Summer is Here!

During a shopping trip, yesterday, I discovered a sale on fresh strawberries. Up until now, strawberries were available (Hey! We live in California, the state of basically one season!)but either forced ripening or early harvesting left them tasteless and sour. The first reason these strawberries got my attention is that I smelled their summer smell before I even found them in the produce section. A dollar a pound for big, red strawberries was too good a deal to pass up and I was getting tired eating last year’s apples being processed through the stores.

Minutes after they were added to my grocery cart, my daughter came along and said, “Mom! Guess what!” I pointed to the strawberries and she was happy I felt the same way she did about the find.

Now, fresh strawberries don’t last too long if not eaten soon after bringing them home. I decided my husband needed his favorite dessert after having had to work on Saturday and at two different work sites in the space of a day.

Being gluten and lactose intolerant, I had long ago devised a recipe that was quick, in line with his dietary needs, and actually tasty. Ingredients? Fresh, cleaned strawberries and two cans of coconut cream. I prefer (in the order stated) Thai Kitchen or Trader Joe’s brand. We avoid sugar as much as possible but have found that Palm Coconut Sugar is easy on the glycemic count and you need very little to provide a touch of sweetness. Freshly-squeezed orange juice, grated zest, a tiny sprinkle of cayenne and some nutmeg work well.

First, half the strawberries are blended with the coconut cream, orange zest to taste, juice of half an orange, 1/2 teaspoon Palm Coconut sugar, a teaspoons of vanilla and the cayenne and nutmeg. The other half of the cleaned strawberries are thinly sliced or roughly chopped, your choice and dosed with juice of half an orange and 1/2 teaspoon of Palm Coconut Sugar. Now, layer them in small, pretty glasses or containers. Let them refrigerate for two or three hours and serve. My husband found it a great way to finish off dinner after a long day of work and fighting traffic.

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