Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch

Growing up in a Mennonite household meant a lot of delicious desserts.  One of those was Strawberry-Rhubarb Crunch.  I have always love the sweet but tart taste of rhubarb.  When I got to Washington, I realized that my sister had rhubarb cleaned and diced in her fridge.  I immediately decided to bake something with it.

Hope pulled out her Mennonite Cookbook and we went for it.  The recipe does not call for strawberries, but I had to include them.  I replaced half of the rhubarb the recipe called for with strawberries.

I simply used vegan ingredients to replace the dairy and butter, and we were good to go. Mix the first half of the ingredients per the recipe, I would recommend adding a little bit of coconut oil to the crumble.  The Earth Balance didn’t seem to moisten it enough, and a TBSP of coconut oil added a nice flavor.

 

Half this mix gets pressed into the bottom of your pan like a crust.  After that mix the strawberry and rhubarb together and add over the bottom crust.

Then you will cook the glaze that goes over the fruit.  I stirred almost constantly, but my sister said to stir occasionally instead.  That helped it thicken faster.

It should get pretty clear, but the vanilla will give it a slightly brown color, so don’t wait for it to be completely clear. It should look like this:

The glaze goes over the fruit, then top with the remainder of the crumb mixture.

Yes, I am a messy baker and cook.  Don’t judge me.  Also, bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  This is what you will get when you are done.  Give it time to rest or it will be very liquidy.  I made that word up, but it fits.  Just trust me…give it about 20 minutes to an hour to reabsorb the liquid.

Recipe:

 

 

 


Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry season is in full bloom in lower Delaware. This means fresh berries for topping cereal, yogurt, and ice cream. And if you grew up in my family, it also meant strawberry pie, shortcakes, and sweet freezer jam. My sister knew that I would want to enjoy some tastes of home while I was in town.

The day before I got into town, she picked 11 quarts of berries at a local farm and made some vegan strawberry shortcakes for me.  She also took me to the farm where she picks her strawberries and the owner was kind enough to let me take photos and eat a few fresh berries while I was there.  They were so sweet and delicious!

The shortcake was delicious, so I asked her if I could have her recipe to share with everyone on the blog. She told me she had simply adapted the Bisquick shortcake recipe, and offered to make a second (double) batch with me so I could share it. Yeah, she’s awesome like that.

The recipe was easy and it took no time to make. Of course, there were two of us, but seriously, super fast and surprisingly few ingredients. The vegan adaptions were the usual…substituting the butter and the milk. We replaced the butter with coconut oil and used Cashew Milk. This does not give the shortcakes a coconut flavor, but it does make for a light and fluffy cake.

First thing to do is mix the dry ingredients together, then make a well in the center of it. Second thing to do is mix the milk and melted coconut oil together in a separate bowl. Add this to the dry ingredients. Stir until just moist. Do not over stir!

Scoop onto a cookie pan covered in parchment paper. Try to be as consistent with the size as possible, so they will all bake up in the same time frame. The double recipe made 12 shortcakes when we measured about 1/3 cup of the batter for each.

They ended up touching when they baked, so they took about 3 minutes longer than the recipe suggested. You are looking for light golden brown on top. Pull them out, tap them on top, and listen for a slightly hollow sound. If they are left in too long, they will get overly tough on the bottom. See the light golden brown nubs?  That’s what you are looking for.

The strawberry mixture is pretty straightforward. Take the tops off, sliced them up and add sugar. We used half the amount of sugar called for by the recipe because the first time she made it, the strawberries were super sweet. I suppose it will depend on the type of strawberries you have and your own sweet tooth.

At this point, most blogs might be talking about layering shortcakes, strawberries, and whipped topping, but I didn’t grow up with that kind of strawberry shortcake. In fact, in our house, we had strawberry shortcake for dinner, not for dessert. My parents served it crumbled up with sliced strawberries and milk, and that is still my favorite way to eat it.  I think it tasted best eating it out of my mom’s old blue and white dishes.  Isn’t it wonderful how close we can feel to our parents even after they are gone?

If you prefer your strawberry shortcake as a dessert, I won’t judge at all!  So Delicious Dairy Free Coco Whip would be the bomb layered into this dish.

Recipe:

See how I did that?  That’s called lazy blogging.  😉


Fruit Salads and Yogurt Parfaits

I am a grazer.  I don’t believe in three meals a day.  I need snacks.  In case you can’t tell, I eat a lot of food.  If I am being perfectly honest, I eat more than Bruce does.  I get away with it by eating healthier than he does.  I love fruit salads.  They are so bright and flavorful.  Berries are a favorite for me and Skylar, so I made a lot of berry snacks while I was in STA with her.  I look for organic, because berries are on the dirty list!

I think we eat with our eyes first, so I try to make sure snacks look as good as they taste.  Fresh mint as a garnish or chopped up in the fruit salad adds a fresh element, and a sprinkle of slivered almonds or seeds look pretty and taste delicious.  For a sweet (24 grams of sugar per serving!) snack, Silk yogurt is delicious with fresh fruit.  The first yogurt parfait has layers of vanilla soy yogurt, kiwi, mango, and slivered almonds, topped with fresh blackberries.  The second parfait has raspberries, sunflowers, chia seeds, pistachios, and half of a vegan anzac buiscuit.  Silk yogurt also comes in a Peach-Mango, Blueberry, and Strawberry flavors any of these are amazing in place of Vanilla.  Don’t be afraid to try new flavor combos with yogurt, fruit, berries, seeds and nuts!  I do it all the time, as you can see.  🙂

 

I also play with different fruit combinations in my fruit salads.  The one below was inspired by a papaya I found in the produce section at Publix.  It was small, so I knew none of it would go to waste and it was perfectly ripe and ready to go.  The bananas were perfect as well, so I couldn’t pass those up.  I already had kiwi and berries in the fridge, so I knew I had a good combo on my hands.

The last one I make all summer long.  It’s especially delicious on a hot day when the watermelon is cold, local, and fresh.  The key is freshly squeezed lime juice.  Once you have cut your watermelon into bite sized pieces, toss it with blackberries, sliced mint, and freshly squeezed lime juice.  It’s so cooling and delicious.  I bet it’s your new go to summer fruit salad.

I hope you are inspired to try your own fruit or berry salad, or maybe a yogurt parfait.  If you are, post a comment with a photo.  What is your favorite combination?  I’d love to try it.