Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake Cups

21 Jun

It’s finally summer! I probably say that every year, but in Wisconsin, summer is an especially happy, albeit short, time of year.

And with the jubilation of summer, comes delicious summery recipes, full of fresh fruit, seasonal produce, and cold treats. To add to it, it’s the 6th birthday of The Recipe Redux!

Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Yep, six years of transforming everyday recipes into delicious, healthy options, and the group is still growing strong. It’s always a joy to step up to the monthly challenges and recipe contests.

And as such, there’s much to celebrate, which is why we were tasked with creating a small bite dessert recipe. This recipe for whole wheat strawberry shortcake cups is the PERFECT small bite dessert. It’s simple, vegan, low in sugar, and packed with fresh fruit. It’s also modeled by a beloved childhood character!

Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

They’re great for entertaining, or a quick dessert to enjoy with your family while watching the fireflies in the backyard during sunset.

Regardless who you serve these to, everyone will be delighted by this small bite dessert!

Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake Cups

Makes 9 shortcake cups

  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp cold coconut oil
  • 1/2 C nondairy milk
  • 12 large strawberries, diced
  • 1 can full-fat coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 425. Grease the bottom side of a mini muffin tin and set aside. Place your stand mixer’s metal bowl and beater in the freezer (this will be used for the whipped coconut cream).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, powder, and salt. Use a fork to cut in the cold coconut oil. Gradually stir in the milk until a dough forms.

Scoop about two tablespoons of the dough and pat it into a flat circle with your hands. Press this around one of the muffin tin bottoms. Repeat with the rest of the dough; you should get 9 from the batch.

Bake at 425 for 8 minutes, or until the cups just turn brown.

Let cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before carefully removing the cups from the muffin tin. Then, let cool completely.

In the meantime, dice the strawberries – you want small pieces, not whole slices – and set aside in a bowl.

To make the whipped coconut cream, take the lid off of the can and scoop out the coconut cream solids into your frozen mixing bowl. Keep the liquid for another use (like in iced coffee, or oatmeal!).

Beat the coconut cream on medium speed to start, then turn it to high. Beat for 7-8 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat one more minute.

To assemble, place the biscuit cups right-side up on a serving platter. Spoon in diced strawberries, and top with whipped coconut cream. Garnish with some fresh mint or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Strawberry Shortcake Cups | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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Socca Mexican Pizza {vegan, gluten-free}

15 Jun

Let’s talk about chickpeas. I’m convinced they’re magical. Seriously, there must be some sorcerer out there who conjured up these little beans to do whatever you wanted them to do. Ok, they can’t do the dishes or take out the trash, but they can do pretty everything culinarily!

They’re high in protein, fiber, manganese, folate, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Chickpeas are great to include in your diet to control blood sugar levels, assist in weight loss, improve digestion, and protect against heart disease and cancer. Source: Dr. Axe)

chickpeas

You can transform them into a dip, process them into pasta, toss them into salads and soups, shred them into sandwich spreads, roast them for a snack, form them into a burger, make savory waffles, and even dry and pulverize them into a flour.

Yes, I have finally found the wonder that is chickpea flour, also known as gram flour. It’s naturally vegan and gluten free. It’s low cost and high protein. It’s flavorful and nutty. And it’s incredibly versatile, ranging in use from savory to sweet!

Socca Mexican Pizza | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

I picked up a bag of chickpea flour at a local imported goods grocery store, with nothing much in mind as to how I’d use it. I just have a habit of buying ingredients and THEN figuring out how to cook with them πŸ™‚

So finally, I gave it a shot. I found a “chickpea flour pizza” recipe (aka Socca pizza) on Epicurious and adjusted it again and again before I found the perfect combination of ingredients, cooking time, and ideal temperatures.

Socca Mexican Pizza | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

It’s a hard life making and eating so much healthy pizza!

Each iteration was better than the last, but not quite. I wanted something you could pick up and eat like a piece of pizza. And I didn’t want the toppings to be simply tomatoes and basil. This recipe is a result of all that testing and topping experimentation, which I hope you enjoy!

If you’re concerned you won’t use up an entire bag of chickpea flour, I recommend buying from the bulk bins at your local Whole Foods or organic foods store. However, this flour keeps well, and I promise you’ll want to add this pizza into your regular recipe rotation! It’s a million times easier than making traditional pizza crust, which requires rising time, kneading, and crazy high oven temps.

