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

Cornmeal Berry Cake

Cornmeal Berry Cake Gluten Free
Happy Mothers Day! In honor of my amazing mom, I will be sharing my recipe for her favourite cornmeal berry cake. I have been making this scrumptious cake for her for years. I have even poured the same batter into muffin tins! It is not overly sweet and is a perfect light end to a meal (or start to a day…). I am actually going to be sharing not one but TWO versions of this recipe.. one that is lower on the carb scale, and the other a more simple approach for all you new gluten free folks out there. I make both versions of this cake depending on what I have in my pantry, but both are equally as good.

Corn has become a very controversial ingredient with all the GMO talk swinging around. As always, buy good quality ingredients and do some research. I use Bob’s Red Mill medium grind cornmeal which leave the germ and bran right inside where it belongs. Although not advertised on their bags, Bob’s Red Mill products originate from identity-preserved, non-GMO seeds. If the bags don’t say anything about the GMO’s look up the product on the internet. Most reliable brands will have all your questions covered with a click of a button! Yay for technology! Back to the cake…

Berry Cake Gluten Free
This cake can be turned upside for that cool psychedelic berry look, but I prefer to leave mine right side up! I really think it is most beautiful left with that warm berry stained cake bottom with fresh berries contrasting nicely on the crisp top.  This cake is fantastic with some coconut milk ice cream but it would also go great with some coconut whipped cream or drizzled with pure maple syrup(yum)! Personally, I enjoy the cake as is. Remember that if you are not dairy free, gluten free etc… feel free to replace with your own flours, sugars, milk etc… Likewise if you are vegan, replace the eggs with 1 tbsp of chia/flax to 3 tbsp almond milk for each egg. As always, my recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! Hope you all enjoy, and show your mom how much you appreciate everything she does!

XX
Jen
Photo 2014-05-10, 11 25 27 PMmixed berriesCornmeal cake

**The low carb version will have a more solid batter. It will look more like cookie dough, don’t be alarmed!

Low Carb Ingredients:

• 2 1/2 cups fresh berries (divided)
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
• 3/4 cup almond flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
• 1 tsp cinammon
• 1/2 cup xyltiol
• pinch of salt
• 2 eggs lightly beaten
• 2/3 cup almond milk
• 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

or for the regular version….

Ingredients:

• 2 1/2 cups fresh berries (divided)
• 1 1/3 cup brown rice flour or all purpose gluten free flour
• 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup xyltiol
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
• 1 tsp cinammon
• pinch of salt
• 2 eggs lightly beaten
• 2/3 cup almond milk
• 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line springform or 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper and then grease with coconut oil.

3. Arrange half of the berries on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

4.In a medium sized bowl stir together flours, cornmeal,xylitol, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

5.In another bowl whisk together eggs, almond milk, vanilla and coconut oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until combined; spread evenly over prepared pan of berries. ** the low carb version will have a thicker batter. Use your hands to spread the mixture across the pan to cover berries.

6.Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until pick inserted near center comes out clean and top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Run knife around edge of the pan to loosen sides and remove from pan. Let the cake finish cooling on a wire rack. Top with berries and serve plain or with recommended toppings!
Gluten Free Cornmeal cakeCornmeal berry cake