Berry season is NIGH, people. We buy berries all year long, owing to Husband’s amazing ability to actually eat them, so local berry season coming up is truly a reason to celebrate.
I tried something new. It was a success but a bittersweet one. The limited amount of things that Husband can eat means that trying something really new like this, means it will veer into allergy territory and oh, boy does this! Almonds, cashews and coconut, never mind the fresh mint garnish, are all absolute no-gos for Husband.
This is also new territory for me because it is free of refined sugar and a raw dessert. I do not aspire to become a raw vegan and think it’s dangerous territory that new vegans get caught up in, but I am always up for something exciting and delicious to inspire me in the kitchen.
My inspiration is the raw cashew-coconut pie (which is a tad too salty) at a restaurant here in Montreal combined with precious little blackberry desserts I’ve seen pictures of on Tumblr.
The assembly is simple, but the ingredients are expensive. If you’re not in a place where you can afford (or even want to afford) them, please just enjoy the colourful pictures, skip over this recipe and wait for my next post (which will be a return to simple and affordable). I loved this square, especially the colour of the cream, but not being able to share with my husband was sadder than I had anticipated. All in all, a very fun experiment!
This was so good, I think I will attempt to develop a recipe that is not raw and has none of Husband’s allergens in it.
1 cup raw almonds, pulsed in a food processor
250 g Medjool dates (that was 14 dates), pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts to come together. You want to be able to press this into your 9×13 pan (or tart shell or mini-muffin pan) and have it stay together. If you live in a place that is less humid than Montreal, you want want to add a teaspoon of water to the mixture to get to this point. Evenly press the crust into the pan of your choice and cool in freezer or fridge while you are preparing the cashew cream.
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
1/2 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons agave nectar (more, if you like sweeter)
1 tablespoon water, optional
To begin, cover raw cashews in boiling water and let sit for at least an hour. The longer you soak your cashews (ie. overnight), the quicker your cream will develop a smooth consistency. Place all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until the cream has formed. Taste, add water if needed and whiz until desired consistency has been reached. I let my process for about 5 minutes, so that’s a good place to start. Pour cream mixture over chilled crust and return to cold-maker for additional chilling time. Fridge or freezer – this dessert works both ways. Perhaps you can decide based on the weather.
Assorted fresh berries
Fresh mint leaves, optional
Cut any shape you like out of your pan (squares, if you wanna follow my lead) and top with fresh berries and mint leaves. You can eat this dessert frozen or simply cold – perhaps you can decide based on the weather. We had surprise snow yesterday when I made this, but I still served them frozen, so what do I know?
Obligatory Charming Blog Anecdote: I refused to eat dates as a child because I was terrified of them and the fact that they looked like bugs to me. I still don’t like to think about it, to be honest. Tell me about any funny food fears you had as a child in the comments!