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Pearls in Our Vegan Strawberry Milkshakes

11 Sep

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I didn’t set out to make Strawberry Milkshakes. I just didn’t know what to do with all the tapioca pearls I had cooked for my Taho, a Filipino version of the Chinese dessert called 豆腐花 or DouFuHua or DouFuFa. Basically, Taho is tofu pudding (like silky tofu) in a sweet syrup topped with tapioca pearls. I loved Taho and DouFuFa growing up and still do. I don’t know if it’s an acquired taste, but my family did not enjoy it at all. Oh well… maybe I’ll have them try it again another day.

taho-or-doufufa-with-pearls

Not wanting the Pearls to go to waste, I decided to make an American Milkshake and mix in the prepared Tapioca Pearls. Voilà! A mix of East and West that the boys couldn’t resist: a Bubble Milkshake! 

Gingered Sweet Syrup

Place in a pot:

  • 1 c coconut sugar, or your choice of sweetener
  • 1 c water

Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and add:

  • juice squeezed from 2 Tbsp minced ginger

Set aside.

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The Pearls

I only had small tapioca pearls in my kitchen, but if you can get Boba Black Tapioca Pearls then they would be perfect for this recipe. Cook about 1/2 c pearls in 4 or 5 c simmering water until just cooked but not mushy. The time will depend on the size of pearls, around 8 to 25 minutes. When almost done and you can see just a small speck of white dots in their centres, drain, and rinse with cold water. They should be perfectly cooked, round in shape, and not mushy. Once cooled, add to the Gingered Sweet Syrup. You can store them in the syrup for a few days.

Pearls in Our Vegan Strawberry Milkshakes (Serves 2)

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender:

  • 2 c your choice of milk, I used Rice milk today
  • 2 c fresh strawberries, feel free to adapt this recipe and use another berry or fruit
  • 16 oz frozen bananas or 2 c Vanilla Soy Ice Cream

Purée until smooth. Place in glasses and add in as many Pearls and Syrup as you want. Enjoy!

pearls-in-my-vegan-milkshake

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Balsamic Strawberries with Aquafaba Whipped Cream

14 Aug

Growing up, there was always some type of cream in our refrigerator: clotted, double, light, whipped. You name it, we had it. Our family loved cream with desserts, especially berries.

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After turning Vegan, I sort of missed all that lovely cream but I also knew that it caused my eczema. So I did without because nothing vegan came close to it (ok maybe cashew creams but my son is allergic) until my discovery of aquafaba whipped cream. Unlike dairy-based creams, aquafaba whipped cream is much lighter, not to mention lower in fat and calorie content too. It is airy and fluffy almost like marshmallow fluff and creates the perfect vegan companion to berries. In the following recipe, I combine a traditional Italian strawberry dessert with the cloud-like cream.

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Balsamic Strawberries

Gently toss together in a bowl:

  • 16 oz strawberries, quartered
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice if you prefer that)
  • 2 Tbs your choice of sweetener, I use Sucanat
  • pinch of black pepper (optional)

While the strawberries are macerating for 10-15 minutes, whip up the vegan cream.

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Aquafaba Whipped Cream

Aquafaba is the cooking liquid of beans. I personally keep the cooking liquid of beans as soup stock, but for now soup will have to wait as my family indulges in this vegan cream.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

  • 1 c cooking liquid of chickpeas
  • 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Whisk in a mixer for 10 to 15 minutes until peaks form.

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Serve

Place balsamic strawberries in a bowl and top with the aquafaba whipped cream. You can sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar on top and garnish it with mint, if you like. We were too excited to dig in so I didn’t have time to get mint from the garden. It was delicious nonetheless. Enjoy!

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My family thoroughly enjoyed this dessert. I love that I can now have berries and cream again. My son and husband LOVED it too. My son kept saying how the cream tastes like marshmallow and my husband was shocked to hear the cream was made from bean water.

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You can refrigerate the rest of the cream or finish it off or bake them now. As I write, the rest of our aquafaba whipped cream has been piped and is in the oven baking as vegan meringues. We are already excited about tonight’s dessert.

Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

6 May

Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

We ate at a Vegan restaurant called Lamb’s Bread the other day and my boys went crazy over their Pineapple Ginger Lemonade. “Can you make it at home?!? You don’t have to juice it, you can make a fresh raw smoothie instead, but make it taste just like this!” Well, I noticed that the restaurant also had a Strawberry Ginger Lemonade. As we drove home, I remembered that the Blissful Chef had a similar recipe in her book but with mint instead of ginger. It should be easy. Well, the Blissful Chef has this exact recipe on her website! If you haven’t tried her other recipes yet, do! They are very family friendly and delicious!

For this recipe, I just substituted the limes with lemons, ginger juice with grated ginger and maple syrup with raw local honey. Adapted from the Blissful Chef, puree in a high speed blender til smooth:

1 – 1 1/2 tspns grated ginger

zest from 2 lemons

juice from 2 lemons

1/3 cup raw local honey (or your choice of sweetener)

1 pound fresh organic strawberries, tops removed and sliced in half (I have also tried it with mixed frozen berries)

3 cup water

Slice some strawberries to garnish. Yummy! By the way, we also used some leftover to make popsicles. Now to try it with pineapple next!

Time for Berries!

17 Apr

We love berries at our house.  Most of the time, we love them plain, although my son really loves them with a little raw honey (kids and their sweet tooth!).  Sometimes, we enjoy them on top of our fruit pudding* or raw oatmeal.  Occasionally, I’ll serve them with some greens and a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. (*Note: we haven’t had dairy in our home for over a year.)

Mixed Berries with Greens

The easiest way for us to get some berry goodness is through smoothies, like “More Greens Please!” Strawberry Smoothie and Berry Spirulina Smoothie.

"More Greens Please!" Strawberry Smoothie

When I want a quick treat, I love my Quick and Easy Raw Ice Cream Base which takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.  I eat it as is or wait till it is frozen.  A wonderful alternative is simply mixing frozen bananas and berries together in a food processor for a raw ‘ice cream’.

Quick and Easy Raw Ice Cream Base

When I have some extra time, I love to make some Berry TreatsRaw Strawberry Cream Pie is easy to serve a la minute!  And it looks beautiful.  My son is allergic to cashews, so I substitute with macadamia nuts when I make this at home – but I much prefer the taste with cashews.

Raw Strawberry Cream Pie

These Raw Blueberry Bars are wonderful if you miss Fig Newton’s or Pop Tarts or crave cereal bars!

Raw Blueberry Bars

Or maybe you crave an Easy Blueberry Peach Crumble for breakfast, snack or dessert!

Easy Blueberry Peach Crumble

Can you tell we love berries?

Just an FYI, Driscoll’s is having a Twitter Chat tomorrow: Wednesday, April 18th at 7pm EST with Sommer of GreenandCleanMom.org! They will be discussing how to eat green for Earth Day with Driscoll’s organic berries. And, 5 lucky chat participants who answer their green living questions correctly will be chosen to receive $20 in Driscoll’s coupons!  You can find Driscoll’s Organic Berries in most local supermarkets (even my health food shop will sometimes carry this brand too)!

Creamy Plantain Green Smoothie

9 Apr

Plantain Bananas

Because they are in season all year round in the tropics, I grew up eating plantains fried or baked or boiled or steamed almost daily.  They were one of my fave foods.  I was told not to eat them raw, but I couldn’t resist trying one as it ripened on my kitchen counter one day a few years ago.  Now I love them RAW when they are all black, soft and super sweet.  Sometimes, I can’t wait and eat them when they are a little soft, but still quite yellow (like in the photo above).  For breakfast, I love them with a little raw almond butter and raw honey or with cayenne spices.  For lunch, I like to eat them plain with a huge salad to bulk up my meal when I am really hungry.  Sometimes, we love them in smoothies because they create really lovely creamy drinks.  For days when you are really hungry, these smoothies have a heavier creaminess than regular bananas.  Plantains are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium and vitamins B6 and C.

Today, my whole family enjoyed a Strawberry Plantain Green Smoothie.  For me, the fewer ingredients, the better.   I like keeping things simple.  I used to add dates when my family was transitioning to a more raw food diet, but we find dates in green smoothies too sweet now.  We prefer them a little plainer these days – so we can really taste the ingredients in the smoothie.  I also used to add only 4 cups of greens, but now we prefer 6 cups or more.  But feel free to experiment with other veggies and fruits and add your fave raw ingredients too like nuts and/seeds.  Here’s my basic recipe.

