I’ve been wanting to do a little something different lately because I feel like I get stuck on things like bars, breads and dips a lot! In all honestly they are EASY to make and I’m constantly just wanting something I can throw together since I’ve got kids! But then came along this recipe from Half Baked Harvest and it gave me an idea.
A few years ago, I made this crazy delicious Blueberry Lemon IceBox Cake and while it was good it was most definitely NOT vegan/plantbased and certainly not healthy so I thought I would give it a little makeover! I did the peach/raspberry combo that HBH did so beautifully with her cake and used Cadia Graham Crackers and So Delicious Coconut Whipped Cream. That’s right I BOUGHT the coconut whipped cream! I know, I know I could have just thrown a can of coconut milk in the fridge and whipped it up the next day with some agave and vanilla but I was seriously going for easy here and I’m not gonna lie, I LOVE this whipped cream from So Delicious. Better than my homemade stuff even. 😀
So while not the healthiest dessert due to the sugar in the graham crackers and whipped cream, albeit a small amount, it is an upgrade from my old recipe for sure! And we loved it! The graham crackers get nice and soft and “cake-like” after sitting overnight, sandwiched between the whipped cream. And the raspberry/peach combo is SO good. Simple, delicious and utilizes the last of those yummy summer fruits!
2, 9 oz. containers So Delicious Coconut Whipped Cream (I used the lite version)
12 sheets Cadia Graham Crackers (or similar healthy/low sugar/whole grain brand)
2 c. Chopped Peaches (about two large), plus more for topping
2 c. Raspberries, plus more for topping
Line a large, 6½x11x4-inch loaf pan with foil, both ways, letting the foil hang over either end of the pan. Spray lightly with coconut oil cooking spray.
Spread a layer (about ⅓ of a container) of coconut whipped cream in the bottom of your pan. You want to have enough whipped cream left to use some for spreading on the top of the cake after it has set overnight and been flipped out of the pan.
Place 4 sheets of the graham crackers on the top of the whipped cream (they may overlap a bit in the middle and that's ok!).
Cover the graham crackers in another layer of whipped cram and sprinkle the whipped cream with half of the raspberries and half of the peaches.
Gently spread a layer of whipped cream over the fruit. Cover with 4 more sheets of graham crackers, a layer of whipped cream and the remaining half of the peaches and raspberries.
Cover the fruit with another layer of whipped cream and 4 more sheets of graham crackers.
Cover with foil and let set in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight.
Place a plate or cake stand over the to of the loaf pan and gently flip over. Carefully remove the pan and then gently and slowly peel away the foil.
Quickly cover the top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle/decorate with the extra fruit. Slice and serve immediately.
It’s HOT already where I live so baking a lot of desserts in my oven and heating my house up even more is really not too appealing to me these days. Which is why I love this chilled peach soup! It’s the perfect summertime dessert and, oh yeah, it’s AMAZING. The first spoonful of this immediately had me thinking of a peach cobbler like grandma makes except, well, with alcohol and obviously no crust! It’s creamy, cold and just really, really good. Top it with some homemade whipped cream and a couple sprigs of fresh mint and dessert is served!
Place all ingredients except peaches in a large bowl and whisk until well blended and sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a high powered blender (I used a Vitamix) and add peaches (you might have to do this in two batches). Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate until chilled.
I can’t seem to get enough of the amazing fresh fruit from our farmer’s market this summer. I find myself buying more than I can possibly eat before it goes bad, but I try! Peaches, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, watermelon…there’s just so much summertime goodness right now. And I couldn’t let the whole summer go by without making a cobbler! This recipe was super easy to throw together. I had it in the oven in 30 minutes and it only took another 30 to bake up.
I did make a couple of changes. I wanted some oats in my streusel so I cut back on the amount of pecans and also used less blackberries because the ones that I got were so amazingly sweet, I couldn’t bare to use them all in the cobbler. They were way to good just eaten fresh. But I still liked having a few scattered throughout the cobbler. It was perfect, in my opinion and totally hit the spot, warm and gooey out of the oven with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.
5 c. Fresh Peaches, sliced (about 5 large peaches)
½ c. Granulated Sugar
3 T. All-Purpose Flour
¼ t. Nutmeg
1 c. Fresh Blackberries
Lightly grease a 9x9 pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For the Streusel
Stir together the brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium bowl. Add flour, pecans and oats until blended. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, stir together peaches, flour, sugar and nutmeg over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, leave over medium heat until juices have thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir in blackberries. spoon mixture into pan. Crumble streusel mixture over hot peach mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.
Blueberry syrup reminds me of childhood. When I was a kid, we’d go every year around the beginning of blueberry season to a blueberry patch about 20 minutes from our house and pick buckets and buckets of blueberries…and also eat quite a few in the process. It was so fun. Blueberry picking in the late spring and apple picking in fall are honestly some of my best memories from childhood. Probably because they involved food I guess?! Hah.
