Black Forest Pudding
Peak season for cherries is right now, so this is a great time to indulge in this beautiful red, flesh stone fruit. They are not only a good looking fruit, but are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The combination of sweet, deep red cherries with chocolate is a truly rich and irresistible treat. I created this dish to give you all the pleasure of the Black Forest Cake without the hassle and not-so-good ingredients. Cashews and dates are sweet and creamy when blended making a smooth pudding with chunks of juicy cherries. You must give this tasty treat a try.
½ cup raw cashews
¼ cup dates (approximately 8 dates)
2 cup fresh, pitted cherries quartered
½ cup almond milk
½ tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp chia seeds
Dash sea salt
- Combine cashews, dates, 1 cup cherries and vanilla in food processor and process until smooth. Then drizzle in the almond milk while processing.
- Transfer to bowl and add chia seeds to mixture and whisk. Leave 5 minutes and stir some more. This allows the chia seeds to not get clumped together and it thickens the mixture. Fold in the other cup of cherries.
- Place in small bowls or ramekins. Top with a cherry. Can add cocoa nibs to top as well. Refrigerate 2 hours. Makes 4 servings.
Note: This is a great treat or dessert that you can make the day before as it keeps well in the refrigerator.
Whole Food Sneak Peak:
Cherries are a fleshy stone fruit available fresh in most areas from July to mid-August. The cherry tree is prized not only for its fruit, but also the lovely blossoms and wood.
There are two main types of cherries: sour or “pie cherries and sweet cherries. They can be red or black. Cherries are popular in February as they are associated with love and romance ;)
They are high in Vitamin C (15 mg per cup) and have good amounts of Vitamin A, fiber, antioxidants and the B vitamins. Potassium content is high; calcium and phosphorus levels are good; modest amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper and iron. All these minerals make this juicy red fruit good for building the body’s blood. Cherries contain anthocyanins (antioxidant), providing the red pigment in berries and helps blood vessels dilate.
Emerging evidence links cherries to many health benefits. Cherries contain an antioxidant hormone called melatonin (released by your body at night, letting your body know its time to sleep) and may help you sleep better. Tart cherries contain more of this antioxidant. Melatonin also stimulates cell growth that can help your skin by protecting it from stretch marks and wrinkles. All the vitamin C helps build a strong immune system, as well as collagen (the main strength compound of your skin). They have also been shown in studies to relieve pain (in gout).
They are a good colon cleanser, as they enhance bowel motility.
Eat cherries fresh from the tree or farmers market for optimum flavor. Cherries do not ripen after being picked, therefore select firm, plump, shiny cherries with green stems.
Store them in your refrigerator or freeze them. Frozen cherries have a nutritional value fairly close to fresh cherries. Don’t wash your cherries until you’re ready to use them.