Tag Archives: Raspberries

Peanut Butter & Berry Chia Cups

Peanut butter, berries & chia breakfast cups, oh my!

Peanut butter, berries & chia breakfast cups, oh my!

Yum, peanut butter & berries, is there anything better? Well, yeah, maybe, but this combo is still one of my classic favorites.  This recipe is an easy make ahead breakfast or snack, with a little pre-planning, you can have a delicious and satisfying light meal ready to grab and go for those mornings or afternoons when you just have no time to prep. 

 

PB & Berry Chia Cup topped with Berry Jam

PB & Berry Chia Cup topped with Berry Jam

I have been a fan of the mighty chia seed for some time now and enjoy them almost daily.  I love chia seeds stirred into my yogurt, mixed into a bowl of berries and in quick breads and muffins like my Lemon Chia Tea Cake. What I have not been a fan of, not even willing or interested in trying…is one of the many recipes for chia puddings flooding the blogosphere and pinterest.  Why?  I don’t know, just the thought of gelatinized goo just never appealed, even though I know one of chia seeds greatest features is that they DO gel up, but for some reason, I really, really like the little crunchy bite of chia seeds before they get all wet and gooey.  That was, until a few months ago when Dana at the Minimilast Baker posted her Peanut Butter & Blueberry Chia Puddings and oh my, they looked so delicious I just wanted to dive into my computer screen and eat one immediately! 

Chia Cups topped with berries, peanut butter and berry compote

Chia Cups topped with berries, peanut butter and berry compote

So by the next day, I dove right into my kitchen and made up my own version and then I made them 3 more times in the next couple of weeks and then made some more, because they were that good!  Now, of course I did change up Dana’s recipe just a bit to suit my own tastes.  I used both homemade almond and coconut milks, since I’ve been making those for several months now with great delight (see tips for making your own at the end of the recipe!).  I also prefer raspberries and blackberries with peanut butter to Dana’s blueberries and…since I was new to the whole gelling chia world I decided to use a tad less chia seeds in my cups then the original just to get my feet wet, but I think my combo here is just perfect and I hope you agree! 

peanut butter and berry chia cup topped with a blackberry

peanut butter and berry chia cup topped with a blackberry

And one more note of encouragement to any of you out there who have not yet discovered all the wonders of chia seeds…even my daughter Skyler, who has had for a long time a strange “fear” of chia seeds, LOVES these chia cups!  So go ahead, give it a try, they are nutritious and delicious…

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Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart

Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart

Growing up, Colin and his sisters created what became their family’s favorite special occasion decadent treat, aptly named “chocolate death cake”.  The creation was a combination of a boxed chocolate cake mix with chocolate pudding mix and extra chocolate chips all mixed together and baked up with raspberry jam spread between the two finished cake layers, topped with (canned) chocolate frosting, not bad actually for kids growing up way back in the 80’s!  If you ask me, chocolate and raspberries are such a perfect combination, even with a highly processed cake mix it’s still pretty damn good, although it is hard for me to get past the canned frosting. So, a few years after we married, I started tinkering with the recipe, one to make it a bit more “homemade” and two to “gourmet it up”.  Over the years, I’ve made many different versions of “chocolate death cake” to celebrate Colin’s birthday, originally sticking a bit more to the traditional idea and then veering off into the flourless cake realm. For this year’s version, I created a decadently delicious chocolate ganache tart with a raspberry cream layer and believe it or not, it’s gluten free, dairy free and vegan!  But, please don’t let that scare you off, even the most diehard chocolate fan won’t notice the difference.

Last Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law Megan requested that I contribute something chocolaty and decadent for dessert, for which I made a slightly adapted version of vegan chocolate truffles from Giada’s latest cookbook “Giada’s Feel Good Food”.  Homemade cashew cream replaced the traditional heavy cream in the truffles and they were a huge hit! So, when I was planning Colin’s birthday treat, I decided to use the same recipe but transform it into a tart.  The cashew cream recipe creates more than is needed for the chocolate ganache, so I decided to mix up some of the extra cream with frozen raspberries and a little raspberry jam to sandwich between two layers of the ganache, the result was good enough to share and then some. Frozen Raspberries

For the crust, I toyed between a few different ideas; graham cracker, chocolate cookie crumb, etc but ultimately decided to make a wheat and butter free crust just to keep with the theme (adapted from Suburban Girl Gone Country’s almond oat crust).  I used ground oats which I’m happy to eat in most anything and ground almonds which I think go particularly well with raspberries.  I added a little maple syrup for sweetness and moisture, plus coconut oil.  The crust looks beautiful and elegant and has a nice slightly crumbly texture.  There is a subtle flavor of coconut, as Skyler (hater of all things coconut) immediately pointed out.  So if you’re also not a fan, I think any flavorless oil would be okay to sub, or butter if you don’t need to keep it dairy free. 

The end result of this beautiful tart is not only perfect for the chocolate lover in your life (especially if that person is you!), good enough to serve to company or for any special occasion, but you can also feel good knowing you’re eating a treat that won’t send you into cardiac arrest. It might even be a little bit good for you too, the cashew cream provides healthy fats, protein and fiber, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, oats and almonds are heart healthy and even the coconut oil is good for you! So go on and indulge and feel free to keep the healthy secrets to yourself, no one needs to know the decadent dessert you’re serving is actually good for them.

