Posts tagged ‘berries’
It’s nearing the end of summer…the change of seasons is something I always look forward to (especially when Fall is my favorite time of year), yet I still want to hold onto summer for the next few weeks. This recipe accomplishes just that!
Let’s celebrate fresh fruit, bright herbs and zingy balsamic vinegar in this lovely marriage of flavors – Strawberry Bruschetta…and what a bonus for versatility, this recipe is used in FOUR different ways!
1. Strawberry Bruschetta (basic recipe) – serve over lightly toasted (gluten-free) french bread or gluten-free crackers
2. Strawberry Bruschetta Avocado Boats (snack or appetizer)
3. Strawberry Bruschetta and Hemp Green Salad (side salad, light dinner or lunch)
4. Strawberry Brushetta Inspired Quinoa and Beet Salad (serve as a side or a main dish)
I was assigned Julie’s adorable blog, Confessions of a Cooking Diva this month for the Secret Recipe Club and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her spunky posts and searching through her creations from the kitchen! I bookmarked her scrumptious looking Black Bean Burgers, Spicy Chocolate Popcorn and Caribbean Jerk Salmon Tacos for later experimentation…yet I ultimately settled on a Strawberry Bruschetta recipe for several reasons — I purchased a organic strawberries at the local farmers market, I had fresh basil on hand and I had some aged balsamic vinegar from a local oil & vinegar store that I couldn’t wait to use in multiple ways. Bam…what a perfect coincidence.
The simplicity of this recipe really allows the flavors to shine and come through in each bite, and there’s nothing like fresh, quality ingredients to let the food really do the talking for you! I opted to increase the balsamic a bit because I really love acidity and I served this over these raw sourdough sunflower seed crackers for the “bruschetta” portion of this recipe (since I rarely eat bread). After making this recipe, I was inspired to use the dish in multiple ways…talk about fun! Thanks Julie :)
Grain-free option, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free Option, Vegetarian, Dairy-free
1 pint of strawberries, rinsed and chopped
1 – 2 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar (I used 2 Tbsp because I like the acidity)
¼ cup fresh basil, julienned or chopped
1 small loaf gluten free french bread, sliced into thin slices, lightly toasted OR raw grain-free, gluten-free crackers (I used these)
1. Combine the strawberries, basil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and mix well.
2. Top each slice of bread or cracker with the strawberry-basil mix.
Makes 2 cups of strawberry-basil mixture.
Strawberry Bruschetta Avocado Boats
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Quick & Easy, Vegan, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free
1 recipe of Strawberry Bruschetta (listed above)
2 ripe medium size avocados
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Fresh squeeze of lemon or lime, optional (if you really like acidity like me and helps to prevent the avocado from browning if making ahead)
1. Slice each avocado in half and remove the pit/seed.
2. Sprinkle the avocado halves with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Squeeze fresh lime or lemon juice over each avocado half (if desired)
4. Top each avocado half with about 1/2 cup of the strawberry bruschetta mixture and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and serve!
Makes 4 snacks or appetizers
Strawberry Brushetta and Hemp Green Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Soy-free, Nut-free
8 cups of mixed greens, baby kale or baby spinach (I use Organic Power Green blend from Costco)
1 recipe of Strawberry Bruschetta (recipe above)
1 ripe avocado, pit removed and diced into small pieces
4 Tbsp raw hemp seeds/hemp hearts (you can sub another nut or seed if desired)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drizzle of apple cider vinegar or more balsamic vinegar and/or lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos (or coconut aminos, tamari or gluten free soy sauce)
1. Toss all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. If you like more acidity in your dressing, feel free to add more vinegar and/or lemon juice.
*If you eat meat, this salad could be served with grilled chicken or if you eat dairy, feel free to toss in some goat cheese or fresh mozzarella to bulk it up even more. To bulk it up and keep it vegan, feel free to add cooked quinoa, millet or brown rice for a green and grain salad.
Makes 2 large salads or 4 small
Strawberry Bruschetta Inspired Quinoa and Beet Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free Option
1/2 recipe Strawberry Bruschetta (above)
1/2 cup cooked beets, diced (I used Love Beets)
3- 4 Tbsp chopped walnuts, pinenuts and/or pecans (or for nut-free, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds)
Aged balsamic vinegar to taste (I used 1 Tbsp)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (I used about 1 1/2 Tbsp)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (I used 1/2 lemon)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Spring fever…yep, I definitely have it! To help it along, I thought ice cream might do the trick? This refreshing raspberry chocolate chip ice cream helped transport me right to sunny days and warmer weather. It might be warm where you are but the chilly rain has been holding on here in Montana. While I can’t change the weather, I can change my mindset…and I’ll start with food :) Seems like a decent place to start. Is anyone with me?
