Mixed Berry ‘nice cream’ smoothie (Vegan, Paleo)

I love Instagram! Don’t know why I stayed away from it for so long! I am loving meeting different food bloggers and seeing their inspiring creations!  Am I inspired? Nope, I am floored! Gosh, so much talent out there and so many young kiddos creating such cool stuff. One of my favorite things in the morning (whilst waking up in bed) is to quickly check out the insta posts to get inspiration for my morning breakfast smoothie. These days along with smoothies, a new healthy deliciousness has been trending – ‘nice creams’!  He He, ‘nice cream’ sounds a bit shady but it  is nothing but a healthy version of ‘ice-cream’ which uses only fruits and other vegan ingredients.  Most recipes use frozen bananas to get the ‘nice cream’ texture. And then with that as the base, you can add different fruits – frozen or otherwise of your choice and blend everything to a creamy, smooth ‘nice cream’ texture 🙂 Oh so yum!

So these days mixed berries nice cream is my favorite afternoon snack to satisfy my sweet cravings!  I make sure I keep a few slices of bananas in the freezer at all times so i am adequately prepared to meet my cravings 🙂 The other morning I woke up to see a couple nice cream posts and oh, boy I started craving for one right away. So I decided to make a smoothie ‘nice cream’ for breakfast. A couple dashes of coconut milk gave it the perfect smoothie/nice cream texture. I made a separate blueberry compote to give it some additional richness and sophistication 🙂 Hey, you’ve gotta love your breakfast!

Hope you get inspired by this post to come up with some lovely creations of your own. Please do share with me! Btw, looks like spring is almost here! Yay!

Mixed Berry 'nice cream' smoothie (Vegan, Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack, Dessert
Cuisine: Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Mixed berries blended with frozen bananas and a dash of coconut milk to create this healthy and delicious 'nice cream' with a topping of blueberry sauce/compote
Ingredients
For the nice cream:
  • 1 banana, peeled, sliced and frozen for 3 hours or more
  • 1 cup mixed berries (I used combination of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries - if using frozen, thaw them to room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream or thick coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
For the blueberry compote(sauce):
  • ½ cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
  • ¼ cup water
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch mixed in 2 tbsp water to form a slurry
Instructions
  1. In a small cooking pot, add the blueberries, water, salt and maple syrup and cook for about 4-5 mins until the blueberries turn soft. Add the tapioca slurry and mix on low heat for another 2-3 minutes till you get a thick sauce. Turn heat off and transfer sauce to a container.
  2. Blend all the ingredients under 'nice cream' in a high speed blender until you get a creamy smooth consistency (should be like slightly thawed ice-cream)
  3. Take a tall glass or jar. Add some blueberry sauce on the bottom. Add 'nice cream' on top and drizzle more sauce on top. Top with berries!

 

Happy 4th July! : A very berry tart

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4th of July usually means staying home but staying outdoors, grilling and lots a fun! This year we had made plans to get away with friends to the beach. And we were all so looking forward to that when Arthur decided to pour water (literally!) over all our plans!  Husband and son were thrilled – they had been silently praying that we could just stay home and watch the World Cup. 🙂 So that’s what we ended up doing which actually turned out quite fun too! In fact the fun is still continuing tonight as I type this post. Having changed plans last minute, I began to wonder what dessert I could make. And then as I was still pondering about that I picked up the July issue of ‘Better Homes and Garden‘ and guess what I saw! A red,blue and white tart with fresh raspberries and blueberries! How adorable and healthy too with all the colorful berries! Only problem was it was already close to midnight then. I looked longingly at my husband with the biggest and  the most pleading look I could muster and asked him ‘Hon, when you wake up tomorrow morning, will you have time……’ My husband of 15 years instantly got the message ‘OK, so what do you want me to get ?’ ‘just blueberries and raspberries,honey and you are the best!’ 🙂

I had to modify the recipe a little bit since I did not have some ingredients and hubby got less raspberries than what the recipe called for(and obviously I could not send him out again! ). So I decided to mix up strawberries too! The recipe also was for a large size tart and I decided to do a smaller version.

I was nervous cutting out the stripes(I am never good at such crafty stuff!)  and I could not find my ‘star’ cookie cutter so just made small dots for the stars. But despite all this, the tart turned out beautiful! So pretty and patriotic! It was a true winner!

Happy 4th July everyone! I am also bringing this pie to ‘Fiesta Friday’ this week!

Happy 4th July! : A very berry tart

  • Servings: About 12 servings, a 13 by 9 inch rectangular pan
  • Time: about 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the crust( Use only half of this dough and freeze the rest):

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups cold unsalted butter

about 1/2 cup ice cold water

For the raspberry and strawberry filling:

3 cups  raspberries plus 3 cups strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp cornstarch

For the blueberry filling:

1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp corn starch

Method:

Take a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub the butter pieces in with the flour. Then add the ice cold water 1 tbsp at a time and mix using your hands slowly to form a dough. (Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer to form the dough)

Place the dough on the kitchen counter and knead gently to form a big ball. Cut into half and make two small balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze one ball for use later.

Out of the remaining ball, make two smaller bowls with one ball being 2/3 rd of the dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill both the balls in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, prepare the fillings separately in two different bowls by just mixing all the ingredients in a bowl. Keep aside.

Pre heat oven to 350 deg F.

Take the chilled dough balls out of the fridge. Lay a parchment paper sheet on the counter and sprinkle flour generously over it. Take the larger dough ball and roll into a rectangle to fit into a 13″ by 9″ rectangular pan. Use your hands to press dough into sides of pan.  Prick the bottom of the pan with a fork. Keep the pan in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Now take the rest of the dough and roll into a rectangle shape and cut into 4 long strips.  Also cut 2 small strips.  With the remaining dough make star shapes or small dots. Chill these also in the parchment paper for 10-15 mins.

When ready, get the pan and the shapes out of the fridge. Take the blueberry filling and pour on the upper left hand corner of the rectangular pan. Then add the raspberry and strawberry filling in the surrounding 3/4 th portion to fill the pan completely.

Now take the long strips and place across the length of the pan.  Take the small strips and place on the upper right hand corner. Add the star shapes over the blueberries.

Bake at 350 F for 60-70 minutes until the crust turns golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

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