I wanted to post this dessert in the heat of summer because it is such a fabulous thing to do with fresh, delicious, farmers market berries, but the last month or so hasn’t left me much time for extracurricular activities. But, today is a New Day and I’m finally posting a recipe! Hooray! And, it has been so hot here in the Bay Area, that berries still seem to be plentiful – so pretend it’s still summer and serve these creams to your loves.
The recipe that inspired me was developed by my friend, Alison, from 18 Rabbits. She demonstrated her Strawberry Cashew Cream Pie on the TV show, The View From the Bay back in June. We both agree that the important point about this dessert is not that it can be classified “vegan”, but that it is possible to make a dessert without using white flour, white sugar and loads of dairy. Call them “strawberry creams” and even the kids will eat them.
Strawberry Cashew Creams
makes 8 individual ramekins
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a minimum of 4 hours (max overnight) in water, then rinsed and drained
1 pint fresh, farmers market strawberries, preferably organic, rinsed with water, stems removed
the soaked cashews from “advance prep”, above
4 fresh medjool dates, pits removed
1/4 cup coconut oil
juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch sea salt
1. Place all ingredients in a powerful blender and puree until creamy, scraping down the sides of the container with a spatula as necessary. (With a Vita-Mix you can do this in one batch. With a regular, home-style blender, divide the ingredients approximately in half and puree in 2 batches.)
2. Pour the strawberry cashew cream into 8 individual glass or ceramic ramekins and freeze for an hour, then serve. Alternatively, you can pour the cream into a wax paper lined 8×4 inch glass pyrex loaf pan, freeze for 2-3 hours, until firm, then slice into portions to serve. Store unserved portions in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
- You can serve this cream without freezing if you prefer a lighter, creamier dessert.
- Any kind of berries make great substitutes for the strawberries — or try a blend! (I can personally vouch for the deliciousness of blueberry creams.)
- Coconut oil? Coconut butter? Really? Isn’t that a saturated fat??! Yes, but your body metabolizes it much differently than the “bad” saturated fats you find in animal sources. I’ve been reading quite a lot about coconut oil recently and I’m convinced that it is a great fat to use in our kitchens. (Great for sauteeing veggies and other high heat projects!) Do some research. I’m enjoying the book, The Coconut Oil Miracle, by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D..
- Try Alison’s original “Strawberry Cashew Cream Pie” on the 18Rabbits website. Virtually the same cream, poured into a date and almond crust.
- Here’s a photo of the loaf pan variation (and I used an almond/date crust, like Alison’s in the pie recipe):