Erin over at Table for Seven was the inspiration for this scrumptious recipe! I was assigned her blog for the Secret Recipe Club this month and I so enjoyed spending hours going through post after post, and I was having a difficult time picking just one thing to make! I came close to making her Pineapple Meatloaf, Baked French Toast and Mexican Stuffed Shells but my sweet tooth won out (again) when I ultimately chose her Raspberry Brown Sugar Chocolate Ice Cream. I had a great excuse to break out my ice cream maker, thank you Erin!
I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it dairy-free by substituting the milk and whipping cream with 3 cups of full-fat canned coconut milk. I used 3/4 cup of the mini Enjoy Life chocolate chips and opted for coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar since that’s what I had on hand. I had an ice cream maker so I used that method instead, but Erin gives an option for making this recipe without one that is equally as delicious. Chocolate + fresh raspberry + a creamy ice cream base…this hit the spot!
Raspberry Brown Sugar and Chocolate Ice Cream (adapted from Our Table for Seven)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-Friendly, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian, Refined Sugar Free
1 Tbsp lemon juice
- In a saucepan, heat milk until it bubbles slightly. Remove from heat. Stir milk into beaten eggs slightly.
- Return to saucepan. Cook and stir for approx 2 minutes or until heated. Remove from heat. Let it cool. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, coconut sugar/brown sugar, and lemon juice. Mix well. Stir into chilled ice cream mixture.
- For ice cream maker: Follow ice cream maker’s instructions and towards the end, stir in raspberries and chocolate chips/chunks/nibs after churning OR
- Without an ice cream maker, stir in raspberries and chocolate chips/chunks/nibs and use David Lebowitz’s instructions:
- Prepare your ice cream according to recipe. Chill it over an ice bath.
- Put ice cream in a deep, freezer safe container and put in freezer.
- Check it after 45 minutes. Break up any frozen sections. Beat it up good.
- Return to freezer. Check to check about every 30 minutes, breaking up the ice. Use a hand mixer if needed.
- After about 2-3 hours, you have ice cream.
*If you can have dairy, feel free to use 1 1/2 cups milk and 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream instead of the canned coconut milk.
For other recipes in this month’s reveal, click below!
Are you drooling yet? :)
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, I adapted this recipe from Susan’s Moist Chocolate Hazelnut Cake recipe over at Food.Baby.Life blog. I was in the mood for a chocolate dessert and this recipe did not disappoint! I wanted to add a fresh element to this unctuous dessert so I whipped up a 30 second (literally) fresh raspberry coulis. It complimented the richness of the chocolate perfectly!
This chocolate cake has a molten middle if you cook it partially (which I prefer)…more like a pudding, or keep it in for a minute or two longer for a less moist middle. I was always the one eating the leftover cake and brownie batters out of the mixing bowl, so I definitely prefer the molten center.
I made a few adaptations: I cut the recipe into thirds so it served two instead of six (because let’s be honest, I would have eaten all of the leftovers!). I also added hazelnut extract and vanilla extract in addition to instant coffee to enhance the chocolate hazelnut flavor. I chose to substitute coconut oil for the butter for a dairy free option and used I baked these beauties in 4 oz ramekins, bottoms lined with parchment, since I didn’t have the dariole molds. I also converted the ingredients measurements from weight (grams) to volume (cups/Tbsp/tsp) since that’s what I am most familiar with…though some weren’t exact, the result was scrumptious! .Apparently I need to invest in a scale :) Another great part was that this wasn’t a complicated or lengthy recipe, which of course means I can make it more often right?
