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The Bermudian

Valentines Day is coming quick and before we know it we will be buying our loved ones over priced Hallmark cards and red velvet cupcakes. But wait, what if I could save you from both of these disasters? Read on!

Bermuda strawberries have been popping up at local farm stands and markets across the island. When in season (albeit a brief season), fresh local strawberries are deep in color all the way through to the core and taste like strawberries actually should. Strawberries are incredibly nutritious and only days out of the ground they are full of healthy promoting properties. The best way to enjoy them is simple – freshly washed and by the bowlful. Second to that is a classic strawberry milkshake or cheesecake. The creaminess plays perfectly with the sweet pucker of the berries and their flavor shines through in the best way.

Our cheesecake is rich and satisfying – but much lighter than a classic and allergen friendly without any dairy or refined sugar. For those shorter on time or who are looking for a single serving sweet treat – we have a whole food strawberries milkshake, using a similar base but even lighter.



Bermuda Strawberry Cheesecake (whole foods, dairy+ gluten free)

At a cooking class at The Chef Shop this summer I made a tropical mango and passion fruit cheesecake for 40 guests with great success. We had ladies licking plates and searching for seconds. Although the concept of cashews in a dairy free cheesecake is not mine, this cheesecake recipe is something that has been developed and tested a handful of times to get the perfect ratios and flavor in my kitchen. It is an incredible base that is so versatile with whichever fruit is seasonal. Disclaimer: it does involve a bit of planning – to soak cashews and set the cheesecake.


Image from Hot For Food Blog


INGREDIENTS:

Crust
2 Cups pecans, lightly toasted
½ Cup medjool dates, pitted
Pinch of sea salt

“Cheese Filling”
1 ½ Cups cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours
2 lemons, juiced
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ Cup unrefined coconut oil
¼ Cup maple syrup
3 Tablespoons water
½ Cup strawberries


METHOD:

1. Prepare a regular cheesecake mold.
2. In a high-speed blender, add the soaked cashews, lemon juice, vanilla extract, coconut oil and honey. Blend until very creamy and smooth – adding water as necessary. This might take a few minutes, be patient! Set aside when finished. It should be very creamy.
3. In a food processor, pulse dates and nuts. You want to still have some nut chunks. You want to be able to smooch the mixture between your fingers and have it hold together.
4. Add the date mixture to the bottom of the pan, press down evenly.
5. Add the filling, leaving about ¼ cup in the blender.
6. Add the strawberries to the blender and blend the mixture until smooth and creamy, it should still be quite thick.
7. Add the strawberry cream to the pan for the top layer. Using a sharp point, you can swirl the white base with the cream base to create a swirl design. This is optional!
8. Set in the freezer for at least 5 hours, until frozen.
9. When read to serve, remove about 1 hour in advance so the cheesecake can thaw enough to be ‘cheese’ like. Don’t leave in direct sun light. Careful when cutting – it may be a little fragile!

Serve with a few slices of fresh strawberries!

 


Bermuda Strawberry Milkshake (DF)


This original recipe shakes things up (!) a little by taking the milk out of the milkshake (allergen friendly) and boosting with everyday superfoods. Sinfully delicious but Oh So Good for you. We pair strawberries with raw cashews for a dose of healthy fats and protein that slows the release of the natural sugars in the berries and keeps us going longer. Their fiber content also helps with this too. We only use ¼ of a frozen banana to ensure this does not go from a strawberry milkshake to the well-known strawberry banana smoothie.

Enjoy this ‘milkshake’ as a well-balanced breakfast or for a sweet afternoon treat. Better yet – grab two straws and share with your better half.

1 ½ C. Bermuda strawberries, washed
¼ C. raw cashews, soaked
1 ½ C.  Plant based milk, unsweetened (hemp, coconut, almond, sesame)
¼ frozen banana (Bermuda bananas hello!)

Simply blend ingredients together and enjoy in a tall mason jar.

 

NOTES:
If you cannot find Bermuda strawberries – I would go for frozen over imported fresh. Debatably they are more nutritious and they will have better flavor. Let them defrost for a few minutes before use.
If you are doing the cheesecake for a small crowd of just your loved one, try using muffin molds for individuals cheesecakes – that way you can keep the rest in the freezer for a sweet treat for weekends to come!




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