So after picking for a couple of hours we’d take our load of blueberries home and would freeze most of them right away but a few fresh ones would be reserved for homemade blueberry syrup. My mom made THE BEST blueberry syrup and pancakes. It was a reason to get up before noon on Saturday morning! So when blueberries, blackberries and peaches started showing up at our local Farmer’s market recently, I definitely had her yummy blueberry syrup in mind.
Although I didn’t have my mom’s exact recipe, this turned out just like I remember hers. Who knows, it might be the same one! And can I tell you it could not be easier to make blueberry syrup? Put ingredients in pot and heat. That’s pretty much what it comes down to! The use of orange juice may seem odd, but trust me, once it sits overnight, all the flavors meld together and you taste nothing but blueberry the next day! It’s thick and quite sweet and just delicious over pancakes, waffles or crepes. Will definitely be making it alot over the next few weeks!
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, ¼ c. water, orange juice and sugar. Stir gently and bring to a boil.
In a cup or small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and ½ c. water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gently stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries so as not to mash the berries. Simmer gently until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla or almond extract and the cinnamon. Cool completely and refrigerate over night. Serve warm over pancakes, waffles, etc.
I am so, so, SO excited to share this recipe with you guys. I was trying really hard to come up with a peach recipe that wasn’t a pie or crisp and man, was I having some serious inspiration issues on this one. I wanted something cheesecake-y but NOT baked…the less oven time in the summer, the better, you know what I mean? So I finally had an idea for something fresh and light and just overall yummy. I can honestly say that these peach cheesecake bars are one of my favorite things I have ever made, if not THE favorite thing. Yeah. Good. Really, really, really, good.
The recipe started with this brilliant idea I had for a boozy peach sauce and then it evolved from there to include a buttery, crumbly (but not too crumbly!) shortbread crust and thick, creamy no-bake cheesecake filling. I have to say I could have stopped with the peach sauce…I literally was licking the spoon on this one. It has the perfect combination of warm spices, peach and citrus. Divine. Add in the no-bake cheesecake factor and this is pretty much the perfect summer dessert.
I can tell I will be making LOTS of trips to my farmer’s market this summer. 🙂
1½ Sticks Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into small chunks
2 t. Pure Vanilla
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. Chopped, Toasted Pecans
1, 8 oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
7 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
4 oz. Whipped Topping (i.e. Cool Whip)
For the Peach Sauce
Make recipe as instructed previously for Champagne Soaked Peach Sauce (recipe was posted on May 30th), letting the peaches drain on a wire rack onto a cookie sheet. Make the sauce as instructed.
For the Shortbread Crust
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil, letting the foil hang over the edges to use as "handles". Grease the foil.
Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Work in the butter with a fork or your hands (I prefer to use my hands) until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the eggs and vanilla until all ingredients are mixed together and then fold in the pecans.
Gently press the mixture evenly unto the bottom of the foil-lined pan. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely. In the meantime, make the cheesecake filling.
For the Cheesecake Filling
In an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Fold in the whipped topping.
Using the foil "handles", left the completely cool crust from the pan and gently place the crust on a large platter/plate. Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the crust. Place the crust and filling in the fridge or freezer (I used my freezer) for about 10-15 minutes in order to allow the cheesecake filling to firm up slightly.
Remove from the fridge or freezer and top the dessert with the drained peach slices (as seen in the pictures) and cut into squares. Drizzle each square with peach sauce.
Have you heard about chia seeds yet? They are an awesome super food that have so many health benefits, it’s truly unbelievable. From lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol to helping surpress appetite, I am sold on these little seeds of goodness. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find all kinds of information on them.
The first time I ever saw them was in a water bottle that the cashier was drinking out of at my local health food store. They looks like hundreds of little bubbles in her water. She explained what they were and all the benefits and I was intrigued but didn’t purchase any until recently. I love to put them in my oatmeal and my juicing concoction I make in the morning. I’ve also had them baked into thin, crisp bars (recipe courtesy of my friend Joelle…I’ll be blogging it soon!) and can now add jam to my list of uses for chia seeds! The seeds actually absorb water like crazy so instead of using pectin to make the gel-like consistency of jam, these seeds do all the work! It’s totally amazing and so, so tasty. I just used honey to taste to sweeten this jam, so even though I list an exact measurement, feel free to use however much tastes good to you.
I made three different kinds, Strawberry, Strawberry Pineapple and Peach. I think I like the Strawberry Pineapple the best. Because I made three different kinds, I went ahead and froze two of them, so we’ll see how those hold up after they’re thawed out. So far I’ve enjoyed it by the spoonful, on whole-grain sprouted bagels and plan to make some whole wheat waffles to try the spread on. I am so excited about this stuff…healthy and good for you. Enjoy!