Gooey Chocolate Hazelnut Cakes with Fresh Raspberry Coulis (adapted from Food.Baby.Life)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-Free, Refined-Sugar Free Option
1.5 oz dark chocolate (or unsweetened* see note), chopped
3 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter or ghee) + more for greasing
1/2 rounded tsp gluten-free instant coffee (I used Nescafe decaf)
1 large egg
2 Tbsp granulated sweetener of choice**
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp hazelnut extract
pinch of pure stevia to taste
small dash of salt (optional but the salt enhances the flavor)
2 Tbsp hazelnut flour (can substitute almond flour for less hazelnut flavor)
cocoa powder for dusting
Fresh Raspberry Coulis, for serving (see recipe below)
Fresh raspberries for serving
1. Preheat oven to 350F/180 C. Grease the inside of 2 (4-ounce) ramekins very well with coconut oil. Dust with cocoa powder. Cut two small circles of parchment paper the size of the bottom of the ramekins and line bottoms (I highly recommend this, otherwise they can stick since they are fragile).
2. In a double broiler or in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate, coconut oil and coffee. Stir frequently and make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg, sweetener, salt and extracts with an electric mixer for several minutes or until light, pale and foamy. Slowly fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in hazelnut flour/meal until well combined.
4. Spoon evenly into the prepared ramekins, place on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 1-2 minutes, before inverting onto serving plates (be careful the ramekins are hot!). Drizzle with raspberry coulis and serve with fresh raspberries. Best served when warm!
*If using unsweetened chocolate, increase the sweetener by 2 tbsp or to taste.
**If using coconut/palm sugar or another coarse sweetener , measure the amount first and pulse in a blender to make a finer grain. I haven’t tried this cake with a liquid sweetener so if anyone tries it, please let me know how it turns out…you may need to decrease the heat and cook for a bit longer.
Quick Raspberry Coulis
Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Quick/Easy, No-Bake, Grain-free, Refined Sugar Free
1 (6oz) container of fresh raspberries (could also use your favorite berry for a different flavor)
1-2 Tbsp coconut nectar, agave or honey (use more or less depending on how sweet you prefer your coulis)
juice from 1/2 fresh lime or 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 1/2 Tbsp juice)
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. You can strain through a fine mesh strainer if you don’t like the a few seeds, but I didn’t feel it was necessary.
After making my Apple Pie Cheesecake Smoothie as well as my no-bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake, this easy recipe can be whipped up for a quick dessert, breakfast or snack. Plus, the flavor combinations are endless – add your favorite fruits, nuts, spices, citrus, juices, chocolate, coconut etc to make it your own – this stuff is yummy!
If you find yourself dessert-less when your sweet tooth hits and you’re short on time, this cheesecake mousse is a great way to go. It’s creamy and rich-tasting but doesn’t sit heavy in your tummy AND it will keep you full from the high-protein ingredients — bonus!
Use your favorite fruit as the main flavor in this mousse, or combine a few like strawberry-mango for a tropical treat! I even listed a chocolate-peanut butter combo below if you aren’t in a fruity mood :)
5-Minute Cheesecake Mousse
Gluten-free, Grain-free, High-Protein, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Sugar-free
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries* or fruit of choice (could try 2 Tbsp all-fruit preserves too but you may want to eliminate the sweetener)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp honey, coconut nectar or agave OR 1 packet of stevia or to taste (Feel free to adjust sweetness to your liking, will depend on your fruit and ingredients)
optional add-ins: lemon zest, orange zest, lime zest, ground cinnamon, ginger, cocoa/cacao powder
Garnish ideas, optional
Chopped nuts or seeds
Shredded or flaked coconut
Cacao nibs, chocolate shavings or chocolate chips
Granola or cereal
1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor or high-powered blender. Process or blend until smooth, about 60-90 seconds. Garnish (if desired) and serve immediately or pour into a serving dish and chill for 30-60 minutes, then garnish and enjoy!
*To make a chocolate-peanut butter version, substitution 1 Tbsp cocoa or cacao powder and 2 Tbsp peanut flour OR 1 Tbsp peanut butter for the berries/fruit. If you are allergic to peanuts, use almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
Some of my favorite combinations:
1. Chocolate covered strawberry mousse (pictured) – use strawberries as the fruit, garnish with dark chocolate chunks and fresh raspberries or strawberries
2. Tropical Dream – use mango chunks as the fruit, add a drizzle of orange juice when blending (1-2 Tbsp), garnish with shredded coconut and fresh pineapple (or more mango chunks)
3. Blueberry-Lemon Crunch- use blueberries as the fruit, add a bit of fresh lemon zest (1/2 tsp), garnish with almond granola, sliced almonds and fresh blueberries