Summertime, and the livin’s easy. OK, it’s only Spring, but strawberries are everywhere now, begging to be taken home and savored. Growing up in London, Ontario, Canada, I had to wait until late June for strawberry season. Even though I’ve resided in Southern California for more than 10 years, when those juicy little beauties hit the stores each Spring, I think I’ve hit the jackpot.
The problem? Perhaps it’s still a little too early, but over the past few weeks of visiting the little organic farmer’s market near our home, I’ve notice the full sweetness of the fruit has yet to be revealed. But I can’t resist. (Neither can Little Joseph who makes an immediate beeline to them!) My solution? Transform them into something as grand as the beautiful fruit deserves, something that will treat the tongue the berry’s later-season potential—without adding any refined sugars, of course!
Raw Strawberry Pie
First, make the Pie Shell:
It is very important to first grind the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Then, add the dates and vanilla, and blend well. Press thinly into a pie plate (from center to the outside rim) to form the shell.
Then, blend the following ingredients in food processor or blender until well mixed:
7 or 8 Large ripe strawberries
5 soft dates, pitted
2 bananas, fairly ripe
1 Tbs. agave nectar
Next, cut 1 pint of fresh strawberries into quarters, fold into binder and fill shell. Decorate with sliced strawberries. Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly before serving.
This raw recipe is not only yummy and kid-friendly, but high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, antioxidents and is a decent source of protein and vitamin E. If you have an artful hand for arranging sliced strawberries, it makes a pretty dish for a brunch or dessert. Even though it calls for two (high-glycemic) bananas, I minimize the overall glycemic load by replacing the dates with pitted prunes.
Special note: Our little neighborhood organic farmer offers a one-two punch of good nutrition; while organic is most always a better choice (who wants to eat pesticide, after all?) much must be said for supporting your local farmer. See this wonderful article written by John Cloud for Time magazine about the organic-vs.-local debate. OK, now let’s get eating!