Colin’s Birthday Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart back view

Ingredients:

Tart Crust adapted from the blog the suburban girl gone country

1 cup Almond Meal

1 cup Oat Flour

¼ teaspoon Sea Salt

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

1 Tablespoon Water

½ teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Ganache Fillingadapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food – vegan chocolate truffles

2/3 cup Cashew Cream – recipe follows

2 cups semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate – chips or chopped from bars (full disclosure, I use my favorite 60% cocoa chips from Ghiradelli, which are not dairy free, but if needed use your favorite dairy free chocolate)

1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup

Raspberry Cream Filling

1 cup fresh or frozen Raspberries

2 Tablespoons Raspberry Jam (seedless if you prefer)

1/3 cup Cashew Cream

Directions:

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl combine, Almond Meal, ½ cup of the Oat Flour and salt.  Next add in Coconut Oil, Maple Syrup and Vanilla.  Mix completely with a fork, then add in the remaining half cup of Oat Flour and the water.  Continue to mix with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand. IMG_5943

Lightly coat a tart shell (I use a 10 inch one with a removable bottom) with a little extra coconut oil and then pour in the crust mixture.  With clean hands (you could also use a piece of wax paper or parchment), press the crust into the shell, pushing up the sides until it is even all around the sides and bottom.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Note: if you wish to use the crust for a tart with a baked filling, only bake the tart for 8-10 minutes before filling and baking again.  Either way, allow the tart shell to completely cool before filling.

For the Cashew Cream:

Cashew CreamSoak 1 cup Raw Unsalted Cashews in 1 cup water for at least two hours or overnight.  In a high powered blender, blend soaked Cashews and Water about 1 minute until creamy.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

In a bowl over a small pot with slightly simmering water, add Chocolate and 2/3 cup of the Cashew Cream, stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the cashew cream.  Once the chocolate is melted and thoroughly mixed with the cream, remove from the heat and add in Vanilla and Maple Syrup.  Allow to cool.

For the Raspberry Cream:

In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat, add in Raspberries, Jam and 1/3 cup Cashew Cream.  Stir and gently press the raspberries to break them up until everything is melted together.  If you don’t like the texture of the raspberry seeds (which I don’t mind at all), strain cooled raspberry cream through a small strainer, otherwise use the cream as is.

Finally to assemble the tart: (really the recipe comes together pretty quickly)Chocolate Ganache first layer

Raspberry Cream middle layer

Chocolate Ganache Top Layer

Pour about half of the cooled chocolate ganache into the cooled tart crust.  Carefully spread the ganache to completely cover the crust.  Chill for about 15 minutes in the fridge.

After 15 minutes, spread all of the raspberry cream over the ganache.  Place in the fridge to chill again.

After another 15 minutes, spread the remaining chocolate ganache over the chilled tart.  I leave about ½ inch of the raspberry cream around the edges exposed without covering in ganache.

Chill again in the refrigerator, this time for at least an hour to allow the ganache to fully firm up.Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart with whipped cream

Serve the tart with fresh raspberries and cream.  If you don’t need to keep your dessert vegan or dairy free, lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream is a perfect accompaniment.  Otherwise, whip up the remaining cashew cream (you should still have about 1/3 to ½ cup left) with a bit of maple syrup and serve that alongside the finished tart OR double the raspberry cashew cream recipe and use the leftover as a topping.  Raspberry sorbet would also be really good. Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Tart with fresh raspberries

Recipe Notes:

If you don’t have almond or oat flour, each can easily be made using whole or slivered almonds or whole oats ground in a high powered blender or food processor.  I also like using organic baby oatmeal cereal in place of oat flour.

Click here for printable version

Raspberry Sauce for Pancakes or Waffles

Pancakes and waffles while being served semi frequently in our home are still always a special treat for the family.  All I have to do is merely mention the idea of making either and Evan immediately requests (demands) Raspberry Sauce!  It’s an easy but oh so tasty addition to the weekend brunch and I highly recommend you add it to yours.  Your family will thank you (hopefully with squeals of delight, smiles and great big hugs)!

IMG_2533

Raspberry Sauce for Pancakes and Waffles

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

 

Ingredients:

1 bag defrosted Frozen Raspberries (about 10 ounces)

1 – 2 Tablespoons Sugar

1 – 2 Tablespoons Raspberry or Blackberry Jam

A little Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

A little Water, if needed

 

Directions:

 

In a small saucepan, add the raspberries, sugar and jam.  Cook over low to medium heat, occasionally stirring and breaking up the raspberries with the back of the spoon.  Add a little water if the sauce is too thick.  Just before serving add a bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice. 

 

The sauce comes together rather quickly as it’s merely a matter of heating up the raspberries enough to break them down and warm through.  Start it as you begin cooking your pancakes and waffles and just leave on the stove to stay warm until ready to serve.

 

Remove from heat and pour sauce into a small pitcher to serve.  Enjoy! IMG_2526

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