Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Perfect Parfaits and Warm Weather Treats

Wait... doesn't 'perfect parfaits' just mean 'perfect perfects'? Well, they are! And as the weather gets warmer, I'm increasingly craving the mix of fruit and cold ice creams and sorbets over heavier treats. I want tangy, water-dense, citrusy, or tropical fruits, and I find my desire for denser and warming fruits and spices like apples, figs, or cinnamon falling out of synch with the season. I'll save those for next fall and winter! It's funny how ours bodies naturally acclimatize to the seasons, and recognize what is local and in season and what is not. I'm finding that since I've switched to the raw diet those impulses are even stronger. To fulfill my needs, I'm finding that parfaits are the perfect solution to warmer weather. Cool, refreshing, fruity, creamy, zesty, spicy, they can really be whatever you want!

With temperatures now in the high 20s°C and low 30s°C (that's in the high 80s°F low 90s°F), I've recently whipped up berry parfaits (layers of strawberries, blueberries, raw granola, and raw cherry sorbet, ie. frozen cherries that have gone through the Vitamix).

Otherwise, I've also been living off of banana soft serves (Vitamix-ed bananas) with spirulina, and now I've turned them into parfaits too. This one is layers of banana ice cream with mesquite and maca powder, sliced mangos, and berries on top.

Of course, a post wouldn't be complete without another one of Meredith's recipes. Enter: her vanilla ice cream recipe! Now Meredith is one of those raw chefs who uses both a coconut and cashew base to her ice creams. I've gotta say I've seen plenty of those around but never really got the point. Because I do often find that I cut corners when it comes to recipes, I always figured: Why bother with all the coconut when I'm just fine with my cashew-based recipe? I find it such a bother to struggle to crack a huge coconut open for so little meat, and why use the extra coconut butter when there's already the fat content of the cashews? Well, Meredith's recipe will show you why!

The coconut and raw honey combination gives this ice cream such a smooth texture that just using cashews just doesn't cut it anymore. Her ice cream seems softer on the palate, creamier, and generally more 'ice cream' like. While we did have some of it on its own, we just had to be more indulgent than just eating vanilla ice cream so we turned them into yummy raw ice cream sammie!

All we did was defrost the ice cream a bit, shape it between two raw chocolate chip cookies, and stick them back in the freezer until they hardened again. The cookies were my usual ground spelt berry and cashew, maple syrup, cinnamon, coconut butter, and sea salt blend. They were divine!

Three cheers to spring/summer and the revival of frozen treats!

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