“I Love You” Cherry Crisps: Two Recipes And A Re-Introduction To The “RAW 101″ Series

July 5th, 2011 - filed under: The Food » Recipes

My husband deserves a lot of spoiling these days.

As I’ve been up to my ears in writing, working in overdrive all hours of the day, he has been picking up all my slack. Child-care, groceries, errands, child-care, cleaning, child-care – all that stuff. On top of working his tukhus off at, you know, his job.

So now that my books are wrapped and life is slowly returning to normal, as I make my way through the pile up of to-dos and dust residues around the house, one of my main priorities is Taking Care Of Damian. Because he deserves it!

This weekend at the Farmer’s Market, we picked up a few pints of the first organic cherries of the season. And on Sunday night I asked my love, “What do you want for breakfast tomorrow?”, and as he was thinking about it I said “Would you like me to make you a cherry crisp?”, and he didn’t have to answer. The tears sort of said enough.

Well, I had to have one too!

Do you remember last summer’s RAW 101 series? It was a great little feature, where I presented meals in two ways, one all raw, and one cooked, but utilizing the same central ingredients. It’s quite common that only one member of a household is raw/vegan, and it can be difficult to maintain your motivation when you’re cooking two completely different meals every night. That’s a lot of work! (believe me, I know) So RAW 101 is all about lightening that kitchen load, by maximizing similarities in the cooked and raw components. You get to eat raw, they get a nice home-cooked meal, everybody’s eating healthier, and we all win! Look out for many more RAW 101 posts coming this summer.

So anyway, about those cherry crisps. They were spectacular.

Keep in mind that these are both “single serving” recipes, so make adjustments as needed. Also, we ate these for breakfast because we are sinful and decadent folk. I did use a bit less sweetener than you’d find in your standard after dinner crisps, though they’re certainly quite sweet and would make a great dessert.

These two recipes contain many of the same ingredients and are constructed identically, so it’s super easy to make them simultaneously, step by step. Make them the night before so they’re ready to go as soon as you rise.

Damian’s “I Love You” Cherry Crisp

1 cup pitted Bing or Ranier cherries, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon raw agave syrup
few drops almond extract (pour a bit from the bottle into the cap, then tip the cap over the bowl – easier to control the flow this way)

¼ cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon coconut crystals (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon Earthbalance™ or other alt butter
pinch of salt

Fresh out of the oven, bubbly and hot!

Preheat oven to 375º F. Unless you’re making it the night before. Then, you know, don’t leave your oven on all night. Just preheat in the morning.

Combine the cherries, corn starch, lemon juice, agave, and almond extract in a small bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a ramekin or mini tart pan.

In another small bowl, combine the oats, whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt. Toss to mix. Cut in the butter and mix until crumbly. Spoon mixture over cherries.

Bake at 375º F for 15-25 minutes, until top is toasty and filling is bubbling. Allow to cool a bit before serving (ramekin will be very hot!). Serve with coffee and big smooch.

Sayward’s Raw Breakfast Cherry Crisp

1 cup pitted Bing or Ranier cherries, halved
1 teaspoon coconut flour (you can make a DIY version by grinding dried shredded coconut in a coffee or spice grinder)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon raw agave syrup
few drops almond extract (pour a bit from the bottle into the cap, then tip the cap over the bowl – easier to control the flow this way)

¼ cup sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat “crunchies” (what the heck are those?) (also, see ***note)
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon coconut crystals (raw coconut sugar)
1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
pinch of salt

*** I used buckwheat crunchies because rolled oats are not really raw. However, many raw enthusiasts eat rolled oats, and oats are really good for you, so if you’re not super strict and if buckwhatever crunchimibobbies sound like crazy talk to you, feel free to use rolled oats in the raw version as well. It will still taste fantastic!

Combine the cherries, coconut flour, lemon juice, agave, and almond extract in a small bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a ramekin or mini tart pan.

In another small bowl, combine the buckwheat, coconut flour, coconut crystals, and salt. Toss to mix. Cut in the coconut oil and mix until crumbly. Spoon mixture over cherries.

Dehydrate at 115º F for 2 hours, then serve warm from the dehydrator with iced coffee and a side of happy husband.

These two treats were such a splendid way to celebrate life on a sunny morning with loved ones. They make great use of the cherries which are ripe right now, but the truth is that they’d be awesome with just about any seasonal fruit. I imagine we’ll be modifying them to accomodate the crop as the summer continues. Enjoy!

  • http://natsmithillustration.etsy.com Nat

    yumm smack smack, licking my lips seeing those pictures! thanks for sharing another beautiful recipe. thats really awesome how you are with your hubby :)

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com Monika {windycityvegan}

    I don’t know how I completely missed the fact that you were showing a dish prepared two ways in that series. I probably just focused in on the raw part of the post. Because, NOM.

