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Dining In — Recipe of the Week: Strawberries have arrived

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Two late spring freezes left local farmers holding their breath over whether there would be a strawberry crop.

There were crop losses, but despite temperatures that dropped into the 20s and 30s overnight, the bright red berries arrived in time for the Memorial Day weekend and should be here for another few weeks.

Manoff Market Gardens in Solebury is always first out of the gate because the farm’s first wave of berries is grown in high tunnels, safe from frosty temperatures. Field-grown berries appear a week or so later.

The berries also appeared over the weekend at the Wrightstown Farmers Market and Doylestown Farmers Market. Penn Vermont Farm in Bedminster expects to open for pick-your-own berries the first week of June; check the farm’s Facebook page or call 215-795-0230 for updates.

The website for Hellerick’s Family Farm outside Doylestown anticipates pick-your-own berries will be available around June 1. See the farm’s Facebook page for updates or check with your own favorite farm for availability.

And Trauger’s Farm Market in Kintnersville will have pick-your-own strawberries in early June.

Finding ways to enjoy your strawberries is easy, but after you make your shortcake and pile them on your cereal, you could try this recipe from wellplated.com:

Healthy StrawberryOatmeal Bars

For the strawberry bars:

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats - gluten free if needed

¾ cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour

or gluten-free baking flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (substitute  melted coconut

oil to make vegan/dairy free)

2 cups small-diced strawberries about 10 ounces, divided

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided

For the vanilla glaze (optional):

½ cup powdered sugar, sifted

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk - any kind

you like

1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan (recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9x13-inch pan) with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside ½ cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. Scatter half of the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top, then sprinkle on the lemon juice and ½ tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Scatter on the remaining berries, then the remaining ½ tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top. You will have some fruit showing through.

4. Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely (you can speed this process along in the refrigerator).

5. While the bars cool, prepare the glaze: In a medium bowl, briskly whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Feel free to add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired.

Using the parchment-paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and serve.


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