1 c. Fresh Strawberries (or fruit of your choice), finely chopped and slightly mashed (you can also pulse the fruit in your food processor, which I'm going to try next time)
¼ c. Water (I would use a little less if you have a significant amount of juice from your fruit)
2 T. Chia Seeds
3 T. Raw Honey (or agave, stevia or other natural sweetener)
Warm fruit and water in a bowl in the microwave for 1 minutes. Stir in chia seeds and honey and let set on the counter until cooled. Place a jar or other air-tight container and let gel overnight. Top whole grain bread, bagels, pancakes, waffles, etc with the jam...or just eat by the spoonful. 🙂
Guess what is showing up at our local farmer’s market right now? Peaches! Beautiful, soft, juicy peaches. This past Saturday I arrived at our local farmer’s market, Farmer’s Market of the Ozarks, at exactly 7:30 a.m. (yes, this is when they open and quite a few people had already beat me there!) to be sure I could get my hands on some before the crowds arrived. I made a beeline to the booth that had them and happily paid for my peck of peaches. I also managed to score some strawberries but barely, there were only a couple of pints left!
So I got what I came for and headed back to my kitchen…I had a plan for these peaches that involved champagne, brown sugar and lots of spices. I could hardly wait to get started. What resulted was one of the most delicious ice cream sauces I have ever tasted. My kitchen smelled like a cross between Christmas from all the spices in the sauce and summer from the orange zest and peaches. Pure. Heaven. If you are a fan of peach pie, this will remind you of just that…but without the crust! It is decadent and delicious over vanilla ice cream, especially homemade vanilla ice cream, which is exactly how we enjoyed it this past weekend. Next week I’ll have another recipe that involves this peach sauce that is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Stay tuned!
In a small saucepan, bring the champagne, brown sugar, spices and 1 t. cornstarch to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add orange zest and let cool completely.
Place peaches in a shallow dish and pour the sauce over the peaches. Refrigerate overnight. Remove the peaches the next day and place in a bowl. Pour the sauce in a small saucepan again, whisk in 2 t. cornstarch and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool completely. Sauce will thicken as it cools (mine was VERY thick after being in my refrigerator overnight).
Never heard of a Peach Pile? That might be because I made it up. Yep. See, this weekend for my mom’s birthday I made a very special, ooey gooey, deep dish peach pie that was topped with a buttery, sugary, cinnamony oat topping. It smelled delicious, it looked delicious and I just knew it was going to taste delicious. But there was only one problem–it DID NOT want to come out of its pan. Nuh uh. Wasn’t having it. Absolutely refused to be eaten. Unfortunately we had to get a little rough with the pie and ended up with what I could only think of in my mind as a big ‘ole pile of peaches and crust. See below.
I think part of the problem was that in my haste I didn’t wait for the pie to cool down enough (as in all the way), in fact, it was still slightly hot. So while we didn’t have the massively tall, delicously perfect slices of pie I had imagined in my mind, we still had an amazingly good pile of peaches, buttery crust and oatmeal topping that was everything I imagined it would taste like along with some cold, creamy vanilla ice cream. Oh yes, and I did use a store-bought crust only because I think they are quite good and didn’t want to take the 4.5 HOURS to make the pie that a homemade crust would have required.
I will say that not one person cared about what the pie looked like once they started eating it. We were licking our plates clean with this one.
1, 9-inch Deep Dish Pie Crust (I used store bought)
8 Large Firm, Fresh, Ripe Peaches
¼ c. AP Flour
½ c. Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
⅓ c. Granulated Sugar
1 t. Cinnamon
⅛ t. Salt
2 T. Cold Butter, diced
Oatmeal Brown Sugar Topping
½ c. Oats
½ c. AP Flour
½ c. Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
¼ c. (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter, melted
½ t. Cinnamon
For the peach filling:
Peel peaches and then cut into ½-inch thick chunks and place in a large bowl. Whisk together flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt and then add to the peaches, stirring to coat. Immediately spoon into the pie crust and dot with the two tablespoons of diced butter. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 and make the oatmeal topping.
For the Oatmeal Brown Sugar Topping:
Thoroughly stir together the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and melted butter until well combined. Remove the pie for the freezer and carefully press the oatmeal topping onto the pie.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and place the pie on top of the cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake 40 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning and bake 25 more minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly. Transfer to a wire rack and cool two hours before serving or until completely cool.
*I found that for peeling the peaches, a potato peeler worked perfectly. Also, the recipe calls to bake the pie on the lower rack of the oven, but I accidentally baked mine on the middle rack and it turned out fine.