Blend all in a high speed blender:

2 really ripe, soft and black plantains, peeled

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup water

1 pint of strawberries or fruits in season

6 cups of greens, or more

I find it easier to add the greens to the blender first, so I can measure it to make sure I have at least more than 6 cups.

Then I add the strawberries.

Then I add the orange juice and water.

Then I add the plantains last.

Puree it all together for a creamy green smoothie.

Blissful Bites: Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse

8 Mar

Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse is also heavenly to prepare with only 5 ingredients. You will have a delightful dessert in less than 10 minutes (clean up included)!

When little hands help... you never know what they are going to add. Hmph... those sprinkles don't look like anything RAW to me, but what's important is he's helping me create a RAW TREAT that he absolutely loves.

As my sous-chef, I think my son purposely miscounted the dates and added 1 more to our mixture.  It was a little sweet for me and my husband, but my son was in dessert heaven.  The recipe is reprinted here with the kind permission of Christy Morgan, chef and author of Blissful Bites.

Blend until it becomes a paste:

12 dates, soaked for 2 hours and pitted, or ¾ cup maple syrup (we used wet dates, so we didn’t need to soak them)

Add and blend until smooth:

2 ripe avocados

1/3 cup raw cacao powder (we used raw carob powder)

1 tsp vanilla flavouring or 1 fresh vanilla bean

Serve in martini glasses with:

4 strawberries, sliced

Makes 2 – 3 servings.

“More Greens Please!” Strawberry Smoothie

1 Jul

More-Greens-Please Strawberry Smoothie

Want to WOW your 4th of July guests with a yummy Strawberry Smoothie full of undetectable Greens?  Look no further!  This recipe is a variation from our Basic Smoothie, but with 50% more greens!  With Strawberries in season the past 2 months, we have enjoyed drinking this immensely.

Puree in a high speed blender:

2 dates, optional but children prefer a sweeter smoothie

3 bananas (I sometimes freeze my bananas for a cooler drink in the Summer)

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

16 oz of strawberries

6 cups seasonal leafy greens (we love microgreens from City Roots!)

Enjoy!

Raw Blueberry Bars

26 Jun

A Raw Blueberry Bar

Thinking about really nutritious, fresh, un-processed, Raw Pop Tarts or Raw Cereal Bars or Raw Fig Newtons?  Either for breakfast, a snack or a dessert, this is it! This truly healthy recipe is very easy, simple and the family will love it.  Blueberries are now in season and tastes fantastic with vanilla, coconut, lemon and maple syrup!

Raw Pastry

Grind into a fine flour with a Vitamix or Coffee grinder:

1 cup sprouted and dehyrated soft wheat berries*

* Alternatives: sprouted and dehydrated oat groats (or simply grind rolled oats if this is easier), soaked, rinsed and drained nuts (make sure they are dry thoroughly – I usually store them in the fridge for a few hours in a sieve after rinsing them)

Place in a bowl and add:

1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (without alcohol)
1 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil
2 – 3 tbspns maple syrup, according to taste

Mix together.  Flatten with the palm of your hands or a roller on a flat surface. Refrigerate or freeze until hard.  Carefully separate pastry from surface.  Cut into long strips and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Blueberry Jam

Mix together in a food processor:

1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional but brings out the taste of sweet blueberries)
1/4 cup dates, soak if required
1 cup fresh blueberries*

*Alternatives: You can use your choice  of seasonal fruits here, like strawberries, figs, etc.

To Serve A La Minute

Place pastry strips on a flat surface.  Top half of each strip with blueberry jam and fold the other half on top to form a type of sandwich.  Serve immediately.

Quick and Easy Raw Ice Cream Base

9 May

Strawberry Ice Cream

I don’t have a tub of store bought ice cream in my freezer. So, on Mother’s Day like on any day, when I (or my husband or my son) want a treat I have to work for it.

I decided on Strawberry Ice Cream.

