Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Berryman Cometh

There is something new and exciting about our Farmer's Market this year- 
It's The BerryMan!

He comes all the way from Pudwill Farms on the central coast of California to our little corner of the desert- a 7 hour drive! And I'm so glad he does!

Look at this beautiful spread!

It stops me in my tracks every time. 

Something about all those vibrant beautiful colors, you just know these are just bursting with nutrition! It's times like these when my mouth waters just looking at fresh produce like this that there is no question in my mind what our designed diet is supposed to consist of. I don't salivate looking at cows or chickens for instance.

The hard part is deciding what should come home with me.

All Raspberries

This was my choice last week.

I had never seen yellow or orange raspberries before. What I learned is that the yellow are sweeter than the red and the orange taste similar to the red.

Raspberries and Blackberries
This  week I went with the blackberries too. I have never had blackberries that just burst with juice like these.  Delicious!

All of the berries last more than a week in the fridge if not scarfed down first, which astonished me! The first week I needed them to last to the end of the week for a special occasion. (See cake below) and they did just that beautifully!

The ones from the grocery store last only a few days before turning moldy, which makes sense since it probably took at least a  few days travel time to get there and at least another few days before I get the chance to buy them. Sometimes they turn in just a day. So frustrating!

Here are some of the good uses I put these pretty berries to:

Berry Salad
what could be more simple and delicious than this?

I get beautiful mixed greens from the Hydroponic Herb Lady at the market, (but that's another post!)

Mixed fresh greens (edible flowers come with the greens)
assortment of berries, raspberries orange and red and blackberries
Chopped  walnuts

Raspberry Vinaigrette
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 shallot
1 tbsp honey
 1/2 tsp sea salt
 1/3 cup raspberries, here I used the orange
1 cup olive oil

Mix all in blender except oil, then while blending slowly add in oil through top to emulsify.
Berry Salad with Orange Raspberry Vinaigrette

Mixed Berry Cobbler
Individual Serving Dish

This is so simple and delicious, you will wonder why all these years you never thought of it.
Crumb Topping
1 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1 cup walnuts
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 dates, pitted or more to hold crumble together
pinch of cinnamon

Process all in food processor until it can be pinched together and hold. 
(I make extra and keep it in the freezer.)

Berry Mix
 3 cups berries of choice
 4 tsp agave syrup or honey 
juice of one lemon

Mash berries with fork a bit to release juices. 
Let sit about 10 minutes.
Place a generous scoop of berries into a serving cup
Top with Crumb Topping

A Better Peek At What's Under the Crumb Topping
Recipe based on Jennifer Cornbleet's 
Raw for Dessert: Easy Delights for Everyone

Raw Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake

This was for my friend Marjorie's Surprise Party!
Speaking of Surprises This is Surprisingly Simple!

2 cups brazil or macadamia nuts
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup dried coconut

3 cups chopped cashew, soaked for at least one hour 
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup agave nectar (syrup)
 3/4 cup coconut oil in oil form 
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
 1/2 tsp sea salt

Raspberry Sauce:
 10 oz berries 
1/2 cup dates

The only part about about this that takes time, is soaking the nuts. 
So the day you are planning to make this, soak the nuts before hand while you do other things. If you think about it, this is a good time to put the coconut oil on top of the fridge or in another warm place to melt as well. I put mine outside to warm up. Melting point for coconut oil is about 74 degrees.

For Crust:
Rub inside of pan with a little coconut oil. 
Sprinkle dried coconut onto bottom of 8 or 9 inch spring form pan.
Process nuts and dates in the food processor until the texture of crushed graham crackers.
Press nuts into bottom of pan evenly.
Freeze while making filling.

For Cheeze:
Blend cashews, lemon, agave, gently warmed coconut oil (do not use microwave), vanilla, sea salt, 1/2 cup water in blender. I needed a bit more water to keep it moving but you want it very thick and creamy not watery. Blend until smooth and adjust to taste. Pour mixture into crust. Remove air bubbles by tapping pan on table. Place into the freezer to set up until firm.

Raspberry Sauce:
Blend berries with dates in food processor, not blender.

You can spread the sauce on top and freeze to set or mix into filling to make marbling. I  spooned on small  globs and then mixed into filling with a knife to create swirls.  Next time I will do this more to get it in deeper. I also reserved most of the sauce to spoon over the plate and individual slices when serving.

You can make this days ahead of time, cover and freeze. Thaw about an hour or two before serving.  In warmer weather remember the coconut oil melts at 74 degrees.

Note: Next time I might use less lemon juice, but this is the beauty of raw. You can taste it first with less before removing from the blender and decide to add more if you like. The flavors don't change since there is no cooking.

Cheezecake Slice with Raspberry Sauce and fresh raspberry garnish

I found this recipe on the internet but I believe it is from Ani Phyo's book,

Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes 

So there you have some easy things to do with berries, 
beside doing as my friend Heather suggested,
 placing them on your finger tips and eating them off one by one!


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