What better way to treat yourself during the last Summer bank holiday weekend than to create a delicious mouth-watering dessert with some seasonal Wexford Strawberries. There are not many delicious fruits that are home grown so when one as flavoursome & nutritious as the strawberry is available you should take advantage. Particularly as studies have found that after 2 days of storage the strawberry has major losses in its nutritional goodness, as vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants content drops. So you can imaging that those we get from foreign soil are not as nutritious or delicious as our own.
The strawberry actually has the highest content of Vitamin C compared to all fruits, even the orange; providing 10% more than oranges. The high vitamin C content can enhance the antioxidant capacity of the cell, reduce the effects of harmful free radicals on the muscle after training and thereby help to speed muscle recovery. It also contains a high quantity of manganese, which is another key antioxidant mineral.
However, the real benefits of the strawberry are derived from their phytonutrient content which gives the strawberry its deep red colour. These phytonutrients not only function as antioxidants but also have anti-inflammatory and blood sugar balancing properties. A 2009 study found that healthy people who ate 15 strawberries had lower blood sugar levels 30 minutes after eating compared to eating a similar amount of sugar! It seems the high polyphenol content of this red berry also helps to balance blood sugar levels, so you don’t have to worry about the sugar spikes with this tasty fruit!
Although, strawberries are great in different dishes, including salads, there is nothing like enjoying a refreshing frozen fruity dessert at this time of year. This is a delicious, flavoursome seasonal dessert, which is packed full of nutrients to help recover those tired muscle this weekend and contains only 150 kcal per square-WIN WIN! However, be warned these are so mouthwatering you will not be able to stop at one, so I advise you to push yourself a little harder today so you can enjoy an extra portion or two over the weekend J.
- Serves: 25
- Serving size: 1 piece
- Calories: 150 kcal
- Fat: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 11g
- Protein: 4g
- The base
- 200g almond flour
- 100g cashew nuts
- 300g dates
- 2 dessertspoons of water
- The strawberry layer
- 250g of strawberries
- 100g of crushed cashews
- 1 heaped dessertspoons of coconut oil (25g)
- 2 dessertspoons of golden syrup/honey
- The juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 teaspoon of concentrated natural vanilla extract
- A pinch of rock salt
- For the base, soak the dates in warm water for 2-3 minutes. Then blitz the dates, water and the cashews and combine in a bowl with the almond flour. Use your hands to ensure that the mixture is mixed properly; you want the base to stick together. I used regular dates for this recipe. If you use majool dates you can probably use less dates. Try not to blitz the cashews too much as they give it a nice crunchy texture. Spread the mixture evenly out onto a silicon baking tray (this makes it easier to remove from the tray, but you can use any tray).
- For the topping, blitz the strawberries and the cashews together. Then combine the mixture with the melted coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract and salt.
- Pour the topping evenly over the base and put it in the freezer for 2- 3 hours until it sets.
- Chop into bar into 25 square pieces and serve either from frozen or let them thaw slightly for more of an ice-cream texture. Store in the freezer for as long as you want.