Pickled Strawberry Shortcakes
Updated: Jun 14, 2022
Nothing screams summer to me more than beautiful strawberries! So juicy and sweet but they don't last very long. Bam! We have the answer for you, pickled strawberries! I am sure you're gonna love this one so I hope you'll give it a go.
Loaded with our favorite combo of protein + fat + fiber, these delicious shortcakes work as a healthful breakfast or a lovely dessert. Almond flour, plant milk, chia seeds and tofu provide a generous supply of plant-based protein, anti-inflammatory benefits, and much needed fiber. Pickled strawberries provide peak-season vitamin C as well as other vitamins and minerals. Prepare the tofu cream in advance and pickle the strawberries while the biscuits bake. You’ll have your treat in no time! These beauties will likely be a summer favorite!
Aquafaba is the liquid by-product of cooked chickpeas. Not to be confused with the soaking liquid, this is the liquid in which the chickpeas are cooked. To make it thicker, simply cook down until similar in consistency to an egg white. If you are using canned or jarred (preferred) chickpeas, simply reserve the liquid.
A popular vegan egg substitute, you can simply swap 3 TB of chickpea liquid (brine) for one egg. This recipe would call for 2 eggs, so we've subbed 6 TB aquafaba for excellent results!
Pickled strawberries add a delicious touch to this traditional dish. Not to be confused with fermentation (although vinegar is a product of fermentation), pickling means simply to preserve in acid and flavorings. In order to ferment, you would need to add a starter which will yield more probiotic benefits. With pickling you preserve the fresh strawberries at the peak of their flavor and nutrient content, as well as layering a complex acid flavor. Pickled strawberries should last in the fridge for about 3 weeks.
Chia Seeds have long been appreciated (dating back to the Aztecs) as one fo the most nutritious foods on the planet, rich in plant based protein, including anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids. They are also unique (and super cool) because they are hydrophilic and can absorb 9 (!) times their weight in water. This will help you feel full (think natural diet pill) and their gelatinous consistency helps coat the GI tract slow the rate of glucose absorption. This is why the highly athletic Tarahumara tribe of Mexico use them for long, hot endurance races (look up Copper Canyon) with great success! And if that's not enough, they are also rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, antioxidants, soluble fiber (helps to stabilize blood sugar) and much more!
Almond flour is a gluten free and protein rich alternative to traditional refined white flour. Not to be confused with almond meal, almond flour is made of blanched almonds, a process that omits the almond skins and yields a fine flour. In addition to protein, almond flour contains healthy doses of vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, copper and phosphorus. Largely due to high protein, fat and fiber content, almond flour can help prevent severe blood sugar spikes that would likely be caused by using refined white flour.
Tofu is a nutrient-dense source of plant-based protein. It's made from soybeans, which are largely a GMO crop, therefore we recommend using organic brands. We like Hodo brand, and especially sprouted varieties that will minimize anti-nutrient content. Look for brands with minimal preservatives and no added flavorings.
Tofu is an excellent source of low-calorie protein and also contains good doses of vitamins and minerals as well, including some harder to obtain ones like calcium, selenium, manganese, and copper. They often get a bad rap because people are confused about the isoflavone (phytoestrogen) content. These compounds can attach to and activate estrogen receptors in the body, making is less likely to uptake dietary estrogen. Mainly for this reason, tofu is believed to help reduce the risk of certain cancers, as well as diabetes, and heart disease.
What you'll need for this dish:
optional spices (cardamom, coriander, star anise, peppercorns)
fresh ginger, optional
coconut flour, if needed
fresh lemon juice
almond extract, optional
fresh mint or basil, optional for garnish
Yes, there are layers to this dish but each one is pretty quick and easy and can be made in advance so all you have to do at mealtime is assemble! You can also choose to make this even easier, simply use sliced strawberries and a good yogurt (can be dairy free) on top of your almond biscuit. Super simple and yummy.
Pickled Strawberry Shortcakes (v, gf, df, refined sugar-free)
Serves 8 (as open face, 4 with a top)
For the Biscuits:
Makes 8 biscuits
Prep time: 35 minutes (incl. bake time)
· 2 ¼ cup almond flour
· 6 TB aquafaba (brine from a chickpea jar or cooked down liquid from home cooked)
· ¼ cup plant milk of choice
· 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
· 2 tsp baking powder (use aluminum free)
· 1 tsp pure maple syrup, optional for extra sweetness
· ¼ tsp pink salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in one bowl until blended.
2. Use a small ice cream scoop to scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
3. Using a fork or clean fingers, flatten slightly and bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Store at room temp for up to one day or in fridge for up to 10 days.
For the Pickled Strawberries:
Makes about 2 cups
Prep time: 20 minutes
· 3 TB white wine vinegar
· 1 tsp coarse salt
· ¼ tsp cardamom seeds
· 5 coriander seeds
· 1 star anise, optional
· 3 peppercorns, optional
· 1 slice fresh ginger
· 2 cups organic strawberries, trimmed and sliced*
· 2 TB water, more if needed
· 1 TB fresh lemon juice
· 2 TB chia seeds
· 1 TB pure maple syrup, if needed for sweetness
· 1 TB coconut flour, if needed to thicken
Add vinegar, salt, coriander, cardamom, star anise, peppercorns, and ginger to a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off heat, cover and allow to sit 10 min to allow flavors to come together.
Strain the mixture into a heat-proof bowl and add back to pot.
Add berries, lemon juice and water and return to a boil. Cook until berries start to break down (you can choose to cook shorter or longer to your liking).
Mash the berries to desired consistency. Taste and add maple syrup if needed (this will depend on sweetness of strawberries).
Stir in chia seeds and set aside to cool.
* pro-tip: don't discard the strawberry tops - save them and use in your smoothies!
For the Tofu Cream:
Makes about 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
· 10 oz firm tofu (we like Hodo brand)
· ¼ cup pure maple syrup
· 2 TB fresh lemon juice
· 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
· ¼ tsp almond extract
· ¼ cup plant milk (almond, cashew work best)
· Good pinch of pink salt
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, about 2 full minutes. Add more liquid if needed.
Taste and adjust flavorings if needed.
Chill in fridge for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
We like to serve them open face....
You can also choose to add a top. Either way, these are delicious!
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