The easiest way to make raw strawberry ice cream is to process frozen bananas and strawberries in a high-speed blender or food processor, but two caveats: 1. you need frozen bananas and frozen strawberries in the freezer, and 2. ice cream made this way though creamy always tastes like bananas. Another way to make raw strawberry ice cream is with freshly made creamy nut (like almond) milk and an ice cream maker, but this requires soaking almonds overnight. A very popular way to make raw ice cream is with cashews because of its creaminess but this too requires soaking cashews overnight and an ice cream maker.

We hardly make anything with cashews because of my son’s allergies, but because this was for me and hubby and because I had no inclination for bananas or waiting a day for my treat, I simply used raw cashew butter. So, here is a very simple and quick base for any raw ice cream. Makes enough for 2 people.

Tip: I place my small food processor on top of my measuring scale (which is always covered in a zip lock bag, so it stays clean) for an easy and quick prep. I don’t have to use measuring cups, just the scale, so less to wash! Place in a food processor and process well:


pinch of salt

1 1/2 oz or more raw local honey (or preferred sweetener, like agave or maple syrup)

3 oz extra virgin coconut oil, warmed to liquefy by placing bottle in warm water

3 oz raw cashew butter

For flavor, add a handful of strawberries or a tbspn or 2 of raw cacao/carob powder or a tspn of vanilla extract or a tbspn matcha powder for green tea

enough water to make the ice cream smooth, about 2 – 4 tbspns

Taste to adjust the sweetness. Place in an ice cream maker to create an airy ice cream, or simply place in a container and freeze for about 45 minutes to 1 hour for a denser dessert.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Cream Pie

11 Apr

Strawberry Cream Pie

My cousin Miguel e-mailed me out of the blue last week and after reading my posts, he immediately set out to make his own Coco-Nutty Banana Cream Pie. I was so impressed when he e-mailed me just 2 days later with a photo of his own pie. Although his was made with a Graham Cracker Crust, the rest was all raw. He and his 2 year old little girl, Estelle devoured it. His response brought a smile on my face, “I’m SOLD! I’m inspired to eat raw desserts! Any more desserts involving strawberries or peaches in the making? “

Needless to say, I’m always so excited when others are motivated to eat less processed and more raw foods. So today, I looked in my fridge: strawberries – check, almonds – check and macadamia nuts – check. Thought I’d create a Strawberry Cream Pie!

So, Miguel, this is for you and Estelle!

What’s so great about Strawberries?

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of dietary fiber and iodine, the latter nutrient helps protect our thyroids and gonads from radiation exposure of iodine-131. Strawberries also contain potassium, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, and vitamin K. And they are abundant in the Spring. In fact, City Roots just announced that their strawberries are ready for picking.

The Recipe

The Soft Cookie Crust

Pulse together in a food processor:

1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbspn extra virgin coconut oil, liquified by placing bottle in warm water
1 1/2 tbspns raw local honey
1 cup raw almonds, unsoaked, process to a powder

Create the crust in molds (first grease with coconut oil) or on 2 5″ pie pans or free form rounds. Freeze.

Orange Cream

Puree in a high speed blender:

2 tbspns raw local honey
1 organic orange, juiced, around 1/3 cup
1 cup raw organic macadamia nuts, unsoaked (or raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed) I prefer cashews but macadamias are a great substitute if there are cashew allergies.

Refrigerate until needed.

Filling

1 pint of organic strawberries

Garnish

mint from the garden

To Serve

Make sure everything is cold when served and after putting it together, serve immediately.

Place Strawberry Slices on top of Crust

Top with Orange Cream

Add another layer of strawberries

1. Place an almond cookie crust on a plate.
2. Top with strawberry slices.
3. Spread orange cream on top.
4. Top with more strawberries.
5. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Alternatives

Petits Fours

Mini Strawberry Cream Pies

Or as my son likes them, sans crust: Strawberry Cream Kisses

How Food can Protect our Families from Radiation Exposure

29 Mar

 

Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have worried about my friends who live in Japan.  Yet at the same time, in the midst of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, I am inspired and awed by the great peace, power of community and strength of the Japanese people.

