Today’s guest post comes from Gabrielle, known to her thousands of Instagram followers as EyeCandyPopper. She’s created this beautiful and delicious recipe just for us! Read on to learn about fermentation and how to naturally do it yourself at home.
No matter if you eat dairy or not, I believe in variety and options. One of the keys to sustaining a healthy life is to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods, and not eating the same food too often. So if you regularly eat dairy, soy or coconut yogurt, why not add another option by introducing this delicious homemade cashew yogurt?
Some recipes out there call for a capsule of probiotics to be added to speed up the fermentation process, but I think nature always does it better. That’s why my recipe is naturally fermented, meaning that it ferments using the natural friendly bacteria that are in the cashews and the air. It’s sometimes referred to as lacto-fermenting, like what real sauerkraut is.
Why is this good for us? Unfortunately we don’t eat enough naturally fermented foods in our Western society, and that has a big impact on our digestion, our immune system, and even our brain. It’s important to replenish the friendly bacteria in our gut in order to have proper digestion and assimilate the nutrients from the food that we eat. These little guys are a really good thing!
Also, did you know that strawberries are now # 1 on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list apples are # 2)?
That means that of all the fruits and vegetables you can buy out there that are not organic, strawberries contain the highest residue of pesticides and chemicals! That’s quite alarming given that so many of us love strawberries, am I right? Yum!
Most pesticides are neurotoxins and endotoxins, which means that they affect our nervous system (including our brains) and our endocrine system. All of the toxins that we eat, drink or breathe affect our digestive system since they get filtered in our liver, that most important organ that performs over 500 functions in our bodies!
Buying organic berries, especially strawberries is very important for us to limit our exposure to these types of chemicals. We need to be nicer to our bodies!
If you’d like more information on what organic means, check out my series here.
Just like a lot of things in life, good things come slowly. hehe.
This is not a quick recipe since the cashews need to be soaked for 48 hours, but the result is quite amazing. It tastes like a creamy and decadent ice cream, but no dairy or soy are involved! Combined with the easy strawberry compote, this will take your snack or breakfast to a whole other level of deliciousness!
NATURALLY FERMENTED VANILLA CASHEW YOGURT WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE
*vegan, naturally gluten-free, cane sugar-free
Soaking: 48 hours
Preparation/cooking: 5-10 minutes
1 1/2 cup raw cashews (not toasted or salted)
1 cup spring or filtered water
1 Tbsp pure organic vanilla extract
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (medium/amber grade is recommended)
a pinch of fine grey sea salt
1 pint fresh organic strawberries
1 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup (medium/amber grade)
Topping suggestions (optional): fresh fruits/organic berries, hemp hearts, kasha, mint leaves, granola
To make the vanilla yogurt: Put the cashews in a bowl (glass or ceramic, but never metal), and cover with plenty of spring or filtered water (tap water is not recommended as it will kill the natural fermentation process).
Soak the raw cashews for 48 hours, changing the water every 6-8 hours or so.
You can leave the soaking cashews on your kitchen counter, but you always want to make sure that the cashews are completely covered in water (I add an extra inch of water over to be sure).
You might start noticing some small air bubbles in the water after a while; that is totally normal, it’s the fermentation process working!
After 48 hours: Drain the cashews and throw the soaking water out.
Put the soaked cashews into a high speed blender, and add the rest of the ingredients (water, vanilla, maple syrup, sea salt). Blend for about 20-30 seconds, or until very smooth and creamy.
You can eat it right away, but for best result, pour the yogurt into an air-tight container, and put it in the fridge to cool for at least a couple of hours.
This can last up to 4-5 days in the fridge, in an air-tight container. (if you can resist that long!)
Clean and trim all of the organic strawberries, cut into half and put into a small saucepan with a lid, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they start producing liquid.
Mix in the maple syrup, cover and let simmer for a few more minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, mix, and use a for or a potato masher to mash the strawberries as much as you’d like. I like to keep a few chunks in mine, but you can decide what you like!
Let cool down to room temperature before using.
To serve: Put some of the cooled vanilla cashew yogurt in a small bowl, and add some of the strawberry compote on top. Add extra toppings like fresh organic berries and hemp hearts (optional) if you wish. Enjoy!
Gabrielle is a nutritionist who has been talking the talk and walking the walk since her early 20s, when she started researching organic food and decided to completely change the way she was eating and living. That was over 15 years ago, and she never regretted her decision to eat real food and make her health a priority.
She encourages others to live a healthier lifestyle on her website at www.eyecandypopper.com where she recently launched her 7-day Gentle Reset Cleanse Program to help anyone get a good start on healthy eating.