I lamented the idea of having to put away my winter boots and sweaters last week. It was a bitterly cold winter and stuck around way too long, but winter is my happy place. I’m a Florida gal and the thought of a slight change from shorts and tank-tops and the sweat constantly dripping down my brow, is greatly desired.
The lamenting lasted a few minutes while packing away my precious pair of “I wanna be a northerner” boots, until I realized the possibilities accompanied by spring. Possibilities are good and so inspirational, because let’s face it, a cold and long winter has a way of draining even the best of us. Day after day of cold weather, a gloomy sky, and constant soups has a way of completely zapping any creativity. Plus, there’s only so many ways to wear those precious boots. Zap.
Changes are welcome, even if they mean saying goodbye to the old and loved ways. With the changes of spring in the air, I opened my windows this past weekend, let the goodness of the breeze flow through my home and dove into spring cooking. Inspiration and creativity abounded and change was embraced. The bounty of strawberries recently picked (thank you spring-time and my local farmer) were processed into jams, syrups, and fruit roll-ups. Sips of lemonade-berry kombucha were enjoyed, homemade burger buns were kneaded and baked, and grass-fed burgers were tossed on the grill. All welcomed changes.
With shorts and tank tops in my closet and a spring breeze blowing through my kitchen, I bring you a delicious syrup made with fresh berries. Ripe, sweet, and mega-addicting. In a week, I’ve found 101 possibilities for this naturally-sweetened berry syrup. Topped on vanilla bean ice cream, enjoyed on homemade whole wheat bread toast (much like jam), served over soaked gluten-free waffles or soaked whole wheat pancakes, stirred in creamy homemade crockpot yogurt, or licked right off the spoon. There’s simply no wrong way to enjoy it. What was born from the new inspiration of spring and forty pounds of fresh berries, has turned into a multipurpose syrup, delicious on just about everything.
This syrup is sweetened with a small amount of honey, but most of the taste and sweetness comes directly from ripe, naturally-sweet berries. The berries cook down in just minutes, creating a thick syrup I just can’t get enough of. So, move aside winter boots, I’ll see you in nine months, I have a new love– naturally sweetened spring-time berry syrup!
And don’t worry, I wouldn’t leave you hanging. I’ll be sharing all the delicious inspiration spring has brought to my kitchen, over the next couple weeks. I promise, it’s going to be a super yummy, simple, and nourishing spring.
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey (I use local, raw honey)
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 tsp arrowroot starch/flour (where to buy)- this acts as a thickening agent, a substitute for GMO corn starch
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (homemade)
- In a medium-size saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the berries, water, and honey. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to combine ingredients.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer and mash the berries with a potato masher (like this). Mash the berries.
- Once mashed, whisk in 1 tsp of arrowroot to the berry mixture, cooking over low-medium heat (simmer). Place a top over the pan and allow to simmer until the mixture is thick (syrup consistency). This only takes a few minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Serve the mixture warm over waffles or pancakes or store in a mason jar for later use. Keep syrup stored in the refrigerator. This syrup can also be frozen for later use.
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