Raw cashews are a raw foods chef handy fill-in for any number of creamy sauces and puddings. Soaked just an hour or two and blended either with lemon juice and salt or with coconut oil, vanilla and some agave or palm sugar, many people would not be able to discern the difference between “real” sour cream or vanilla pudding and the cashew creation.
A few extra touches make this parfait particularly pleasing to the eye and the palate: Layering the cashew pudding in two colors (one plain and the other pastel-color is achieved by blending with one-third of the anti-oxidant-rich berries) makes it a more interesting; Marinating the fruit with some orange juice and cardamom adds a surprising taste twist; And the additional of a nut and dried-fruit crumble on the top gives the entire dessert more texture and variety. I also like the fact that the topping has a pleasant crunch without having to use any grains or baked foods.
If you are cutting back on fat, you can omit the coconut oil, however a small amount does help to emulsify the nuts into a much smoother consistency. However, we are such fans of Kelapo’s virgin coconut oil, for its rich and nutty taste as well as the astonishing health benefits of this wonder food from nature, that I am often experimenting with new ways to use it in my Raw Fusion recipes.
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BERRY CRÈME PARFAIT
Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free
1 cup raw cashews
1 pt. container of fresh berries of your choice
(I used organic strawberries and blueberries in the parfait pictured above)
¼ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup + 2 TB. of palm sugar
1 TB. Virgin coconut oil
1 TB. Alcohol-free vanilla extract
½ cup water
1/3 cup raw almonds
¼ cup dried cranberries
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cardamom
Directions: Soak cashews for 2 hours. Drain and rinse. Place washed berries in a bowl and cover with orange juice for 15 minutes. Optional: Add a dash of cardamom to the fruit marinade.
Blend the cashews with the water, coconut oil, vanilla and ½ cup palm sugar until very smooth, adding more water or oil, as needed. Spoon out half of the vanilla crème into a cup or bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the berries and blend again.
In food processor with “S” blade process the almonds, adding the cranberries, cinnamon, cardamom and 2 TB. of palm sugar until crumbly.
Assembly: In a parfait glass or dessert dish spoon in a layer of the white crème. Top with a layer of berries. Put a layer of the berry-colored crème. Top with almond mixture. Refrigerate (covered with saran wrap) for several hours, or serve immediately.
©2011 Quantum Mind Press, LLC, Raw Fusion Living and Dr. Lindajoy Rose.
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