The good news is that—while you can, of course, snack on fresh or frozen berries year-round—the late spring and early summer is peak season for strawberries, which means that *right* now is the ideal time of year to snack on (and bake with) them.
"Peak-season berries are one of the healthiest fruits to enjoy right now, as they’re loaded with heart-healthy antioxidants, such as flavonoids and ellagic acid, both of which help fight excess inflammation in the body," says registered dietitian Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN. "Strawberries also rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, contain very little sugar, and are an excellent source of vitamin C." In fact, just eight berries will satisfy your entire daily needs of vitamin C, she adds. “While we're lucky that we can find strawberries in the supermarket year-round, the spring and summer flavor and texture can't be beat,” says Jones.
- Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, board-certified sports dietitian
Our favorite way to put them to work is, without question, this strawberry bread recipe from Erin Clarke, the recipe developer and blogger behind Well Plated. It's fruity, sweet, and won't give you a single reason to let any in-season strawberries go to waste. Plus, so long as you have Greek yogurt in the fridge, you likely already own all of the other ingredients in your pantry already—so it’s a great last-minute recipe to keep in your back pocket all summer long.
Health-boosting ingredients in this strawberry bread recipe
1. White whole wheat flour
According to Jones, this type of flour actually has a similar nutritional profile to heart-healthy whole wheat flour, but it tastes similar to the all-purpose flour you're probably used to baking with. “It offers energy in the form of complex carbohydrates, plus fiber, protein, and iron,” she adds. There are actually five grams of fiber and nine (!) grams of protein per slice of this bread, which is reason enough to call it a balanced breakfast.
2. Greek yogurt
The half cup of Greek yogurt will add a little bit of protein to each slice of the bread, as well some calcium to boost your bone health, says Jones. “I recommend topping your slice of strawberry bread with some more fresh berries and Greek yogurt to enhance the flavor and the nutrition even further,” she recommends.
According to Jones, this anti-inflammatory spice helps keep blood sugar levels stable. "Not to mention the fact that it tastes delicious, especially with vanilla," Jones adds.
The eggs in this recipe give the bread its deliciously fluffy texture, plus they offer protein, choline, and vitamin D.
5. Coconut oil
The subtle flavor of coconut pairs perfectly with strawberries, and it’s a great plant-based substitute for butter.
Strawberry bread recipe
Makes 8 slices
For the strawberry bread:
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature (or canola oil)
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt plus 2 tablespoons, at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups small diced strawberries
For the vanilla glaze (optional):
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper so that you have some overhanging the sides like "handles" then lightly grease again. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the sugar and melted coconut oil (this will help keep the oil from resolidifying). Stir in the Greek yogurt, eggs, and vanilla extract.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then stir together by hand with a rubber spatula, just until evenly combined—do not over mix. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the diced strawberries.
4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. At the 30-minute mark, lightly tent the bread with foil to prevent it from browning too quickly, then continue baking as directed.
5. Remove the pan from the oven, uncover, then set the pan on a wire rack. Let bread cool in the pan completely before slicing (or slice warm and have messy, yummy pieces of strawberry bread).
6. For the vanilla glaze: Whisk all of the ingredients together (powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk) together in a small bowl until smooth. Add more sugar/milk if you desire a thicker or thinner glaze. Remove the bread from the pan and drizzle over the top before serving.
Once finished, Clarke recommends storing the strawberry bread in an airtight storage container at room temperature for up to three days. You can also freeze the bread in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to three months—just let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Care for another delicious strawberry breakfast recipe idea? Don't sleep on this spiced strawberry shortcake parfait:
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