Strawberry Shortcake + Some Extras
Few things are as quintessential "summertime" as mixed berries, and mixed berries + shortcake + whipped cream or ice cream. During the winter months - as we happily chow down on winter gourds and pies during the colder months - somewhere deep in the back of our mind, we know there is just something a little sweeter about vine-ripened berries paired with carbs. I grew up with Biscuick strawberry shortcake, which is a great go-to for those who need a fast mix and fun summer dessert. This time, I decided to make this a little healthier, at the accidental request of my husband who is working out like a madman and desperate not to put on extra pounds. Well, one thing led to another and I went down the "make a recipe healthier" rabbit hole once more. Enter, the vegan strawberry shortcake.
How do you make a vegan strawberry shortcake?
I'm so glad you asked! There were a few simple swaps that might sound a little odd, but are DELICIOUS.
- I made the biscuits with avocado oil and plant-based buttermilk (soy milk + lemon juice).
- Instead of whipped cream, or ice cream, I used coconut milk whipped cream.
The coconut whipped cream adds a tropical flavor, as you would expect with coconut. If you prefer to lessen the coconut notes, add a little more vanilla extract to make it a little more subtle.
Does anything else make this a healthier strawberry shortcake?
Absolutely! Here are a few reasons this is a healthier alternative than traditional versions:
- Avocado oil has a higher burn point than most other ingredients, meaning that they are less likely to generate free radicals that are no good. Biscuits bake at a high temperature (my recipe calls for 10 minutes in a 475ºF oven), so reducing risk is always a goal. Not to mention, avocado oil contains more nutrients that make us smile.
- If you prefer to eat a plant-based diet, the soy milk buttermilk and coconut whipped cream ensure no animal byproduct into the food.
- I used a low-sugar apricot preserve to glaze the berries, as opposed to adding a high amount of refined sugar in a simple syrup. The coconut whipped cream does have powdered sugar, but is optional and used to make the cream a little more cohesive...you know, ready to compliment the strawberries and blueberries. 😉
First step, make the avocado oil biscuits.
Grab the easy recipe at: https://inspiredepicurean.com/avocado-oil-buttermilk-vegan-skillet-biscuits/. Don't forget that adding a little cornstarch will make the biscuits a little lighter and if you want to achieve height, don't roll them out too thinly. Less rolling, more enjoying, friends. These are super fast to make and only need to bake in a cast iron skillet for 10 minutes. Let these cool while you prepare the fruit toppings.
Be sure to keep the coconut milk in the fridge at least 24 hours before whipping. The fat needs time to separate, leaving behind coconut water that you can enjoy in another recipe. Also, ensure that your whipping utensils (bowl and whisk) are chilled before whipping.
- 1 15 ounce can coconut milk or approximate size
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound strawberries, diced
- 1 cup blueberries, washed and de-stemmed
- ⅓ cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons water
- IMPORTANT: If using coconut milk to make the coconut whipped cream, you must keep the can in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before whipping. Before whipping, put bowl and whisk in a freezer to make it as cold as possible.
- While the biscuits are cooling, heat apricot preserves in a medium-sized saucepan and a few tablespoons of water until the preserves become a glaze. Add some preserves or water to achieve desired consistency.
- Add the preserve glaze to a bowl with strawberries and blueberries and coat.
- Remove coconut milk can from refrigerator and scrape milk fat off top. Leave the coconut milk behind and save for another recipe.
- Whip the coconut fat, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. This will yield about 1 cup of whipped cream.
- Layer the biscuits (or shortcake of your choosing) with coconut whipped cream (or topping of your choosing) and strawberry/blueberry mixture. Enjoy!
If you are not following a vegan diet, these are also delicious when the biscuits and fruit are briefly heated in the microwave and topped with ice cream. Anyone who loves strawberry shortcake has a fun secret ingredient. What makes your special recipe particularly delicious?
Until next time, friends, cheers to your #hearthhealthhappiness!