Category Archives: Dessert

Single serving cherry-pistachio crumble

IMG_5584When I was younger I always used to say to my parents, “Pwetty please with a cherry on top?” I also have fond memories of eating cherry flavored popsicles by the pool, being left with two red sticky parentheses outlining the corners of my mouth and licking them away with my bright red tongue.

Cherries are popping up at the farmer’s market and not only do they bring me back to my childhood but they are also a sign that summer is coming!! I have always loved the flavor of cherries–slightly sweet and slightly sour–plus I am a sucker for a deep red color (beets, I miss you dearly). These bad boys are also hard to pit without a cherry pitter, which is why this recipe turned into a single serving one, although I did just find this nifty video.

Cherries and pistachios pair really well together in this easy getting-excited-for-summer crumble. I used coconut oil in this recipe but ghee would also work really well (perhaps even better) in place of the butter component.  The best part is when you can hear the mixture bubbling in the oven and baked cherries perfume the kitchen. I will definitely be baking more fresh fruit crumbles in the coming months. Summer, see you soon!

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Single Serving Cherry-Pistachio Crumble

Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients:

3/4 cup fresh, pitted cherries or frozen cherries, thawed

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp + 1 tsp flour

2 tbsp + 1 tsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp rolled oats

1/4 cup shelled pistachios

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

pinch salt

2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 4″ deep dish tartlet pan with coconut oil.

2. In the tartlet pan, mix cherries with 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp flour. Set aside.

3. In a food processor, pulse remaining brown sugar, flour, oats, pistachios, cardamom, and salt until pistachios become finely chopped.

4. Stir in coconut oil or ghee until a crumble forms.

5. Spread crumble over cherry mixture. Bake in the oven until cherry mixture bubbles and the crumble topping becomes brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm by itself or with vanilla ice cream.

A warm cherry cheers,

Sarah D.

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Raw date squares

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I absolutely adore dates. Date cookies, date cake, dates on ice cream, date paste, dates on their own. They are wonderfully sweet and I love their soft, sticky texture. Mejdool dates are the way to go. I discovered these beauties at the outdoor market. In Italy they are called datteri and since I wasn’t sure of the conversion, I let the lady give me as many dates as she wanted, which resulted in a lot of dates. After nabbing a date here and there from the jar during the week, I decided to make something with them. I didn’t want new, I didn’t want hard. I just wanted the simple, caramel-like flavor of dates in a different form. So I adapted, from who else but My New Roots. Sarah Britton’s recipe for raw date squares involves six simple ingredients and no baking required. Perfection.

IMG_3540Raw baking is what’s up. Seriously, it makes my taste buds do a little dance. Not only is raw baking easy, it allows you to reap the full benefits and nutrients of the food, which can be diminished from cooking. Dates are a staple in raw desserts because they are extremely sweet, rich, versatile, and their texture makes for moist, luscious, and luxurious treats. Plus, using dates means you can say the recipe is sugar-free. I totally ate mine for breakfast…and after lunch…and after dinner. Dates are my jam.

Dates are powerhouses. These wrinkly nuggets pack quite a nutrient, vitamin, and mineral punch. The fruit is rich in fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. They contain vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin K, and many antioxidants such as tannins. They are easily digestible and extremely energizing. Plus, they are a great alternative to those ugly fake sweeteners and refined sugars. Did I mention that I love dates?

IMG_3574During the making of this dessert, I spent a lot of time with my walnuts, or noci, in Italian. In Italy, it is normal to buy whole walnuts instead of the packaged kind [but definitely go for the packaged kind if you want].  It took me a while to crack and dismantle all those suckers [albeit, part of the time was spent marveling at the way the nuts are nestled in their shells] and it quickly turned into a walnut war zone in the kitchen. But that was all the fun of it.

There is something profoundly beautiful about becoming intimate with my food. I think of it as a reciprocal relationship. My food is definitely going to be getting intimate with my body so…I just get intimate with it first. People sometimes ask me why I take the more ‘tedious’ route. Why do I peel all my chickpea skins when making hummus? Why do I scrape the skins off my soaking almonds? It’s simple: I like to spend time with my food. Why? Because it’s meditative, intimate, personal, and rewarding. And when I cracked one walnut perfectly down the middle to discover a heart, boy, was it all worth it.

Now I leave you with some very sweet pictures and a fabulous raw recipe. How do you like your dates? I would love to hear from you!

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IMG_3650Recipe adapted from My New Roots

Raw Date Squares

Ingredients:
Filling
2 cups chopped, pitted Medjool dates
2 Tbsp. water
Juice of 1 large, unwaxed blood orange
Zest of 1 large, unwaxed blood orange

Crust

2 cups walnuts
1 cup raw oats ground in a food processor or oat flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp honey [use maple syrup for vegan version]

Directions:

1. Soak dates in water and orange juice for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring once or twice.
2. Coarsely grind nuts in a food processor. Add ground oats or oat flour and pulse to mix.
3. Add cinnamon first, then honey/maple syrup one tablespoon at a time until the mixture holds together.
4. Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan or round cake pan with coconut oil
5. Press a little over half of the nut mixture into the bottom of the pan, reserving the rest for later.
6. Puree the date and orange juice mixture until it reaches a desired consistency. I pureed mine until it was smooth but still had little bits of date speckled throughout. Mix in orange zest or use to sprinkle on top of squares.
7. Crumble the remaining half of the crust mixture over the dates; press lightly with your hands or a spoon.
8. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes and serve. Watch it disappear before your eyes.

As always, thank you Sarah B. for your knowledge, inspiration, and amazingly delicious recipes!

Happy dating,

Sarah D.

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