Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Summer Berries with Strawberry-Almond "Cream"

I've been busy lately, my cooking schedule is off, and I wanted a treat.  Something easy. With that in mind, I went in search of something special that wouldn't take hours to make.

I flipped through my book to grab a bit of inspiration.

It isn't warm enough for ice cream, or the vegan equivalent and it was too warm to make a cake.

My ingredient of choice is almond butter for that creamy mouth feel.  Even though I've been trying to be a more conservative food shopper, I have to admit I'm an almond butter snob.  

Massa Organics has the best.  I get almonds, almond butter and rice from Massa Organics.  I found the farm a years ago at the Ferry Plaza Market in San Francisco. I don't go anywhere else for these ingredients now because--well you really have to taste them to know why they are just the best.  

I'm not really a totally reformed food snob.

We planted strawberries in our yard this year and can save some serious money, if my Cooking Assistant doesn't eat them first.  He's crafty and he often finds a way to get out there. 

Local strawberries are expensive at the market, but they're worth it because picking them is back-breaking work.

Blueberries and raspberries haven't made an appearance at the farmers market yet, but once they do, I never want summer to end.

My Cooking Assistant can smell strawberries across the street.  Look out, guard your berries because he doesn't mind picking them at all.

The northwest is the place to be in the summer if berries are your favorite food in the world.

I bought a cake to go with these berries.  Yes that's how lazy I've been.  I bought it at a natural food store and the price wasn't much more than a grocery store angel food cake. But the ingredient list was startlingly different. The cake from the grocery store had a long paragraph of ingredients.  What are all those ingredients?  I'd rather get a cake with 7 ingredients.

I noticed PCC still had blood oranges. Citrus is a good pairing with berries.  And the almond butter?  

If they suddenly went out of business, I'd rather go without, give almond butter up completely, than to get another brand. I've tasted them, they've got nothing on Massa Organics almond butter.

The berry inspector.

Please may I have some?

Summer Berries with Strawberry Almond "Cream"
(Serves 4)
The simple sauce for these berries can be enhanced with fresh mint leaves or crushed lavender buds.

2 pints strawberries, green tops removed 
1 blood orange, juice and zest
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 ripe banana
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries
2 tablespoons shredded coconut

Blend (in a blender or with a hand blender) about 8 strawberries with blood orange juice and zest, almond butter and banana.

Cut the remaining strawberries into small pieces.  Pour the dressing over the berries and gently mix.  Sprinkle with coconut. You can also add spearmint leaves (like the photo at the top of the page) or add 1 teaspoon of fresh crushed lavender .

Serve on a plain white cake or with a scoop of coconut sorbet.

1 comment:

Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
All that beautiful fruit, I love this time of the year. Your Berries with Strawberry Almond Cream will be a great dessert. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!
Miz Helen