Sunday, December 21, 2014

Coconut Berry Delight!

This easy elegant desert is fancy enough for the holidays and it is completely natural, high in fiber and protein, with no added fats or sugars!

Simple, Vegan, Healthy!

For each serving you will need:

Coconut, dried & shredded --  scant 1/4 cup
Allspice,  dried & powdered -- dash
Chia seeds, raw, whole -- 2 teaspoons
Berry nectar or juice -- 1/4 cup +
Optional, fennel sprigs for garnish
Individual desert cups or 4 ounce jelly jars

Mix dry ingredients (coconut, allspice, & chia seed) for each serving in individual cups or jars. Gently pour juice over the mixed dry ingredients and give it a few minutes to soak in.  Stir gently to evenly moisten coconut mixture, adding a little extra if necessary.  Cover (the little canning jars come in handy for this) and let sit for 4 - 6 hours to jell, or over night. If the weather or your kitchen is on the warm side, you may want to let it sit in the fridge, in which case the jelling will take up to 12 hours.  Once jelled, it can be refrigerated for up to 12 hours before serving.

Serve in cups or jars, or invert on to a serving plate.  If inverting, use the back of a wooden spoon to pat into shape if needed.  Garnish as desired and pour a tablespoon of berry juice over the top for that haute cuisine effect.

Go Organic!

All my ingredients (except the garnish) came from Azure Standard, and they all are organic!  Azure Standard ships by truck and UPS all over the continental US, so if you live in the 'lower 48' and can get UPS delivery you can get organic!  I use their bilberry nectar, which I really like, but any juice or nectar can be used. If you canned or froze your own fruit nectar, that would be awesome!  Concord grape, cherry, or purple plum would be equally delicious . . .

Fermentation Nation!

I pro-biotic preferment my bilberry nectar, in the fridge, right in the bottles they come in.  I started out, a number of years ago,  with a pro-biotic fermented juice product that I really liked, however it is no longer on the market.  I simply poured out 1/4 cup of the freshly opened juice, and poured in 1/4 cup of the bottled fermented juice as starter, and put it in the fridge for a couple of days. When the fermented juice product was no longer available, over a year ago, I switched to using a 1/4 cup of my last batch to start the next batch.  If you have a favorite raw pro-biotic fermented juice product and you want to try fermenting your own juice, the one you like would probably make a great starter.   If you don't have a favorite,  when visiting your local co-op or health food store ask them if they have any pro-biotic fermented juice products. There are many different strains of fermenting starters and they all give a different flavor to the end product, so taste testing is best.  However, you can also buy or order starters for home fermenting.

The only possible risk, that I know of, with home fermenting, is the possibility of  catching a wild culture that may cause spoilage. It is even remotely possible to catch something that might make you sick. With this in mind, it is important to keep your kitchen and your fridge clean and free of spoiling food, and to take the compost out frequently, so you don't have a source of mold spores or other organisms that contribute to spoilage. Reading a good book on fermenting is also a good idea for beginners, your local health food store or co-op can probably recommend something that focuses on what you want to ferment.

I use home fermented bilberry nectar to make my Coconut Berry Delight.  The fermented nectar is thicker and the flavor is more complex and intense.  The thickness allows one to use slightly more nectar and still get the end result to jell and mound on the plate. The intensity of the fermented berry flavor nearly completely overpowers the much more subtly flavored coconut. 


Hey, I've been here twice this week!  I probably won't be keeping that up, but I will stop in once in a while.  There is really a tremendous amount of information here on gardening as well as a little on cooking and food prep. 

Guess what?  Speaking of gardening, fennel is in season in most mild climates right now.  If you don't have it out in the garden, you can probably find it on a well stocked produce counter . . . .

Meanwhile if  you have questions or tips to share, please feel free!


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