I am crazy for berries these days – sad to leave the berry capital of the world (I’m making that up, basically assuming it’s true, based on the delicious berry bounty in Oregon), but basking in the in the brilliance of the summer bounty nonetheless.  – I worked really hard on the alliteration above; I truly hoped you enjoyed hearing the words bumble about as you read.

Berries are traditionally served as sweets – refreshing and tasty sweets, in the form of baked pies, crumbles, muffins, and tasty fruit salads.

The sensational sweetness of the fruit always pairs well with the rich, creaminess of nuts, I believe.

Two berry sweet concoctions to enjoy this summer:

strawberry cream

Luscious Strawberry Creme
A perfect and surprising appetizer spread atop gourmet crisp bread and topped with fresh basil.

2 c. raw cashews, soaked and drained
3 tsp. raw honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Scant bit of sea salt
3 Tbs. fruit-juice sweetened strawberry preserves
1 c. fresh strawberries, chopped (or sliced)
Fresh basil, minced

Combine cashews, honey, vanilla, and salt in a high speed blender.  Process until thick and creamy.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in preserves and fresh strawberries.  Spread over crisp bread and top with minced basil.

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A sweet appetizer, with a fresh summer grill for dinner, perhaps, followed by a the natural, nectary flavors of both berries and cherries, makes for the perfect evening spent on the patio with friends.

wf-raw-cherry-crisp

Raw Cherry Berry Crisp

6 c. mixture of fresh cherries, pitted and white raspberries
2-3 Tbs. pure maple syrup or raw honey

1 c. raw pecans, chopped
1 c. raw walnuts, chopped
¾ c. pitted dates, roughly chopped
½ c. coconut butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large baking dish or beautiful serving platter, toss berries with maple syrup.  Put pecans, walnuts, dates, coconut oil, and cinnamon into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.  Scatter nut mixture over berries and serve.

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