Socca Mexican Pizza | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Socca Mexican Pizza

Serves 2

  • 2/3 C gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 C warm water
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp each of sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 C diced bell pepper
  • 1/4 C frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 C meatless Mexican Crumbles, like LightLife
  • 2/3 C shredded dairy-free mozzarella cheese

In a medium bowl, whisk together the gram flour with 1/3 cup of the warm water to create a paste. Then whisk in the other 2/3 cup water until you have a smooth, liquid batter. Set aside to hydrate for at least 30 minutes, up to two hours.

Turn on the broiler in your oven.

Heat an oven-safe frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high on the stovetop. Pour in the oil and let that heat through.

Whisk the spices and herbs into the batter. Make sure the oil is coating the entire skillet and pour in the batter. Let this cook on the stove for 5 minutes.

Once cooked, turn off the heat. Layer the veggies over the crust, then the meatless crumbles, and finally the cheese. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook 4-5 minutes, turning the skillet around halfway through.

Once the cheese has browned and the crust looks like all liquid spots have set, remove the pizza (careful – the handle will be HOT!).

Slice the pizza into four pieces and use a spatula to transfer them to your plates. Enjoy hot!

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches

9 Jun

I received free samples of Breton Crackers mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Breton Crackers and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I’ve become somewhat of a weather-app-checking freak every time I set out to train for a race. Will the weather be good enough for my long runs? Will I get caught in the rain? Do I need to wait or go sooner to avoid high temps or bad storms? My weather app is probably the most-used app on my phone as a result!

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Which is why, when planning this weekend’s running, I was disheartened to see 90 degree highs for Saturday through Tuesday. Wisconsin seriously has something against spring time, because I swear we jumped from winter to summer overnight. It’s ridiculous.

I don’t like running super early in the morning, but it looks like it’s either that or I suffer throughΒ the heat! Luckily, as I think about the half marathon that is just two weeks away, I know that it’s an early start time, so in most cases, we should be fine.

Speaking of hot weekends, it’s just about time to start whipping up allllll the nice cream for easy scooping to beat the heat. If you haven’t jumped on board the nice cream train, let me give you the low-down.

Rather than sugar- and fat-filled ice cream or frozen custard or froyo, nice cream is simply made by pureeing frozen bananas with a splash of milk and flavoring agents of your choice. In the mood for a protein boost? Chocolate protein powder tastes great as an addition. Want something fruity? Throw in a handful of berries. Going for a classic ice cream flavor? Toss in the toppings of your choice and drizzle with homemade date caramel or magic shell (melt coconut oil with cocoa powder, stir, and cover your nice cream- the oil will solidify on contact with the cold nice cream!). It’s a wonderful dessert that you will always feel good about.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

So when I was eating some of theseΒ Breton Artisanal Sweet Potato and Ancient Grains crackers on their own, I was totally inspired! Why not use these as the “sandwich” part to a nice cream sandwich? These crackers are pretty magical. They’re made of ancient grains, like rye and quinoa, have sweet potato baked right in, and are still somehow light and flaky. Sure, plain vanilla nice cream could suffice, but I wanted to kick up the flavor party with the addition of strawberry and chocolate layers. The resulting Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches are a hearty, healthy dessert that perfectly join together the slightly salty, crispy crackers with a guilt-free filling. A wonderfully satisfying snack or appetizer on a hot day!

I’m super excited about these. Make them now – you’ll thank me when it’s 90 degrees in your neighborhood!

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 15 sandwiches

Line a 9×13″ baking dish with plastic wrap. Lay half of the crackers bottom side up on the sheet, making sure they touch each other but do not overlap.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In a food processor, puree all the bananas with the nondairy milk and vanilla. Remove 1/3 of the banana mixture from the food processor bowl and spread this on top of the layer of crackers, being careful not to break the crackers. Place in the freezer to firm up.

From the remaining banana mixture, remove half to another bowl; set aside (this would be another 1/3 of the original mixture). Into the food processor, add the quartered strawberries and puree again until completely smooth. Spread this on top of the frozen vanilla layer. Place in the freezer again.

Wipe out your food processor bowl and blade with a clean cloth and then place the final 1/3 of the banana mixture back in, along with the sea salt and cocoa powder. Puree together until incorporated. Spread this mixture onto the vanilla and strawberry layers. Place the other half of the crackers on top, following the same pattern you did for the bottom layer. Make sure these crackers face up.

Freeze the nice cream sandwiches for at least an hour, or until firm.

Remove the pan from the freezer, and let sit out a few minutes to allow the nice cream to soften a bit. Use a sharp knife to cut out the sandwiches from the layer of nice cream, again being careful not to break the crackers.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Transfer sandwiches to a plate and place them back in the freezer to harden again.

Serve cold and enjoy! Leftovers can be transferred to a freezer-safe container and eaten one at a time.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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