strawberries

My entry in the Fork and Beans Valentine’s Bake off!

Strawberry Dessert Pizza with Cocoa Crust

Ingredients

Crust:
1/3 cup garfava (garbanzo/fava bean) flour, plus a little extra for working crust
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus extra for dusting
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons almond meal
1 Tbsp gluten-free yeast
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling:
3 cups almond milk, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:
1 pound fresh strawberries, washed/capped/sliced
1 Tbsp sugar

Directions:

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 16” pizza pan with parchment paper. Add all dry ingredients together in a food processor outfitted with an s blade and combine well. Process in the liquids until a stiff but sticky dough forms. Take out the dough in 3 small batches working in a little garfava flour to make the dough more workable. I used about 1 tbsp extra flour, but it may require a little more or a little less depending on the stickiness of your dough. Then combine the 3 small batchers into one larger flattened ball. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Lightly dust both sides of the dough with cocoa to make it easier to roll. Using a pastry roller, roll out the dough into a circle (easier if you spin the pizza pan as you roll) about 12-13” (You need the larger pan because it will grow in the oven). Roll up the edges a little to form a rim for the filling to stay in. Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are browning. Just so you know what to expect – it will rise A LOT and then fall when you remove it from the oven. The final product is about a 15” crust.
Remove crust from oven and set aside. If there are large bubbles in the crust, poke them with a toothpick and flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup. Technically, you could do it with your hands, but there’s steam in there and you risk burning your hands.

Topping:
Sprinkle strawberry slices with sugar, toss to coat and set aside. Be sure to do this before you make the filling so that you can put them on while the filling is still hot.

Filling:
You can start the filling while the crust is in the oven, but don’t start before you only have about 5 more minutes to bake or the filling will sit around hardening before the crust is ready.
In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of almond milk and cornstarch with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in the remaining milk, the sugar and salt.
Whisking occasionally, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and begin whisking continuously until it filling has thickened. This should take about 7 minutes.
Stir in vanilla.
Assemble Dessert Pizza:
As soon as filling is ready, pour into pizza crust and spread evenly with a spoon. Immediately put strawberries on top of the filling. You don’t have to be to exact about it, just drop them on like you would pizza toppings. If you’re the kind who lays out pizza toppings exactly (I’m known to do that myself), feel free, but do it quickly before the filling starts to set.

Cover the pizza with another sheet of parchment paper to keep the filling from forming a skin and to keep the strawberries from drying out. Place the pizza in the refrigerator to cool at least a couple hours. I think it’s even better the second day.

When you are ready to cut it, skip the seemingly obvious pizza cutter for a knife. The pizza cutter will just pull the strawberries around and not give you an even cut.

1 Food 5 Ways, Kale, Way #1: Not-so-mean Green Juice

I have to admit, until about 2 years ago, I was one of those people that heard the word “kale” and turned my nose up at it. How times have changed. There is rarely a time when I don’t have kale in my fridge or on my grocery list. It is one of my favorite vegetables and is much more versatile than I ever imagined. And it’s so nutritious! Check out kale on World’s Healthiest Foods for more information on just how good it is for you. When you’re done being amazed, check out way #1 for using kale – JUICE!

I’ve recently started juicing and I quite like this one that I made up to use some fruit and veg hanging around my fridge. The kale is much less obvious in juice than I would have expected even though it makes up the bulk of it. And don’t forget, it packs a powerhouse of nutrients! I would typically drink this as one serving as a light meal or a snack, but if you’re serving it along side a full breakfast breakfast, it could serve two.

Not-so-mean Green Juice
  • 1 cup spinach, packed
  • 3 cups curly kale, packed
  • 1 large granny smith apple (If you like your juice sweeter, use a fuji. If you like it really sweet, use two)
  • 5 large strawberries
  • 30 green grapes
Put all ingredients, preferably cold, through the juice extractor (some juicers suggest you put greens through first, but follow your juicer’s instructions). Stir final juice, pour and enjoy. It’s most nutritious right away, but can be stored in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Sometimes I’ll put it in the freezer just long enough to chill it. Don’t let it freeze – glass WILL break.
If you can’t convince someone of this juice’s sweet, fruity goodness because of its vivid green color, pour it into a cocktail glass and garnish it up! Maybe that’ll help. If it doesn’t…more juice for you! :)


Valentine’s Breakfast: Silver Dollar Corn Pancakes with Strawberries

I had some drama in the kitchen this morning trying to make crepes (the non-buckwheat ones) gluten free. I ruined the whole batch, but had already promised breakfast to my mom and dad. And, I’d already sliced the strawberries -how can you have Valentine’s Day breakfast without strawberries? (Well, I guess you can if you can’t get them where you live this time of year, but I was lucky). So I looked at the blueberry corn pancakes in Veganomicon for a little guidance, changed them up a lot based on my allergies, my pantry, and the fact that deglutenized/sans blueberries they were way too thin. I came up with a nice corn pancake recipe. These are money! (silver dollar…money…get it? ;)) We’ll be having these again.
Silver Dollar Corn Pancakes (Makes 10, 3 servings – depending on how hungry everybody is!)
Sift together and set aside:
  • 3/8 cup this gf all purpose flour mix
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda & 2/3 tsp cream of tartar (1 tsp baking powder would work instead of these two)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Mix the following:
  • 3/4 cup rice milk
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp water (approx 1/6 of a cup)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
Mix the two groups together until just combined. Brush a light layer of coconut oil onto a preheated (medium-low heat) heavy skillet. Pour batter into pan using a 1/8 cup measuring cup. Cook until the top bubbles, the edges are drying and the bottom is golden brown. Flip pancakes and cook until the bottoms are golden brown. I found that I didn’t have to re-oil each time – just use the brush to redistribute the oil that may have moved to the edges of the pan. If your pan is dry, reapply a thin layer of oil. I had to make these in 4 batches (3 of 3 pancakes and then 1 lone pancake), so you might want a plate and a piece of foil handy to keep them warm.
To make the strawberry pancakes that are shown in the picture: Place 3 pancakes on each plate. (Wrap the leftover pancake in the foil and save in the refrigerator for later or give somebody an extra). Top with fresh, sliced strawberries. Using a small metal sieve/strainer, sprinkle on the powdered sugar – about a tsp per plate. Serve while pancakes are still warm.
Just a note for the lovers of the the light, fluffy pancakes. These are not those! They are a nice hearty, heavier pancake. In fact, the one leftover was great cold with almond butter spread on it. It was almost like eating bread, and made a perfect after-walk snack.
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