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Fresh strawberries and summer basil, both backyard-grown, or sourced from the Farmer’s Market, are sumptuous, titillating, natural treats.
There is really nothing like a strawberry, for sweetness and flavor; it is queen of the fruits. I mean, look at its color! It is beckoning us to know what an epiphany to the mouth it is.
And what can’t be said about fresh basil, on pizza, in pesto, steeped in a simple syrup and added to fruit salad? It is a versatile herb that deserves a lot of repetition in our savory meals and desserts, all summer long.
Today I’m going to share a Honey-Basil Simple Syrup recipe and invite you to macerate fresh strawberries in it, then to pour the summer flavor explosion over the most decadent food in the world, creme fraiche, also known as cultured cream, or real sour cream.
If you can access the Nancy’s brand of sour cream, it is full of probiotics, medicinal amounts, is fully cultured, so contains no lactose, and is the perfect texture, not to mention grass-fed, so truly a healthy source of needed fat!
Or, of course, make your own fermented dairy from raw milk or cream! But it is too little known that real sour cream is the same thing as the very gourmet creme fraiche, the reason being that most products sold as “sour cream” today are not fermented at all and can have as many as 20 ingredients! They are simply tangy dairy filth and are not remotely natural or healthy.
Next time you are in a grocery store pick up an organic sour cream and a convention sour cream. Read the labels of both. And if there is more than one brand of organic sour cream compare those as well. You’ll see that most sour creams do not have probiotics and are full of fillers and unnatural factory made garbage.
So seek high and low if necessary to get the pure living stuff, grass-fed being ideal. It is decadent health food.
Honey-Basil Simple Syrup
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup local raw honey
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
1) Heat the honey and water in a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, stirring until the honey is fully dissolved and the syrup is steaming hot, but not yet simmering.
2) Plunge the basil into the hot syrup, stirring briefly, and allow the basil to steep while the syrup cools, about 30-45 minutes.
3) Pour the syrup through a mesh colander into a bowl and apply pressure to the basil with a wooden spoon to extract the last liquid. Compost the basil and store your Honey-Basil Syrup in the refrigerator, in a sealed jar, until you’re ready to use it.
This syrup may be used for the special dessert below. Use it or the leftovers also to sweeten homemade lemon-aid, drizzle on watermelon and ricotta, or liven up a humble fruit salad.
Honey-Basil Simple Syrup with Fresh Local Strawberries and Cultured Cream
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup Honey-Basil Simple Syrup
- 3 cups Nancy’s sour cream or other well-sourced cultured cream or creme fraiche
2) Portion out 3/4 cup cultured cream into each of the 4 dessert bowls.
3) Top the cream, with equal amounts of berries and syrup in each bowl.
4) Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and serve.
The Strawberry Song
by Swedish author and illustrator Elsa Beskow
fine and red,
hat perched proudly
on his head.
just as grand
fine silk dress
and folded hands.
Then come daughters
not yet quite ripe.
See big sister,
lips closed tight.
Little brother at the tail,
riding on his favorite snail.
Ma Wild Strawberry and her flock
look with awe on this grand parade.
“Ma, oh Ma, who can they be?”
“Hush, hush, my dears and curtsey low,
they’re our rich cousins, don’t you know?”