Maple Balsamic Summer Fruits with Cashew Cream, Pine Nuts and Basil

Summer Fruits + Cashew Cream6
During the warmer months, I find myself baking comfort foods a lot less. Dessert in the summer is fresh seasonal fruit from the market, frozen fruit (pineapple is my go-to right now), and a simple piece of dark chocolate. I realized however that my guests might not want simple strawberries for dessert. So, to highlight the natural deliciousness of the summer cherries and amazing bite-sized strawberries I whipped up a heightened and dairy-free version of strawberries and ‘cream’.

This is a perfect dessert the those crazy so-called ‘non dessert people.’It plays more to the savoury side of dessert, making it light and not overly sweet.Feel free to swap out the cherries or strawberries with some of your other favourite fruits like pineapple, raspberries and blackberries. The cashew cream is an amazing alternative to whipped cream or yogurt. If you have a nut allergy, try whipping up coconut cream and sugar as a substitute. Works wonderfully as well! Hope you love it.
Summer Fruit and Cashew Cream

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Cashew Cream Ingredients:

• 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight)
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
• good pinch salt
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Ingredients:

• 2 cups strawberries (halved)
• 1 cup cherries (pitted and halved)
• 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Directions:

1. Soak cashews overnight. Drain and rinse.

2. Add all cashew cream ingredients to a high power blender like a Vitamix or into a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Place in a bowl or jar and set aside.

3. In a small nonstick saucepan, heat the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup on medium heat. Allow to heat for about 5 minutes or until it reduces by half. You should have a thick syrupy balsamic. Set aside.

4. Toast your pinenuts in a dry sauce pan on medium heat for about 3 minutes. When they start to release oil thats when you want to take them off the pan. Otherwise they will burn quite quickly.

5. Wash and chop your fruits and basil.

6. I like to serve each element separately and allow your guests to make their own combination. Bon appetit!
Summer Fruit and Cashew CreamSummer Fruit and Cashew Cream

Chia Pudding 101

Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are quite similar to flax but requires no grinding to receive all its benefits. These seeds have more omega-3s than salmon and the right amount of omega-6 which helps support heart health and beautiful skin, hair and nails. Chia seeds also have about 11 g of fibre per ounce which will help aid in digestion and staying fuller for longer. Furthermore, per ounce, chia has up to 3 times more calcium than skim milk!

Chia can be enjoyed as a topping on salads, oatmeal and yogurt. It can also be added into baked goods, smoothies or used as an egg substitute for vegans. When added with liquid this seed becomes like a superfood tapioca pudding. In recreating my last chia pudding recipe, I realized that adding that extra tablespoon of oats makes for a creamier result. The recipe given here is my usual base, but I often will change it up with one of the add ins mentioned below. The best part about chia pudding is you can prepare it for the entire week in one day, and change up your toppings daily depending on your mood.
Chia PuddingChia Pudding

Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp chia seeds
• 1 tbsp oats (gluten free if your celiac)
• 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
• 1 tsp maple syrup, honey or a few drops of stevia (to taste)
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Additional Add Ins:

• 1 tsp protein powder
• dates
• matcha tea powder (working on a recipe with this now!Stay tuned…)
• fresh juice
• 1 tsp cacao powder
• mashed banana
• 1 tsp maca powder
• fresh jams and fruit purees

Toppings:

• fresh fruit
• nuts and nut butters (try coating nuts in honey and sea salt!)
homemade cereal
granola
• dates, figs, prunes, goji berries
• maple flakes
• coconut flakes

Directions:

1. Place all of the ingredients in a sealable jar. Shake vigorously. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and then shake the jar vigorously again. Try and do this one more time before leaving it in the fridge overnight. You can have chia pudding within half an hour,however the longer it rests in the fridge the more thick and pudding-like it will be.

2. Remove from the fridge and add toppings of choice.
Chia Pudding

Healthy Homemade Cereal

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One of the most challenging grocery items to find is a gluten free, refined sugar free and GMO free cereal. I have always loved a bowl of cereal, but since getting rid of gluten from my life, I have failed to find a satisfying replacement. Most gluten free cereals have loads of added sugars and are mostly made of corn. With so many nutritious and fibre packed gluten free grains, I found myself frustrated at the lack of grocery store options.

As my similar frustration with gluten free breads led to my recipe for the healthiest bread ever, I now introduce to you the healthiest cereal ever.

Using a base of simple puffed grains, I add cinnamon, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup to make crunchy cereal. Puffed grains are an amazing no added ingredient product. The problem however is that they are tasteless, and lacking texture. By adding healthy fats and vitamin packed sweeteners, the result is a crunchy protein packed cereal without any guilt! Feel free to change your flavours by adding cacao powder, dried fruits, honey and so on. You can also choose one puffed grain or choose another variety. Other healthy options are puffed brown rice and amaranth.

In under 15 minutes you’ll have a delicious and healthy homemade cereal. Top with fresh fruit, chia seeds, and nuts and serve with homemade almond milk. Hope you love it.
Homemade Healthy Cereal

Homemade Healthy Cereal

Perfect smoothie bowl topping!

Ingredients:

•1/4 cup coconut oil (melted and cooled)
•1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
•1 tsp pure vanilla extract
•1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
•2 drops liquid stevia or 1/2 tsp powder
•pinch of salt (pink himalayan is a plus!)
•3 cups puffed quinoa
•3 cups puffed buckwheat
•1 cup gluten free oats

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a large baking tray with wax paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk cooled coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, stevia and salt until combined.

3. To the mixture add puffed quinoa, buckwheat and gluten free oats. Using a large spoon mix until the dry ingredients are well coated.

4. Pour cereal unto the baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through baking time. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.
Homemade Healthy Cereal

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Mix with fresh fruit and nuts!