Strawberry Milk

Strawberry MilkMilking It
My kids give me a hard time because I watch a lot of the History Channel. (Ummm…hello? History major?) To be fair, I do watch a lot of the History Channel. One of my favorite shows is The Food That Built America, which looks into the history behind the foods we eat. And, it’s perfect for me for obvious reasons. It combines my love of history with my other love, food. If you haven’t seen it, take a minute and search it out. The show is fascinating. Who knew Cheetos were invented because the U.S. government had too much powdered cheese left over after WWII? Or that Hershey’s tastes the way it does because they actually burn the milk a little? Mind blown, people…

This curiosity about food can get me into trouble when I am surfing food blogs looking for interesting things. Case in point, this recipe for Strawberry Milk. I love the Smitten Kitchen blog almost as much as I love the cookbooks. And, while scrolling through the site one day I was drawn to this recipe at first because I was horrified. To me, strawberry milk means strawberry Nesquick—which is a memory from my childhood I would rather forget. So, like a bad accident on the highway, I couldn’t help but click on the link to gawk at it and see what this was all about.

I’m not sure what it was that made me uncomfortable about this recipe. Maybe it’s the idea of the acid in the strawberries reacting with the milk? I’m not totally sure but upon further inspection, I realized that this recipe in no way resembles the alarming neon pink beverage of my youth. If anything, this recipe reminds me of a more liquefied version of a smoothie or a Kefir.

Because of the addition of buttermilk, the strawberry milk is not super-sweet. And, since it has to sit overnight in the fridge, it’s not a bad option for a quick (not that one!) and tasty breakfast on the go. I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical. (And, the kids were somewhat concerned.) But, I found after tasting it that I just kept going back for more. The good news is that it’s all natural, though there is a decent amount of sugar.

If you are a lover of all things strawberry and dairy (ice cream, milkshakes, yogurt, etc.), or are just looking for something different to brighten up your summer day, give this treat a try. I’m thinking of turning this into frozen popsicles. We’ll see how that goes.

Strawberry Milk Recipe
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Strawberry milk is wonderful with breakfast. So, start this recipe the afternoon or evening before. You can macerate the strawberries in the fridge for a few hours before mixing the Strawberry Milk. It sits overnight in the fridge so the flavors can steep and deepen.

1 pound strawberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups milk
1 cup buttermilk

Note: If you want to make a non-dairy version of this recipe, simply substitute cow’s milk for an unsweetened plant-based milk of your choice (like almond milk or oat milk). You can substitute a non-dairy yogurt for the buttermilk. But, know that it will not be as sour as the buttermilk, so you may need to adjust the sugar accordingly.

Prep the strawberries
Trim and slice the strawberries.

Macerate the strawberries in sugar
Mix the strawberries and sugar in the bottom of a bowl (or even your blender’s bowl) and allow them to macerate for at least an hour—we left ours for three hours. The strawberries should be syrupy—the more juice the better.

Blend the strawberries
In the bowl of your blender, puree the strawberries with their juices until smooth.

Make the strawberry milk
Pour the strawberry juice into a pitcher. Stir in the milk and buttermilk.

Steep the milk
Allow the strawberry milk to steep overnight in the fridge. In the morning, mix again if needed, and pour into glasses. Repeat as long as it lasts.

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