In summertime, simple is best. I’m in love with the early strawberries coming out of the garden. There are not enough there yet to make a strawberry tart or a pie, but there are just enough to snack on as I water the garden, and a handful left to play with in the kitchen.
To extend my strawberries and enjoy their flavour longer, I made a schwitzel.
Schwitzels are old-fashioned soda concentrates. Equal parts or so of vinegar and sweetener, blended or marinated with flavourful fruits, herbs and even spices, they make a preserved base for adding soda water and enjoying instantly invigorating and healthier sodas at home.
Although healthy is not what comes to mind with sugar and white vinegar, stay with me here. We’re fiddling with the recipe to substitute white sugar with locally available and enzyme-rich local honey. And subbing out the white vinegar (generally made from GMO corn or potentially even petroleum!) for healthier unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (lovingly referred to in my kitchen as ACV).
The combo of honey+ACV creates a potent digestive aide. Contrary to the harshness of white vinegar, ACV actually has many healing properties. Look for unpasteurized ACV with mother. The live cultures help with smooth digestion, easing gas and indigestion. It is even a remedy for acid reflux, especially when taken with raw honey.
Here’s the recipe I came up with for strawberry basil schwithzel. Feel free to get creative, subbing other fruits through the season, adding spices and herbs as they inspire you and pop up.
Strawberry Basil Schwitzel
1 handful (3/4 cup or so) fresh strawberries (wash, stem and quarter)
5 or more leaves of basil. Thai basil is my favourite.
1/3 cup unpasteurized ACV
1/3 cup raw honey
- To make: add chopped strawberries and basil leaves to a jar and cover with honey and ACV.
- Put a lid on the jar and shake to rough up the berries and dissolve the honey.
- Let sit at room temp for a few hours or overnight to infuse.
- Strain 2 Tbsp of the mixture into 2 cups of sparkling water, soda water or filtered water.
- Schwitzel is also tasty as a warm beverage in the winter.