    I’ve been doing the *exact* same thing this summer when I cook (making the same dish raw and cooked). When I first went high-raw my husband was really enthused about *my* enthusiasm for raw food, and he declared that he was going to go high-raw, too. He also declared that he was going to go 100% gluten free with me at the same time (something I did for medical reasons) . . . fast forward a couple of weeks and he really missed the food he was used to. BUT, we’ve remained a gluten free household, YAY! So in that respect, I’m not baking double meals side by side anymore. Whew.

    Oh, so the one thing I make raw/cooked every day is steel cut oatmeal or oat groats. I soak a huge jar of raw oats every night, and then first thing in the morning I transfer Mar and Nina’s portion into a pot, and keep my raw oats in the jar to take to work. The best thing about pre-soaked oats/oat groats is that they cook in FIVE MINUTES. No more simmering their oats for 40 minutes, or lugging out the crock pot the night before! It. is. awesome.

    Oh yeah, and this recipe rocks. Cherry season is already over here, so I’ll be making this with raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Yay, summer fruit!

  • Megan

    Looks amazing!

    Why not use coco oil for Damian’s? Earthbalance is made from industrialized oils (canola and soy). Virgin coconut oil has a long list of health benefits, as I’m sure you know. Healthy fats promote healthy brain and healthy hormones.

    Also, as a saturated fat (and since you are using it for baking), coconut oil is far more heat stable than any nut or seed oil. When nut/seed oils are exposed to high temps they oxidize.

    :D cheers!

  • Liz

    mmm…just got some peaches from the farmer’s market here and this would be delicious with them!

  • http://www.vegansunshine.wordpress.com whitney

    Oh my, those look delish! I’ll have to try them sometime.


  • http://emilyscrueltyfreekitchen.blogspot.com/ Emily

    I went “aww” out loud when I read this post. Also, those crisps look so yummy!!

  • http://www.morgangates.com Morgan

    YUM! These both look fantastic and I appreciate the simplicity of ingredients. I see so many great recipes I want to try but never have half the stuff I need to execute them. And quite frankly can’t afford to head to Whole Foods or something similar each time to buy new spices and grains and random yummy bits. THIS I can make!


  • http://about.me/erosan erosan

    I love these posts about food… but this series always makes me want a dehydrator… only I want a solar one. Preferably one I make myself. ^_^

    One of these days I’ll have the time…

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Nat – Thanks! And I agree, I’m getting hungry looking over these pictures too. I do have some cherries left . . .

    @ Monika – I think it’s a pretty intuitive routine to fall into, for people who spend a lot of time in the kitchen at least. It just makes sense to make adaptable meals! And it works out *so* well, and I don’t know about you but I always feel like D is eating healthier when I do a double-duty type of meal. Plus, you know, it’s fun to be creative!

    Yeah, this would work super well for any berry. Mmm, blackberries. Can’t wait!

    @ Megan – Good point! Actually, I usually do use coconut oil in crisps, and in all our baking really, but this time I was going purely for the “treat” factor and really wanted to give him that buttery flavor. ;-)

    @ Liz – This recipe was totally inspired by Damian’s lamenting the fact that it isn’t peach season here yet. Last year, I made him peach crisp *literally* every week that peaches were available at our market!

    @ whitney – Let me know how you like them!

    @ Emily – Aww, thank you.

    @ Morgan – Totally understand, one of the most prohibitive aspects of raw food “gourmet”, I think, is the initial hump of exotic ingredients. Once the pantry is stocked it’s easy peasy, but until then it can be tough and intimidating (and expensive!). Glad this one seems more approachable – hope you like it!

    @ erosan – When you do, you should totally take photos of the process and write a guest post! Pleeeeease!!!

  • http://amycollette.com Amy

    Made the cooked version this morning. Yummm! Thanks for the recipe.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    @ Amy – Yay, glad to hear that!

  • http://uncooking101.com Eva Rawposa

    I totally love the two different options — and they both look good!! Hubby’s as lucky as you are!

    :-) xxo Eva

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christina-Coolbaugh/100000240784533 Christina Coolbaugh

    I was wondering, have you ever heard of Kuzu/Kudzu Starch? I ran across an article about it when I was looking for Corn Starch alternatives for my son (the poor thing is allergic to both Corn AND Milk Protien and I want to be ready for when he starts eating solids). It’s created from pounding the juice out of this huge root, letting it dehydrate and then pounding the cakes into a powder. I think it might be right up your alley if you haven’t tried it yet!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I have heard of it but haven’t tried it yet. Thanks for the heads up!

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