Strawberries are out and cherries are in. Seasonal eating at its best, right?
While I originally planned for a strawberry-filled birthday brunch, I worked towards the next seasonal fruit: cherries.
What do you think of first after I say cherry?
Please don’t say cherry red macronucleoli.
(Gosh, the July 1st studying mode has made its way into my blogging, ack!)
Now you’re talking.
The Naked Sprout‘s brunch menu inspired me again to try my hand at raw crepes. While I had the raspberry banana coconut pancakes, Rob had the chocolate coconut crepes with banana and a blueberry cashew whipped cream drizzled with an ancho chocolate sauce and a strawberry compote. What a tasty mouthful!
Not so fancy for my home-grown brunch, though. We are aiming for stress-free gatherings, not stress-inducing gatherings!
In the end, I decided to pair the local, fresh cherries with an almost raw chocolate banana crepe and an almond-coconut cream. All of which I could make in advance and allow guests to assemble themselves.
I was scared of thin raw wraps since my raw zucchini wraps were a bit finicky. I have made these a few times, so let me assure you that these are easy to make. The Vitamix makes for a smooth batter and adding the flax seeds last gives you some time to work the batter into a thin sheet. I wanted round crepes, but here, you make a big sheet of a wrap and then cut out your desired shape. It is much easier to make a consistency thin wrap if it is one big sheet. Rest assured that the extra pieces of crepe were not wasted and went straight into my belly. This wrap has a nice chocolate flavour with a hint of banana and very pliable.
I paired the wrap with a coconut-based cream. Now that Rob is gaining experience with opening coconuts, I ventured with a coconut recipe. I contemplated making a macadamia-based whipped cream but cheap coconuts from Chinatown won that battle. I paired it with almond extract for a strong almond flavour, almost begging to be paired with cherries.
Top with sliced almonds, this was a glorious brunch… or dessert.. and quite a great way to introduce my friends to raw cuisine, if I may say so myself.
Sometimes simple is all you need, because the simple flavours melded so well together.
This is being submitted to this month’s Breakfast Club featuring holiday treats, to this week’s Raw Food Thursdays, to this week’s potluck party for fruit dishes, to this week’s Weekend Wellness and to this month‘s Simple and in Season.
Almost Raw Chocolate Banana Crepes with Almond-Coconut Cream and Cherries
Adapted from Vegan Culinary Crusade
1 recipe Chocolate Banana Crepes (see below)
1-2 recipes Almond-Coconut Cream (see below)
1-2 cups cherries, pitted and chopped
2 tbsp sliced almonds
1. Prior to serving, place almond-coconut cream on half of the crepe. Top with cherries. Fold crepe. Top with sliced almonds.
Chocolate Banana Crepes
1 cup sliced banana (2 bananas)
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1. In a food processor fitted with its S-blade, puree the banana,and water until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup and pulse to combine. Add the flax seeds and pulse briefly until combined. The batter will now become much more thick.
2. Spread the batter onto 2 Teflex sheets (15×15″). Make it into a large sheet of dough. It is important to make them as even as possible. Dehydrate at 105F for 5-6 hours until they can be easily peeled off. Flip onto a plastic mesh and continue to dehydrate for 30-60 minutes so that the other side is completely dry to the touch as well.
3. On a giant cutting board, place your pliable crepe. Take a bowl and a paring knife and cut out round crepes.
4. Crepes can be stored in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a few months.
Makes 8 crepes.
1 cup young coconut meat (from 2 young coconuts)
1 tbsp agave, or to taste
2 tbsp water
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1. Use a blender (I found my Vitamix handled this better than my food processor) to blend until a smooth cream is formed. Thin to your desired consistency.
Makes 1 cup.