Growing up, strawberries were my favorite fruit. My parents didn’t buy them often, so it was always a treat when they did. As a result, I developed a bit of an obsession with all things strawberry. Strawberry starburst candy, strawberry scented marker, strawberry miniature backpack (remember those?), and you know I had my essential 1980s Strawberry Shortcake doll. Further proof? At the horse camp I went to each summer, there was a patch of wild strawberries growing off the trail leading to the barn. Each day, I would get distracted by the ripe fruit and show up late. If a fruit won out over ponies, you know it held a special place in my heart!
And literally, strawberries did hold a special place in my heart – a nice, clean, atherosclerosis-free spot!
Rich in heart healthy nutrients, strawberries could easily be called a heart health superfood. Strawberries are the best fruit source of vitamin C. Yes, even more than an orange. Besides shortening the length of a cold, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects the cardiovascular system from oxidative stress and inflammation. Strawberries are also a rich source of phytonutrients, like anthocyanins and phenols, which reduce inflammation, plaque formation and oxidation of LDL cholesterol while improving blood vessel function. Strawberries are also considered a very good source of folate, which reduces homocysteine, a marker for heart disease, and a good source of potassium, which is helps lower blood pressure.
Multiple studies have looked at strawberries heart health benefits. In one study, test subjects were given 50 grams of strawberries for 8 weeks, which lowered LDL cholesterol. In another, researchers found eating strawberries as part of a pro-inflammatory, high fat, high refined carbohydrate meal actually reduced the inflammatory response. So, maybe throw some strawberries on that burger and fries? Or not....
The most important peice of evidence? Strawberries kind of look like little hearts, do they not? I think that was Mother Nature trying to tell us something!
I've been on a crepe kick for the past couple weeks, and this was one of the sweet creations I came up with. Perfectly ripe, in-season strawberries are so delicious, I didn’t want to cover their flavor up by doing too much to them. A little honey and creamy pureed cashews is enough to enhance their tart flavor. I prefer stuffing the sliced strawberries into the crepes, where they mingle with the honeyed cashew cream, but they look picture perfect sprinkled over the top.
To make these gluten free, try buckwheat flour or oat flour. Fresh crepes always taste best, but for me, convenience wins and I just cook all the crepes at once and refrigerate. You could always keep the batter in the fridge a couple of days, stored in the blender. Before making the crepes, give it a quick whir to blend. Since out of season strawberries are pretty awful, I suggest making these when strawberries are in season, or using frozen strawberries and chia to make a quick chia jam.
Serve these Strawberry Crepes with Honeyed Cashew Cream for breakfast or brunch! Tweet this
Strawberry Crepes with Honeyed Cashew Cream
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (the kind in a carton)
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Honeyed Cashew Cream:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
- 1/4 cup unsweetned coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- To assemble:
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
Place the ingredients for the crepes (eggs, coconut milk, flour, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt) in a blender. Blend until combined. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the bubbles subside (this keeps the crepes from breaking).
While the batter is chilling, make the cream. Drain cashews and place in a food processor with coconut milk, honey, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Blend, scraping down sides, until creamy, about five minutes total. Remove to a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
When ready to make the crepes, heat a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Using a quarter cup measure, pour a scant quarter cup into the hot skillet. Lift the skillet off the heat and quickly swirl the batter, helping it spread thin. Place back on the stovetop and cook about 30 seconds - you should see little bubbles forming. Carefully flip and cook another 10 seconds. Remove with a spatula and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining batter, stacking the crepes on top of each other.
When ready to eat, spread a little cashew cream down the center of each crepe (about 2 tablespoons), top with strawberries and fold the sides over.