I'm in this nice Facebook Catholic cooking group, I just joined rather recently, and I found out they do a "cooking challenge" every month where the group members vote on what ingredient you have to use in that month's cooking challenge. Neat! This month they voted in STRAWBERRIES. I love a good strawberry, guys, so I wanted to do this challenge 100%. But what to make?
Well, considering my current obsession with all things BOBA I decided a strawberry boba drink would be great. I got the idea from a nice young lady's (well, younger than I am I'm sure, LOL) video where she makes a Papaya Milk boba drink. I'm not a huge fan of papaya. I like it, it's just not my favorite, you know? Well, I thought, I could do that with STRAWBERRIES. I started looking for a recipe and then I thought a little bit and I was like YOU CAN DO THIS. YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS MOMENT. ROFL.
So I went looking for strawberries at a local grocery store that night. 4th of July night, youse guys. I tried to get in and out before my neighbors started setting off fireworks. (Florida lets you buy and set off aerial fireworks now, not quite sure if I like that or not, poor pets, and poor veterans with PTSD) At any rate, we were in and out of that store fairly quickly. Three containers of strawberries for the price of one, and they looked good, too. YAY!
Once home, I had to figure out how I was going to do this. I'll give you the rundown, plus amendments I'd make next time as we go. OK, LET'S DO THIS.
I washed and hulled the strawberries. BTW, I was going to use that little cup to blend the strawberries and milk, but it turned out to be too small. Keep that on the (figurative) back burner for now. Then I diced them up finely. This turned out to be about 218 g of strawberries once they were all hulled and diced. Even after my fiancé ate a couple. I had to wash a couple more and put them in.
This is the first of the changes I will make next time. I went straight from dicing to blending. That gave the finished drink a rather...raw...taste. I know, they are raw strawberries. But I think the drink would have tasted more "finished" if I had mixed the diced strawberries with a little sugar and let them sit for at least a few minutes. Another change is that I would not use quite so many strawberries, I'd probably blend about half that amount in the little cup with a little milk and then use more milk later. This drink really wasn't a milk drink, it was strawberry chunks with a bit of milk. Not bad, but the strawberry puree and small chunks competed with the boba for texture attention and it was a bit much. You could probably do it my original way and freeze it, that would be good. Maybe I'll try that some time. Oh! But I forgot a step!!!
After the time is up, strain them out and immediately put them in a little bowl with a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar. This is to your taste, but also use enough to get a bit of brown sugar syrup going. If you do this while the boba is still hot it will melt the brown sugar, and being in the syrup will stop the boba from sticking together. Win-win.
Muscovado sugar would be good for this as well, or Demerara sugar. You could use white sugar, but I don't think it would melt as well. Some people put Blackstrap Molasses in, also, but I rarely keep molasses around. This is really up to your taste. If you didn't care about having a brown sugar syrup in this drink, you could use simple syrup. I briefly considered using chocolate syrup, but dismissed that, although I might try it if I ever do a strawberry/banana combo drink.
So here's my little personal blender. I can't remember the brand. It's not a Bullet, that's all I remember. I filled milk up to the Max line (about 2/3 cup) to cover the strawberries and let 'er rip with the mixing blade. My personal blender comes with two blades, this one and a flat one. The fancier one is usually for mixing, the flat for grinding. At least, that's why my instructions say. Blend until you like the consistency.
Next time, like I've indicated, I would not blend all the milk with the strawberries. I'd just use enough milk and strawberries to get a nice puree consistency, and then add more milk later.
Dump those poor little boba right into your boba cup. To get the "tiger stripes" lean your cup almost all the way on its side and rotate it until all the sides are coated with brown sugar syrup. With this thick of a drink, though, they weren't very visible. With more milk you'll see the stripes better. Look up "brown sugar tiger stripe boba" and you'll see what I mean.
Then put some ice over that (about 1/4 to 1/2 of the way up the cup depending on your preference), pour in your strawberry milk, top with whipped topping or whipped cream, and then ON TOP OF THAT put a bit of roughly diced strawberry for garnish.
If you make a strawberry puree separate from the milk, I would pour that in before the ice right on top of the boba, and then put in ice, milk and then toppings.
- Like I stated before, it tasted a bit "raw." Not sure how else to describe that, I know they're raw strawberries. I did see one YouTuber roast the strawberries first, I don't think I'd go that far. But letting them stew in some sugar for a while seems to be a good idea. Then the drink might taste more "finished" in my opinion. I'm definitely going to try this.
- Sugar substitutes? I'm not a big fan of those, but I guess something like Splenda or Stevia would work if you wanted to reduce the sugar, if you add sugar to your strawberries at the beginning. After all, strawberries are quite sweet and milk has natural sugars as well. Or agave syrup? I'm not sure about brown sugar substitutes, for that you really want the real stuff to make the syrup.
- Milk substitutes? Whatever you like. Dairy or non-dairy. There's a lot of good stuff out there, whatever you like best will work.
- More flavor combos: Strawberry and banana go really well together, I think. A mixed berry drink would be great as well. All banana too. (With chocolate syrup, heaven. Or maybe peanut butter somehow?) Pina Colada. Whatever is in season. An apple pie flavor would be good to figure out, but how you'd work in fresh apples, I can't figure out.
- I'm currently trying to figure out how to make a Key Lime or Lemon Meringue right now. For those I'd like to use POPPING BOBA, but I'm all out of popping boba right now. Oh my goodness, guys! The first time I tried those...AWESOME. And you don't cook those, they're just little popping balls of juicy goodness. But that's something for another time.
I hope you try it. I think this is something I'll be doing a lot more and making many more variations, as well.
And if you're not into boba, you can just leave those out and still have a yummy strawberry drink! Have fun figuring out what you like!
Ciao for now!
Blog Post Resources:
- Emmymade's video Brown Sugar Boba Tea where she shows not only how to make the Tiger Tea but also how to make your own boba pearls.
- Tapioca Pearls I bought on Amazon (I am not an Amazon affiliate any more, my website didn't get enough clicks, so I don't get anything from you following this link, these are just the ones I bought)
- Keto or Low Carb substitutes for brown sugar (I only skimmed this article, I only included in case you wanted some ideas, I'm not sure if this is really great advice or not, use at your own discretion)