Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Alternative Cherries

I'm often given strange looks when I tell people that I don't love fresh fruit, since apparently, it should come with the territory of being vegan or vegetarian. (Don't roll your eyes, I eat enough vegetables to make up for it.) It's not the actual taste of fresh fruit that I dislike, but rather the texture. Although most people describe things like blueberries or grapes as crunchy, I find them sort of mushy, and am turned off by the liquid that is released upon chewing. So while I will eat the occasional apple or orange, I am much more content to snack on dried fruit like figs or dates, or nix the health benefits of my fruits by turning them into pie or adding them to baked goods. Frozen fruit is by far my favorite, however, as my perceived mushiness has completely disappeared. Sometimes I eat frozen berries plain, though I usually blend them into smoothies with some ice and soymilk.

For the last couple of weeks, Sam and my family have been enjoying the height of cherry season, buying and finishing off huge bags of fresh cherries almost daily. Not wanting to miss out on the fun completely, I developed my own way to enjoy this summer treat by pureeing frozen cherries into a creamy, but still very nutritious snack. Not substantial enough to be called ice cream but thicker than water ice, I had a hard time coming up with a name for this recipe. Sam decided that I should call it "Cherry Pilaf," I think for no reason at all except that he thought it sounded funny and made no sense. I assure you, there are no grains in this dish.

Cherry Pilaf
Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

To make this, you'll need:
-2 cups frozen cherries (pitted, of course)
-2 tbsp cocoa powder
-4 tbsp dairy-free chocolate chips
-1/2 cup soymilk

Putting this together is really simple. Place the cherries, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips in a food processor, and pulse until the cherries have nearly formed a paste. Then, slowly pour in the soymilk, turning the mixture from paste-y to creamy. Some of the chocolate chips will get chopped up and some will remain whole, which I find gives nice texture. Serve immediately, as this will start to melt almost right away.

Alternately, by omitting the chocolate chips and adding a little more soymik, and perhaps some ice, this recipe also makes a great cherry-chocolate smoothie.


Kati said...

Yum - I love cherries with chocolate!

I feel your pain - the way you describe grapes is exactly how I feel about tomatoes. The mushy seedy watery insides - yuck - and people think I'm crazy for needing to chop tomatoes up into little pieces before I'll eat them...

Thanks for visiting my blog and putting a link up! I've returned the favor. See you again soon! =)

VeggieGirl said...

haha, you're right - I think it's because vegans tend to like cooking, so we all appreciate good food more (and purchasing it). and yes, Whole Foods is amazing - the people who work there are super friendly, the produce is always fresh, and the selections of other foods are great as well (and the one I go to has a little Italian bistro right in the store - they serve up an amazingly delicious vegan artichoke ravioli. I posted a bit about it on my very first blog post).

I love your use for the cherries (which is one of my favorite fruits).

kickpleat said...

i totally love vegetables more than fruit but i'm starting to come around...i used to have really crazy fruit phobias! your cherry chocolate pilaf looks great!