Strawberry season has arrived just in time for my first Traced Elements post. The following recipes are all plant based, raw, made with love. They are intended to light up your taste buds wihile nourishing you on the deepest level.
Most of my recipes don’t involve too much chemistry so feel free to play with measurements and ingredients. Taste things as you go and adjust according to your own taste preferences.
I have included 2 cultured recipes here because supporting your microbiome with fermented foods is essential not only to your gut health but to your mental and emotional wellbeing. Our bodies are a complex ecosysytem. Of the bacteria in our bodies it is estimated that only 10% are human cells. What we eat can influence everything from our moods, food cravings, weight gain/loss, food allergies and disease expression.
Our microbiome is affected by chronic stress, lack of sleep, processed foods, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. Newborns are seeded with good bacteria when passing throught the birth canal and from breast milk. It’s important that special attention is payed to children born by c-section.
Our gut health is dynamic and we can easily create balance by eating more pre-biotics foods (Jerusalem artichokes, raw dandelion greens, raw or cooked onion, raw garlic, raw leeks, raw asparagus, chicory, bananas, asparagus, beans) and more probiotic foods such as Kombucha, Kefir, homemade yogurt, natto, tempeh, miso, saurkraut and cultured vegetables.
This recipe is simple and can pass for breakfast or dessert. You will need a food processor and an 8” or 9” pan.
- 5 cups of fresh strawberries
- 2 cups of almonds, sprouted* if possible
- 1.5 cups of dates, pitted ( I prefer to use medjool or date paste**)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
- 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp powdered psyllium husk, powdered chia seed or irish moss gel*** – as a stabilizer / thickener for the filling
- 2-4 Tbsp honey, maple syrup, agave or couple drops of stevia
- In the food processor pulse the almonds until they are an light “mealy” consistency. Don’t overprocess.
- Add dates and combine until the mixture sticks together when you squeeze between finger and thumb
- You can add the coconut oil which helps the crust set
- Press mixture into your chosen pan and refrigerate while you prepare filling
- Slice and dice 4 cups of the strawberries, place in a mixing bowl and set aside
- Place the remaining cup of strawberries in a food processor or blender and combine with a squeeze of lemon juice, sweetener and thickener of your choice.
- Add mixture to sliced berries and combine with a spoon. Pour into pie crust
- Let set in refrigerator.
*Sprouted Almonds – soaking nuts removes enzyme inhibitor and makes them more digestible. Almonds are best soaked 8 hours or overnight. For this type of recipe you want your almonds dry so you would have to dehydrate them after soaking for 24hrs. You can skip this step for the purpose of this recipe. Alternatively, the Wellness Center at Nesters in Whistler sells Sprouted Almonds by Living Intentions
**Date paste can be made by soaking dates until soft and blending with just enough water to have a smooth jam like consisitency. Note: once you have added water you’ll need to refrigerate your date paste. Will keep 2-4 weeks.
***Irish Moss (AKA carageenan in its processed form) acts as a stabilizer and has many health benefits in its whole unprocessed form. You can purchase this algae from Harmonic Arts. Once you prepare the gel it can be added as a thickening agent to smoothies and desserts.
To make the gel, soak whole irish moss overnight, rinse well to remove any ocean debris, place in high speed blender/Vitamix and add barely enough water to cover. Now blend it like you mean it. This is where the magic happens. In less than a minute the the irish moss will turn into a smooth gel. It will get thicker once refrigerated. It has a bit a distinct taste which can usually be masked by some sweetness.
PS – I store everything in glass
Cultured Raw Strawberry Cheezecake
This is one of my all time favourite recipes. I wanted to try fermenting the cheezecake filling this time and the results were delish! I’ll give you both options. Original and cultured. For best results you will need a high speed blender, although a food processor could work.
- 3 cups of raw cashews, soaked 2 hours or more
- ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (not bottled – only the best for you!)
- ¾ cup unpasturized honey
- ¾ cup coconut oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Dash of vanilla extract or powder
- Approx 2 cups fresh or frozen berries
- Dash of lemon juice
- Dash of sweetener – agave, honey, maple syrup, stevia or monk fruit drops – totally optional, fresh strawberries are sweet enough on their own
- Sprinkle ¼-½ cup powdered dry coconut at the bottom of a spring form pan and set aside
- In a high speed blender combine honey, lemon juice, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, and then slowly add cashews
- Pour cheezecake filling into springform pan and let set in the freezer
- Combine the strawberry topping ingredients in the blender (once again feel free to improvise with toppings and flavour combos)
- I usually wait at least 20 minutes before pouring toppings onto cheezecake layer
This cake is best stored in the feezer. Take it out 20-30 minutes before serving
- Blend 3 cups of cashews with approx 1 cup water. Then added ½ tsp probiotic powder.
- Transfer cashew mixture into a glass bowl and let sit in a slightly warm place for 8 hours. I use my Excalibur dehydrator for this stage set at 95 degrees F
- After 8 hrs your cashew mixture should have a slightly tangy taste. Transfer to blender and add remaining ingredients:
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Dash vanilla
This is a a super simple alternative to the overprocessed commercial dairy-free yogurts.
Given coconuts don’t grow in Pemberton this is a bit of a treat.
- 2 cups coconut meat (you can purchase frozen in bags at Stay Wild or Nesters)
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ tsp probiotic powder
I typically double the recipe which will make two 1 litre mason jars
In high speed blender combine coconut meat and water. Stir in probiotic powder. Pour into 1 litre glass mason jar. Place in dehydrator on lowest setting for approximately 8hrs or wrap in towel and place in a warm place. Refrigerate.
Recipes by Sarinda Hoilett
Photos (and quality control): Jaya and Ruben Guibert