I'm still adjusting to the simplicity of summer. I can't even lie...it's hard. I realize that sounds backwards, but for the majority of the year I am so firing on all cylinders, the first two weeks or so of the "summer slow down" practically kill me. I get a little antsy and inevitably (seriously, every year) I start to voraciously seek out and pile on so many projects that in the fall when they all kick off I barely have time to breathe. So even though it's hard, I keep reminding myself this is okay and I need this, and to more than anything... embrace it. This just is my business cycle. Instead, this year I'm using this time to reach out to connect with brands and companies and other people to create meaningful partnerships. The funny thing is, I looked back in the archives of the blog and literally exactly this time last year I wrote the same feelings. Hopefully this year, I transition more quickly.
Speaking of simplicity, the one thing I honestly do appreciate about easy summer living is the food. Winter means lots of layers of flavor (and clothes-brrr old victorian house!) and time waiting for flavors to simmer and meld. But the produce that rolls in during these months barely need any dressing up at all. In fact, for many al fresco dinners the husband and I just have big platters of produce with a little cheese, olives or meat. When it comes to dessert, fruit is my go-to.
Summers in high school and college, my now mother-in-law would make a whipped topping, infused with rum (She is the queen of rum and at one point even had a personalized license plate that alluded to Bacardi limon). I ate so many strawberries dipped into that fluffy goodness by the pool it was ridiculous. Such a typical summer in those days. But in retrospect, I'm pretty positive it was either made with heavy whipping cream or cool whip. Luckily this coconut cream version is just as amazing and serves at the perfect topping to berries and stone fruit. Embrace the simplicity. Or better yet, help me accept simplicity pronto.
Whipped Coconut Cream
/// Ingredients ///
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk (not coconut water!)
- 2 T powdered sugar or a bit of agave
- 1/4 t agar agar powder (if you need it to hold up for several hours)
***Notes: There are so many varieties of coconut milk. This will not work if you have no separation of liquid and solid after putting it in the fridge. If that happens, try another brand!
/// Directions ///
Place coconut milk can in the fridge over night. Most cans I see in the market are about 15.5 oz. Turn over and open with a can opener. Drain off liquid. In a blender, use a rubber scraper to get all of the solid coconut into the container. Add powdered sugar. Turn on to blend and whip air into the cream. Add agar agar and turn on to mix in. Store in the fridge.
This is actually the same topping I served at The Gathering Project for my healthy dessert class. People were obsessed and so surprised how good it was! While coconut cream really isn't anything new, I wanted to share how easy it is with all of you and give you my little trick to make it last longer. Agar agar is a vegan, sea weed based gelatin basically. I added agar agar to this mix and it lasted over a day, fluffy and wonderful as ever in the fridge.
If you want to add rum, start slowly. Remember, adding liquid makes it hard for the fluff to hold. It's easier to add more than 'subtract' what you've poured!
This dessert is still a creamy and cool dessert, but much healthier than ice cream. Berry up!
Cheers to a simple summer. Even if I am kicking and screaming at first.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.