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Comfort Food

I must admit in the heat I have been indulging in a great amount of fresh fruit – namely strawberries and cherries – both organic! What lovely bursts of flavor – strawberries I have u-picked twice from Pilgrim’s Produce (once with kids and once solo!) and cherries supplied to the CSA members at Coldstream Creek Road Orchard. Cherry pie… add a bit of ice cream… tried making the strawberries into ice cream in our freezer as well. Turned out more like sorbet, but still delicious!

What else has been on our menu? I have been steeping fresh mint leaves each morning, adding a bit of honey (Wild Mountain, Armstrong is my choice!) and chilling it for the afternoon. Luscious. Muesli for breakfast – add fresh raspberries from our garden. Mmmmm…

Dinners? Mexican stuffed peppers to use some of the first hot-house peppers available at our local market; also some of the mixed beans that my oldest picked out at the winter market (Coldstream). Spinach Rice Bake (but made with beet greens to use them up). Split pea soup today – a REBAR favorite of ours – had to be made early so as not to heat up my cooking space which is very close to my sleeping space… and Bruschetta for a potluck wedding my husband attended on the weekend – on Edie’s homemade crackers; or Dawn’s freshly made pita bread (WOW!) – that pita bread would make a fantastic demo, maybe next year… definately a comfort food!

On account of the combination of flavors, lately my girls have been eating a lot of plain potatoes, cucumber, carrots, peas (fresh or frozen) and corn on the cob. The corn is not quite local yet but a good, simple filler for those not fond of mixed flavors.

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Pumpkin’ Cashew Tart/ carrot pudding (Dawn)

Crust:
1 ½ cups almond flour
1 cup dates
¾ cup coconut oil (option)
large pinch of sea salt
Grind almonds to a fine consistency in a food processor.
Mix until thoroughly combined. The mix should stick together enough to keep shape. Add a bit of water if needed.
Press into glass pie pan or a form with removable bottom

Filling: or just use this as pudding
2 cups carrot juice
1 cup raw cashews (soak in the carrot juice for a couple hours or more)
1 cup coconut = the cream that comes from a can of coconut milk. (Native Forest $3.70)
let me know if you find another cheeper organic brand that has a good amount of cream
The remaining milk can be used in your next smoothie
1/8 cup agave nectar or sweetener of choice
¾ cup coconut oil (melted but not hot or will congeal with mix)
1/2 cup date paste
1 T vanilla
2 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg (I think I used less)
¼ tsp cloves
¾ tsp sea salt

Blend in food processor or blender until smooth… may take a few minutes. Taste and adjust your seasoning as you like
Pour onto crust , dish (or small jars and put in freezer for kids lunches)

When Dawn made this at our meeting we were all grateful – and a big surprised – it tasted great, AND much better than we all expected! I made the pudding tonight and cooled it in the fridge to set while we all went swimming! By the time we got back it was set.

While snacking my oldest girl said “It’s surprising how smooth it gets!” – she had seen the ingredients in my processor (overflowing…) earlier. My youngest daughter said “Can I have some more tomorrow”. And my husband found it nicely rich, although he said he probably shouldn’t have eaten as much as he did… all in all a great success!

Here is a photo of where I started… finding out (the hard way) my processor was a bit too small to accomodate the liquid:

Then I blended it all up in two batches:

And, finally, the happy tummy: