Summer Ripe Berries with Coconut Whipped Cream

Coconut Whipped CreamThe summer solstice upon us, long days full of glorious sunshine present the perfect opportunity to celebrate the season with summer ripe berries in this very simple, yet delectable dessert. Oh, and yes, it certainly is “vegan whipped cream” made from coconut milk, not dairy cream!

I always hesitate to tout this recipe because while it does not contain milk or dairy, coconut still contains a moderate amount of fat, so it’s certainly not a “health food”. For more on coconut, read: Why Fat Doesn’t Really Make You Fat.  My view is that we all need to indulge in a bit of decadence every now and then, even those of us who maintain a healthy lifestyle, so this is a great way to incorporate berries, those natural vitamin and antioxidant powerhouses! They taste great, are low in calories, and thus make a perfect treat at this time of the year when they are most ripe.

Enjoy this recipe for coconut whipped cream with whatever berries you like, fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or even cranberries when they’re in season. I don’t add any additional sugar to this recipe, because I don’t think it needs any. You can add a tablespoon of sugar if you desire a sweeter cream.

A few notes, the recipe doesn’t work with the coconut milk that comes chilled in a cardboard container, save that for your smoothie. To get the “cream” consistency, you need to use the coconut milk that comes in a can. The object is to put the can in your fridge at least overnight, this allows the cream to rise to the top and the oil to lower to the bottom. Carefully remove the can from your refrigerator, being conscious not to disrupt the separation of the cream from the oil, and open the can carefully. Scoop out the “cream” from the top. You can keep the oil and rub it on your skin or discard it. If the oil and the cream mix (i.e. if you are not careful and shake the can) then it will not whip to the expected consistency, so you have to be careful. Also, another note, the green cans of coconut milk come in regular and “light” do not attempt to use the “light” version…again, the cream will not whip to the expected/desired consistency. Trust me, I’ve tried to whip the light cream and it just doesn’t work.

1 can of coconut milk, refrigerated, divided
1 vanilla bean, scrape out seeds
For best results, whip it with an electronic whisk

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