Strawberry milk was always a something I had a strong aversion to as a child. Which was strange because I have always enjoyed strawberries and almost everything strawberry related. Most strawberry milk sold in the canteen or the shops had that truly artificial strawberry flavour which was off-putting.
Being a die-hard chocolate milk fan did not help. Chocolate Moove was my groove with a meat pie and sausage roll (or three) at the canteen as a 15-year-old kid. Imagine me, braces, pink dyed hair, eating my sausage rolls while knocking down a large Moove from the carton. I was still stick thin and forever hungry. I was grateful then for the extra calories with my super fast metabolism.
Move to 2017 and now in my 30’s with an expanding waistline and an itching need to find treats that aren’t so bad for me. The man at the tailor has been laughing at me dropping off my jeans lately to have the bum seam repaired which clearly screamed “hello weight gain, you finally found me” and I wasn’t quite ready to give up my current size.
I have found my new muse for milk. Strawberries. No really… if you are a die-hard chocolate or vanilla milk fan, like I once was, this one is something you have to try. Trust me. This strawberry milk recipe is low in fat, with no ice cream or cream, just strawberries. milk, a little sugar and some buttermilk. Despite having no ice cream, it yields a pleasingly thick consistency and a creaminess much like the old milk bar days. Hooray!
How did I find my new-found muse? It was summer in Europe, they were virtually giving away strawberries at street side stands that were the freshest and healthiest I have ever seen. And… oh the smell… it was divine. There was no commercially ripened strawberries in sight which are those frequently seen back home in Australia in the supermarkets. Commercially ripened strawberries are those that look nice and red but lack the taste of a naturally ripened strawberry. They are given away by the white ring around their tops, a firm texture and lack of sweet scent that tells you they were commercially ripened (or picked too early). Avoid these strawberries for this strawberry milk – you really want almost too ripe strawberries at the peak of their ripeness to unlock their sweetness.
We are without a car here in Germany. It’s a luxury we can’t afford on a single salary. I can only take what I can carry home and I had already been for the daily grocery shop with my arms full of milk and vegies. It didn’t stop me from getting as many as I could. Without any thought to what I would make, I grabbed 4 punnets which was about 3 punnets more than my hands (and bags) could muster. My whole home smelt of the sweetness from the strawberries. Hello summer!
So I needed a plan for them. What to do with strawberries? I could make a flan, or a tart or a pie. It was hot which is rare here in Hamburg, Pasty would be a nightmare (there is no cheating with pre-made pastry here!). It left me dreaming of something cold and quick so I could get out and enjoy the sunshine.
Googling things like smoothies and I kept getting ice cream filled creations. While my desire to have an ice cream laden creation filled with strawberries still existed, I hardly had a freezer big enough for my ice-cube tray let alone a tub of ice cream. Since my freezer space and use of ice cream was out of the question I had to think outside of the (freezer) box. I started to look for recipes using buttermilk instead which I almost always had on hand or could make on short notice.
Of course, of all the things I looked at Smitten Kitchen had the solution. And it was a simple one (gasp!). Milk, buttermilk, a handful of strawberries and some sugar was all I needed for this magical strawberry milk creation. I will probably be making this one for many summers to come. Deb recommends not reducing the sugar content and while it was tempting as the strawberries were super sweet, I didn’t and wasn’t disappointed.
While the recipe states to allow the strawberry milk to stand overnight, Leo and I tucked straight into this standing in the kitchen. We felt it was just a delicious the day before as it was after the rest. So you let your event and time be your decider, great to drink now, even better to make ahead to save time.
Recipe from: Smitten Kitchen, Strawberry Milkshake which she adapted from Gabrielle Hamiltons “Prune’
Strawberry Milk Recipe
Cold, sweet and pleasingly thick. This lower in fat strawberry milk option will be a family favourite with kids and adults alike.
- 500g strawberries
- 60g caster sugar
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Step 1 Remove stems from strawberries and cut into quarters.
- Step 2 Mix sugar into strawberries and set aside for at least 1 hour to macerate.
- Step 3 Process strawberries and macerating juices until blended.
- Step 4 In a large bowl mix milk and buttermilk together.
- Step 5 Add blended strawberry mix to milk mix and stir until combined.
- Step 6 Place in fridge to rest, overnight is best and stir again before serving.