I said it once and I’ll say it again, I love summer!! I know you’re probably thinking that I’m proclaiming my abundant love for summer because of the beautiful warm sunny days, but nope, that ain’t it…ok maybe a little, winters here do kind of blow, but mostly my love stems from the bright fresh beautiful local fruit that seems to be everywhere lately. Seriously, it’s like a berry wonderland all up in this joint. This stuff doesn’t stick around for long. Within 2 to 3 (sometimes 4 months) all these wonderful sweet little gems vanish and are replaced by a bunch of big ugly squashes and junk (booo, nobody likes you squash, bring back the berries!). I kid, squashes are alright, but they ain’t no raspberries.
When berry season comes around, I turn into a bit of a fruit junkie. Every other weekend I find myself at a farmers market stocking up on more berries then I can possibly consume…..and yet I always find a way to eat them all. This past weekend me and my friend T headed out to the Millarville Farmers Market, the best farmers market around Calgary in my opinion, it’s waaaay less commercial then the Calgary Market and has a lot more to offer then the Kingsland one. I of course was on one mission and one mission only, find berries! I totally lucked out, not only did I find raspberries, cherries and blueberries, but blackberries and strawberries are in season now too! Yeah….I bought them all..
With this many berries in my possession, I figured it was time to come up with a way to use them other then shoving handfuls into my mouth. I mean, that’s all well and good, but my hands were starting to become permanently stained in berry juice; so not cool. I was really craving something that made the freshness of the berries stand out, so baked stuff like muffins, bread, pies and whatever were out. Instead I decided to make some parfaits!
I’m pretty sure the only parfait I’ve had have been in the form of ice cream, but as awesome as ice cream is, liqueur soaked fruit, topped with naturally sweetened strawberry cashew cream and granola is even awesomer, plus you don’t get weird looks from people who think that eating ice cream for breakfast isn’t a nutritious start to the morning, pffft, what do they know? But I digress…The strawberry cashew cream is simply, delicious, it’s also pretty rich. I figured I sweeten it by using some dates instead of sugar and mixed with the strawberries, it was just the right amount. It’s almost like dessert for people who don’t like desserts.
You can use whichever granola you prefer, I’ve been going through batches of a new favourite coconut heavy one I came up with, and if you’re a fan of coconut, I highly suggest you use something similar. The coconut just goes so amazing with all the cream and berries. And if you don’t already have a tried and true granola recipe, I’ve also linked to one of my old standbys. Just make sure that when you put it all together, you eat it right away, otherwise all that glorious crunchy granola will go soggy, and nobody likes soggy granola.
FRUIT PARFAIT WITH STRAWBERRY CASHEW CREAM
- 3 cups Fresh Strawberry Cream (recipe below)
- 4 cups fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
- 1 tablespoon amaretto or orange liqueur
- 1 cup homemade or store bought granola
- 1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1 hour or up to overnight
- 2 1/4 cups strawberries
- 6 tablespoons non-dairy cream cheese
- 3 pitted dates
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
FRESH STRAWBERRY CREAM
- To make the strawberry cream: In a high speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients and process until completely smooth. Store in a covered container in the fridge until needed.
- to make the parfaits: Either 3 hours prior or the night before, mix the fruit and liqueur together and store covered in the fridge.
- Layer 3 to 4 tablespoons of Strawberry Cream into the bottom of each tall glass. Alternate layers of fruit and granola with cream until glasses are filled to the top. Serve parfaits immediately to keep granola crunchy.