The Forbidden Fruit

5/10/2014

The strangest thing happen to me while I was at the grocery store earlier this week to buy some nectarines. I realized I don’t remember how to choose ripe fruit. I’ve been on a candida diet for so many years now that fruit has really just fallen off my radar (for those of you unfamiliar with a candida diet, it requires eliminating all forms of sugar, including fruit).

Being on a strict candida diet has been hugely helpful and beneficial for me. But when I fall off the wagon because of stress, fear, low energy or any other unwanted emotion, I forget about fruit and immediately go for something completely off limits, like a cookie or brownie. When I do this, I end up feeling crappy both physically and emotionally, and the sugar high comes with an equally dramatic crash.

As a person who has usually fallen on the extreme ends of anything with two ends lol, I’m using this as an opportunity to train myself in moderation. I’ve gotta say, I’m catching on! And sometimes, that means going for the deliciously ripe fruit when I need an extra boost, rather than the forbidden and oh-so-tempting baked goods. Can fruit still effect my health, absolutely! But stress also has a tremendous effect on my candida and IBS, so if choosing fruit once in a while eliminates a large chunk of stress and gives my body the sugar it is craving, I’m all for it.

So what did I do with my semi-ripe (still learning) nectarines? I’m glad you asked! I made a delicious raw, vegan, paleo, gluten-free nectarine parfait with cashew cream and walnut crumble. Fancy, right? Check out the recipe below with my adaptations or visit Gourmande in the Kitchen for the original recipe and some beautiful photos. My favorite part of the dish was actually the walnut almond crumble. It also makes a great granola.

Ingredients

      For the lemon cashew cream:

    • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
    • ½ cup filtered water (for the cream)
    • The juice of one lemon
    • The zest of one lemon
    • 1 Tablespoons raw honey (or maple syrup for a vegan version)
    For the walnut crumble

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
      For the parfaits:

    • 4 small or 3 large nectarines or peaches
    • The juice of ½ a lemon
    • 1 batch of walnut crumble
    • 1 batch of lemon cashew cream

Instructions

    Make the lemon cashew cream:

  1. Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover. Soak the cashews for at least 30 minutes (or up to one night in the fridge), then drain, rinse and pat dry.
  2. Place the soaked cashews, fresh filtered water and the rest of the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. (If you don’t have a high-speed blender you may want to strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve for a smoother final consistency.)
  3. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  4. Make the walnut crumble:

  5. Place the nuts and the rest of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until even chopped but still chunky. (The mixture should have a crumbly appearance but clump when you pinch it together.) Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  6. Assemble the Parfaits:

  7. Slice or dice the nectarines into bite-sized pieces and toss with the lemon juice to coat.
  8. Place a spoonful of fruit in the bottom of a serving glass and top with a layer of crumble and a layer of the cashew cream. Repeat to create multiple layers if desired and serve.
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