This week I’m sharing a delicious strawberry banana bread recipe with you.

I was hoping to be able to share my favourite strawberry muffin recipe to follow on from last weeks 5 health benefits of Strawberries post but, it seems I’ve left my muffin tins at my parents during our move. This actually worked out as I had some bananas that needed using up and so you get the details of this tasty bread!

I’m really loving all the fresh strawberries at the moment. I also love banana bread, it’s quick to make and yummy. Combine the two and you have this amazing treat.

I must warn you this isn’t the healthiest recipe in the world but its so good it might not matter just this once? It contains fruit, that counts right?

Strawberry Banana Bread

Strawberry banana bread

Strawberry banana bread

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas – mashed
  • 1 1/2 strawberries – chopped
  • 2 cups flour (I used plain wholemeal flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

  1.  Preheat the oven to 180c. Line your loaf pan with grease proof paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon.
  3. Beat the two eggs then add to the sugar and butter mixture. Beat until combined.
  4. Add mashed banana and mix until combined.
  5. Mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet mix slowly and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  6. Mix in the strawberries.
  7. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake at 180c for 45 – 60mins until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool

I really hope you enjoy this strawberry banana bread recipe. Please let me know if you give it a try and what you thought of it! Also let me know what strawberry recipes you enjoy.

I had my first harvest of strawberries for the year this weekend and it got me thinking what are the health benefits of strawberries? Nothing beats the taste of fresh strawberries but how do they really benefit our bodies?

I’ve come up with 5 health benefits of strawberries that I want to share:

5 Health benefits of strawberries

1. Good source of Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps to promote healthy eyes, helps fight cancer and helps with the production of collagen (for younger looking skin).

2. Contain a good amount of fibre – Fibre is a necessity for healthy digestion.

3. Antioxidants and phytochemicals found in strawberries can help to reduce inflammation of joints – Reducing the risk of diseases such as arthritis.

4. Rich in potassium and magnesium content –  both of which are effective in lowering high blood pressure.

5. High fibre content, folate, no fats, and high levels of antioxidants such as vitamin-C are effective at reducing cholesterol in the arteries and vessels.

As you can see, not only are they delicious but they really are good for you! I ate my small harvest of berries with some pancakes, blueberries and honey for a yummy and nutritious Sunday breakfast. Next week I’m hoping to have my favourite strawberry muffin recipe ready to share!

If you’re interested in growing your own strawberries check out my 5 tips for growing strawberries.

Wow! It’s been two months since I last did a blog post, sorry all! I’ve been stupidly busy with work and exams but that’s all done with now and the garden is starting to flourish! So here’s a garden update (mostly in pictures):

Garden update

Successes:

  • Strawberries are looking brilliant and I’ve had a few handfuls of fruit
  • Peas are starting to get big with a few pods that will be ready in a couple of days
  • Runner beans are gigantic and flowering, it won’t be long till were eating runners with every meal!
  • First little green tomato spotted in the green house
  • One Jalapeño eaten (apparently it was VERY hot he he)
  • Two large beetroot almost ready for harvesting
  • Carrots are actually growing now (really must thin these out)

Failures:

  • Parsnips are a complete no show and are overrun with weeds
  • Peppers do not appear to have got any bigger fingers crossed for them
  • Cayenne chilli plants do not look very healthy although if the Jalapenos are hot maybe this is for the best
  • Cucumbers have not grown. At all.

The raised bed

2015 - June garden update 2-12015 - June garden updateRaised bed contains peas, runner beans, carrots, peppers, leeks, onions, beetroot and spinach

Strawberries

2015 - June garden update 52015 - June garden update 6

In the greenhouse

2015 - June garden update 32015 - June garden update 82015 - June garden update 42015 - June garden update 9When I checked the greenhouse yesterday I discovered my first small green tomato!

Non veggie plants

2015 - June garden update 7

How is your garden getting along?

I spent some time this weekend potting up strawberries in my new planter, while doing so I came up my favourite 5 tips for growing strawberries that I wanted to share with you.

2015 - 5 tips for growing stawberries

Here’s my 5 tips for growing strawberries:

1. Water regularly
Its really important to ensure your strawberries get enough water to ensure as they need it to bulk up. If you think you’ve water enough, water a little more! Water every day through dry spells and avoid the plant itself to ensure your fruit doesn’t rot.

2. Sunshine
Strawberries are sun loving plants and need to be in a sunny spot to ensure the fruits ripen nicely.

3. Protect from birds
The birds love strawberries as much as we do so ensure you adequately protect your precious fruit. Most people use fruit cages or netting to cover the plants.

4. Harvest regularly
At the height of the season strawberries will ripen fast therefore, regular picking ensures you get the best out of your strawberries. Ensure fruit is bright red all over before picking. Strawberries are fantastic straight from the plant, I’ll also be posting some of my favourite strawberry recipes soon including Strawberry Muffins.

5. 3 year rotation
Ideally you’ll be replacing your strawberry plants every 3 years to ensure the best crops. The easiest way to do this is pot on the ‘Runners’ that your existing plants create. Runners are the stems that your plants will send out over your patch or container. They will then root down and produce a new plant. By potting on these runners you can pick the strongest and healthy plants to continue your crop with and best of all it’s free!

My strawberry planter

2015 - 5 tips for growing strawberriesBeautiful weekend – for more on the purchase

I’ve been struggling to decide what to do with my two clearance strawberry plants  when I stumbled across a pop up strawberry planter I received the year before last. Result! When I popped it open I was really impressed, it was a lot smaller and sturdier than I was expected. It holds up to 50 litres  of compost and can hold up to 8 plants.

2015 - 5 tips for growing strawberries

I started filling it up and popped my two plants in (which was a little difficult as they had quite large roots and quite small pockets), I was so pleased with how it looked and held up I rushed straight to the local garden centre for more plants. I managed to get 6 strong, healthy looking strawberry plants for £5.99, bargain if you ask me! Look how fab my planter looks now:

2015 - 5 tips for growing strawberries

If your interested in something like mine I found this one over on amazon, but I’m sure you’ll find tons if you search pop up strawberry planter.

What are you favourite tips for growing strawberries?