and fresh looking. The size of the strawberry is not important. All strawberries, large and small, have the potential to be equally sweet and juicy.• Sort and remove any bruised or damaged berries as soon as possible, being in contact with spoiled fruit can cause good fruit to go bad quicker.
• Place the berries in cool, well-ventilated containers (32 to 40°F / 0 to 5°C). The moisture content of fresh strawberries is high, so store uncovered or loosely covered.
• Hull strawberries and rinse gently right before serving.
• To keep strawberries from absorbing large quantities of water, hull after washing.
• Eight medium strawberries contain 140 percent of the US recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, as well as being a great source of folic acid, potassium and fiber. Another added bonus? They’re low in calories!Cannabis: Favorite Strawberry Strains
While they don’t have any actual strawberry in them, strawberries have inspired some fine cannabis strains, most notably, Strawberry Cough and Strawberry Haze.
These two sativa dominant hybrids share the similar characteristics of a fruity flavor and aroma accompanied by an energetic head high.
For the perfect soundtrack to enjoy summer strawberries by, consider adding these songs to your mix:
• Strawberry Fields Forever – There’s no better musical accompaniment to lose yourself in summer contemplation than one of the world’s most important psychedelic songs, “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles. Or, you could contemplate whether or not John Lennon actually says, “I buried Paul” at the song’s end.• Strawberry Letter 23 — This classic ’70s R&B song was originally recorded by its composer, Shuggie Otis, but didn’t get much attention until legendary producer Quincy Jones and the Brothers Johnson transformed it. From the soft music box-like opening notes that fade into a funky bass laden beat, “Strawberry Letter 23” provides a sexy and sensuous, yet danceable, tribute to summer love.
• Summer Wine – “Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring, My summer wine is really made from all these things,” sang Nancy Sinatra and composer Lee Hazelwood in this 1969 standard that hints at the tantalizing possibilities of a mysterious yet dangerous summer love. The song has been covered many times but none is better than the live version by the Irish band The Corrs with a guest appearance by Bono, who give it a hopeful feeling of optimism the original’s darker tone lacked.
Medicated Strawberry Recipes
Almost like a strawberry stuffed with cheesecake, this fruity finger food recipe is always a crowd pleaser.
Makes 6 Servings
12 large, fresh strawberries, washed and dried
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 grams finely ground dry hash
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon sour cream or yogurt (plain or strawberry flavored)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brown sugar
12 fresh blueberries
Cut a small amount off point of strawberry so that it is able to stand upright. Carefully remove stems from strawberries and slightly hollow out core with the tip of a knife.
In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese, hash, confectioner’s sugar, sour cream or yogurt, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Use a pastry bag and star tip (or a small spoon if you don’t want to be fancy) and fill strawberries with cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle tops of filled strawberries with brown sugar and place a blueberry in the center of each. Serve immediately.
Vegan Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Even though there are no dairy products or sugar in this smoothie, it’s still creamy, sweet, and satisfying.
Using frozen fruit allows you to achieve a thick texture without diluting flavor. Add the optional ground hemp seeds for an additional nutrition boost.
Makes 2 Servings
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 peeled frozen banana
1/2 gram finely ground dry hash
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1 to 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, optional
Put all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Dressing
Sweet strawberries blend perfectly with toasted pecans and crisp baby spinach in this sophisticated salad. Leave the goat cheese out for a delicious vegan salad.
Makes 2 Servings
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons cannabis infused olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 very thin slices red onion, separated into rings
3 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans
3 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese, optional
Whisk together salad dressing ingredients until emulsified. Toss together salad ingredients, except goat cheese, and toss well with dressing. Divide between 2 chilled salad plates. Sprinkle goat cheese on top of salads, if using. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Editor’s note: Cheri Sicard is author of The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook (2012, Z-Dog Media), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Easy Freezer Meals (2011, Alpha Books), and Everyday American (2008, Bookspan), among others.
She is the Los Angeles County Community Leader for the NORML Women’s Alliance. You can read her blog at www.CannabisCheri.com.