Story by PATRICIA WILSON // Photos by SARAH A. MILLER // May/June 2017
It’s summertime and the living is easy, healthy and delicious. Nothing turns a lazy summer day into a celebration like fresh fruit, cobbler and ice cream.
Freshly picked berries and peaches go from garden to backyard barbecue with more versatility than you might think.
Fruit salad, a picnic staple, becomes a delectable delight when paired with a silky dipping sauce. Grilled chicken and fish take on a tangy taste with fruit-based salsa.
I’ve given cobbler and ice cream, both summer classics, a modern twist to make these treats available to those enjoying a diet free of dairy, grain, gluten and refined sugar.
The first trick to success is to read food labels and make sure to avoid sugars or corn syrup. For these recipes, I use Bionaturae organic fruit spread and Santa Cruz organic white grape juice.
The second key is to use your imagination. Fruit sauces can be pureed and served as chilled fruit soups. The salsa dressing doubles as a marinade for fish or chicken. Stuff the salsa into an avocado or tomato for a delicious salad. Ice cream and granita become smoothies by adding a favorite protein powder.
Nature’s summer gardens and orchards yield mouthwatering pleasures with an unexpected cornucopia of health benefits.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, pineapple and kiwi all have anti-cancer properties.
These fruits contain vitamin C, an important antioxidant for the immune system, a powerful infection fighter and a necessity for our skin’s collagen and elasticity.
Blueberries and peaches contain essential vitamins and minerals for healthy vision. Strawberries support our neurological system. Grapes protect against heart disease.
Pure, organic vanilla extract, a common spice in desserts and ice cream, benefits the thyroid. Cinnamon is high in calcium and is a natural antibacterial.
Celebrate summer days with nature’s goodness.
Patricia Wilson is author of “The Art of Gluten-Free Living,” a holistic resource guide blending science, medicine, spirituality and food. Go to PatriciaCWilson.com.
COCONUT ICE CREAM
1 can of full fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 packets of Stevia
3 tablespoons of honey
Blend ingredients in blender; pour into freezer-safe plastic container and seal with the lid. Freeze for about an hour and stir. Repeat the freeze/stir until you reach desired consistency. You can freeze overnight and thaw for a few seconds in the microwave.
1 tablespoon of coconut flour
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of honey
1 packet of stevia
3 tablespoons of vanilla almond milk
This makes a single serving without using a mixer or the oven. Place ingredients in glass mixing bowl and stir. Pour into an individual ramekin. Microwave for 1 minute. When cool, top with fruit sauce or spoon onto a plate. Serve with fruit sauce and ice cream.
CHERRY COCONUT GRANITA
2 cups of cherries (or 1 bag of frozen)
1 can of coconut milk
1 packet of stevia
juice of 1/2 an orange
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe plastic container and seal tightly with the lid. Allow this to freeze for an hour and then stir. Repeat the freeze/stir until the mixture is frozen to your desired consistency. The grainy consistency is similar to an Italian-style granita.
For kiwi granita, substitute the juice of ½ a lemon for the orange. Sweeten to your desired taste. For blueberry granita, make the blueberry sauce recipe and blend the mixture with one can of coconut milk, then freeze.
RASPBERRY ORANGE SALSA
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Raspberry Blush White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
the juice of half a small orange
salt and pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in a jar; cap tightly and shake well. Season to your desired taste.
Chopped green onions
Chopped oranges, pith removed
Place ingredients in glass bowl. Pour the dressing over the chopped ingredients and toss lightly. Serve over fish or chicken.
2 cups of blueberries (or 1 bag of frozen)
1 cup of red wine
1/2 cup of apricot fruit spread
1/3 cup of honey
1/4 cup of unsweetened cashew milk
For Cobbler: Place the blueberries and wine in a saucepan and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes, long enough to reduce the liquid to about half. Next, add the fruit spread and the honey. Continue to simmer on low, while stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick. Allow to cool, and serve.
For Dipping Sauce: Prepare as above. Place cooled mixture in the blender; add cashew milk and quickly blend to a thick consistency. Serve with fresh fruit or over ice cream.
2 cups of strawberries
¾ cup of white grape juice
½ cup of sour cherry fruit spread
2 cups of peaches, pealed and sliced
¾ cup of white grape juice
½ cup of apricot fruit spread
Simmer the fruit and grape juice over low heat until the fluid is reduced to about half. Add the fruit spread. Continue to simmer to your desired consistency, stirring constantly. Cool, then serve.