Vegan Strawberry Panna Cotta
Thanks to the wondrous agility of raw cashews, this dish should be called plant-acotta, but sadly that means no one who found it once would ever remember the name and find it again.
It’s June and strawberries are in season. This dish puts them in the spotlight in an absolutely delicious dairy-free dessert. I don’t tend to eat a lot of dessert, but I do eat a lot of breakfast. With all the healthy fat from the cashews, you don’t have to feel bad either about putting this on your table with a fresh cup of decaf in the morning.
The recipe makes a large batch, so it’s also a great dish for sharing at a gathering where you want to be very, very appreciated. Do note that you need a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec to make this. A food processor just won’t cut it and you’ll be left with some not so appetizing cashew chunks in your mix.
3 cups of raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours and rinsed well
½ cup coconut oil
¾ cup confectioner’s Erythritol sweetener
3 lemons, juiced
OPTIONAL: Grate the lemon peels to add to the mix for more (literal) zest
2 tbsp vanilla (or two scraped vanilla beans if you want fancy vanilla dots in your plantacotta)
1 can coconut milk (definitely get coconut milk rather than cream, the liquid will help you blend)
1 package strawberries, tops removed (ideally organic since conventional strawberries are one of the most pesticide contaminated foods)
3 tbsp chia seeds
Put everything except the coconut milk in the blender. Scoop the coconut fat into the blender as best you can and reserve the water in the can. Then add just a little coconut water at a time until you can get the mixture to blend. You might need to add the whole can – this is okay and you’ll just have a smoother plantacotta base.
Once well blended (this may take several minutes and stirring between blends), spoon the mixture into a 9-inch serving dish, or small ramekins for individual portions if you prefer. You could even prep some containers to go right into the freezer to have this treat on hand whenever you like. It’s a big batch so you might choose to make some singles and some for sharing. You do you.
Clean out your high speed blender, then add your strawberries and the chia seeds, and blend until it looks like jam.
Spoon the strawberry topping on top of the plantacotta base, cover and put it in the fridge to cool. The chia will help the strawberry “gel” in a few hours.
Once chilled, you’re ready to enjoy! Happy strawberry season!