When I wrote the post last week on our journey with food, I was nervous about putting so much of ourselves, of our personal story out there. I had been balancing feelings of wanting to protect Jacob’s privacy with knowing that his story could help at least a few people who might be experiencing something similar. What I didn’t know was that the responses that we would receive would help us so very much as well.
Jacob and I have read every comment and email that you all left, and both of us are a little overwhelmed at how much was shared. I think that for me, it brought it all home how many people are living with food challenges, and even more important, how many of us are working hard to ensure that our kids are healthy and well. It was powerful to think about.
There is no good way to ever say thank you for such a thing, but I thought that I would give it a good try with some chocolate and strawberries.
Strawberries and chocolate. There really isn’t a need to say much more than those two words in my household to get my children to come running. I never tire of the combination of these two, and just about this time every year I find myself coming up with new ways to enjoy them together.
I recently discovered a recipe for tofu cream that I fell in love with, and adapted to suit my family’s needs. Now, to be honest, the idea of including such things as tofu cream in my kitchen repertoire was never high on my priority list. The words tofu and cream just didn’t evoke yummy thoughts , but I will happily admit to my mistake here. Tofu cream is delicious, and a very happy alternative for certain recipes. When I first thought about making these bars I had been thinking more along the lines of a rich cream cheese substitute, so I adapted the recipe for tofu cream to make it a little bit richer.
The base of the bars is a baked almond crust, but one day soon I will have to try and replicate these with a raw crust as well, just to see how they differ. Almond meal, coconut, honey, and coconut oil combine for a rich but flakey crust, and a layer of chocolate is spread in between the cream and crust for an added treat. We use Enjoy Life chocolate, and love it. Having a source for dairy, soy and nut free chocolate is a great relief to me, because most people who visit us with any frequency have at least one of those allergies.
Strawberry season is coming, and I can not wait until the first picking at the farm. That is truly one of my favorite days of the season, maybe because it just reminds me that so much goodness is coming from the garden. Strawberries were the first food that Landon ever got his hands on, and he has been in love ever since (he grabbed a strawberry from my basket as we were picking last year, and got a quick lick in before I noticed him). I was lucky enough to find a container of strawberries that looked ripe and ready last week, so they topped off the bar with their sweet goodness.
Of course, if you have any left over berries, you can always save them for a scrumptious breakfast. Short grain brown rice cooked in almond milk, topped with berries, raw sunflower seeds and slivered almonds is a favorite in our household, and a good way to start the day.
Strawberry and Tofu Cream Bars
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp. coconut oil – melted
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cashews soaked for 20 minutes
1 package of medium silken tofu
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp no sugar added strawberry jam
1/2 cup chocolate chopped (or chips)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the almond flour, coconut, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Whisk the wet ingredients together, and combine with almond flour mixture until incorporated. Press the dough into an 8×8″ glass baking dish. Bake until golden brown, 12-18 minutes.
Remove the crust from the oven and top with chocolate. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then spread evenly over the crust. Allow to cool completely.
For the topping, combine the cashews, tofu, dates, jam and honey in a high powdered blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Spread evenly onto the chocolate layer, and top with sliced berried. Allow to chill fully in the refrigerator, and serve.