Monday, July 25, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade on My Mind

I guess strawberry lemonade has been on my mind since it has been so hot lately. Or maybe these recipes were inspired by my impulse purchase of lemon extract a few weeks ago. Last week I made lemon strawberry bars for the kids, and then for my birthday we had strawberry bundt cake with strawberry lemonade ice cream. The bars are one more creation in a series of experiments with how to incorporate beans and avocados into tasty baked goods. The cake I adapted from a recipe in 500 Vegan Recipes, which is an awesome cookbook overall, but I have found that they frequently call for way too much flour in their cake recipes. It is super-moist despite having no oil in it, but we found that it did need some fat to round out the flavor, so the ice cream was born. The cake and ice cream got a thumbs up from everyone, but Abiline was not into the bars, which Sawyer happily munched. They were a bit too dense in texture for her limited chewing abilities, I think, so I would recommend them for the age two and up set.

Strawberry-Glazed Lemon Bars or Thumbprint Cookies

1 c. garbanzo beans
1/2 medium-sized ripe avocado
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. tahini
1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
3 Tbsp. agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 c. flour (I used kamut, but any other light-colored flour would do nicely to preserve the yellow shade of the chickpeas)

For Glaze: 1/4 c. strawberry preserves mixed with 1 tbsp. yogurt of choice (I used So Delicious plain coconut yogurt)

1. Preheat the oven to 350. If you are making bars, then grease an 8x8 in. pan. For cookies, prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease liberally.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine beans, avocado,lemon juice, oil, tahini, lemon extract, agave, and powdered sugar and puree until completely smooth. Add the oats, baking powder, and salt, and pulse until oats are completely ground. Add the flour last and puree until smooth. If the batter is too thick for your blender/ food processor before adding the flour, go ahead and stir it in by hand.
3. For bars, just scoop the batter into the pan and bake for 18-22 mins., until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If you prefer cookies, then roll the dough into walnut-sized balls, line them on the tray, and indent with your thumb bef0re baking for 8-10 mins, or until just slightly golden on the bottoms. Prepare the glaze while they bake by combining the preserves and the yogurt in a small bowl.
4. Place the baked bars/ cookies on a cooling rack. When completely cool, prick the bars all over with a fork and then spread the glaze over the top. For the cookies, just fill the thumbprints with the jam.

Strawberry Bundt Cake

1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/3 c. agave nectar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cane sugar
1 1/2 c. soy or hemp milk mixed with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon extract
1/2 c.applesauce

For glaze: 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice

1. Add strawberries, agave, and lemon juice to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
2. Preheat oven to 350 and generously grease a bundt pan.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ww pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add the non-dairy milk, lemon extract, applesauce, and strawberry mixture to the dry ingredients and fold to combine, being careful not to over-mix. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 40-50 mins, or until golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely (I placed mine in the freezer for a few hours) before inverting the cake onto a serving platter. You can then whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make the glaze. Poke a few holes in the cake with the tines of a fork and pour the glaze over it. Enjoy with the ice cream recipe that follows!

Strawberry Lemonade Ice Cream
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1 c. rice or hemp milk
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. strawberry preserves
1/2 tbsp. lemon extract
Just combine all of the ingredients in a blender and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Alternately, I have heard it rumored that you can make ice cream in the freezer without the ice cream maker; here's one method you could try.

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