Today, trace levels of radiation from the explosion at Fukushima are now in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Nevada and other Western states. Despite the low levels found, the risk of radiation exposure hits home. Although we are exposed to significant amounts of radiation already in our daily lives (cell phone towers, microwaves, X-rays, CT scans, yes even cigarette smoking), the low levels of radioactive material leaking out from a nuclear plant on the other side of the earth makes it seem more significant.

What radioactive material should we be looking out for?

The byproducts of the recent nuclear explosion are Iodine-131, strontium-90 and cesium-137. Iodine-131 travels best (therefore the first material to be found in the US), but after 80 days, only less than 0.1% will remain.  Cesium-137 can travel too, but once it falls on the ground, it will stay there for 300 years with only 0.1% remaining.

 

Why should we be concerned?

Because these radioactive materials can enter our bodies through ingesting, absorption through the skin or inhalation.  Moreover, they have been shown to cause different types of cancer.

 

What can Mamas do to protect their families?

Before going out to buy Potassium Iodide, Mamas can simply use Raw Food to:

1. protect our family’s bodies by filling up our cells with good minerals  and thereby keeping radioactive materials out, and

2. detoxify in order to get rid of any radioactive materials already present.


How can we use Raw Food to protect our families from radiation exposure?

From Gabriel Cousens’ A Comprehensive Holistic Approach to the Plague of Radiation and What To Do:

 

1. Serve up foods that protect the body from radiation exposure:

MINERAL PROTECTS FROM
 

Iodine (found in kelp and strawberries)

 

 

thyroid and gonads

 

iodine-131

 

Potassium (found in chard, crimini mushrooms and spinach)

 

 

muscles, kidneys, liver, and reproductive organs

 

cesium-137

 

Calcium (found in spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens and collard greens)

 

 

bones

 

strontium-90

Other excellent foods that protect against radiation are:

– garlic, onion, ginseng

– echinacea, rosemary

green tea – 20 cups gives 97% more protection against radiation

chlorophyll-rich foods: cabbage, leafy greens, spirulina (decreases side effects of radiation by 50%), wheatgrass, sprouts, blue green algae

beets can lessen cesium-137 absorption by 97-100%

bee pollen contains 15% lecithin which protects against all 3 radioactive materials: iodine-131, strontium-90 and cesium-137

 

2. Serve up foods that bind to radioactive material, turning them into harmless salts and then ridding the body of them:

CHELATES (foods that bind) DETOXIFIES BODY OF
 

Kelp family (kelp, arame, wakame, kombu, hijiki) contains sodium alginate

 

 

Strontium-90

 

Green algae (chlorella)

 

 

Cesium-137

Other excellent chelates:

apples, sunflowers seeds, miso, grains, beans, peas

 

3. Serve up alkalizing foods that are low in the food chain protect the body against radiation:

raw vegan foods because they have lower concentrations of radioactive materials:

avoid animal products because they contain up to 15 x (milk) and 30 x (beef) more radioactive materials

More Resources:

Nuclear Plants Near You (USA)

Radiation

What is raw vegan food?

What are Raw Vegan ingredients?

What do Raw Vegans avoid?

Cream of Buckwheat

4 Mar

 

Cream of Buckwheat

Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed, not a grain as widely thought.  It is high in manganese and contains more fiber per volume than oats.  Manganese is important in various functions in the body including bone formation, thyroid function, formation of connective tissues, sex hormone function, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, immune function and in fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

This is a nice and simple raw breakfast porridge that can vary according to fruits in season and spices used.

Soak overnight:

2 cups raw buckwheat groats

Drain and rinse in the morning and place in food processor with:

pinch of sea salt

tspn of cinnamon or vanilla or cardamom, optional

1/2 cup pitted dates

4 ripe bananas

1 – 2 cups water, depending on consistency preference

Top with:

berries of choice

raw honey

Enjoy!

Berry Spirulina Smoothie

16 Feb

Berry Spirulina Smoothie

We love spirulina in smoothies.  This is one of my son’s favourites.  High in protein (50-70%) and vitamin B12, spirulina is also rich in essential fatty acids,  vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, D and E, and many minerals such as potassium.

Process in a high speed blender:

1 tbspn spirulina

2 dates, pitted

3 bananas

1 pint fresh organic strawberries (or blueberries)

1 cup water (more for blueberries)