I use so many cashews and almonds in my recipes it’s definitely worth me buying them in bulk! Aside from shopping online, I find asian supermarkets the perfect place to find nuts, spices and alternatives to wheat flour in big bags, at a much better price than you’d get them from in regular supermarkets.
I also love some of the more unusual fruit and veg you can buy. Okra are amazing, I fell in love with jack fruit and papaya in Thailand and these are all available at my local asian supermarket. I was chatting to a lovely girl there this week who was all excited because fresh figs are back in season. Figs have a unique, sweet taste, soft and chewy texture and are littered with slightly crunchy, edible seeds. They’re often recommended to nourish and tone the intestines and act as a natural laxative because of their high fibre content. Figs are a good fruit source of calcium, a mineral that is involved in bone density. Their high potassium content may counteract the urinary excretion of calcium caused by high salt diets. This in turn helps to keep calcium in bones and lessens the risk of osteoporosis. To summarise;
- Great source of calcium
- Lots of potassium
- Nourishment for the intestines
I use coconut milk, oil and desiccated coconut in this recipe. Each derivative of the humble coconut has incredible health benefits. Coconut milk for example contains lauric acid. This is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. The consumption of coconut milk may help protect your body from infections and viruses.
With that in mind, and a whole heap of ingredients suited to these delicious slices already in my basket, here there are, my Creamy Coco Fig Slices.
1 tin coconut milk (make sure it’s just coconut and water ~ no chemical nasties)
200g cashew nuts (soaked for 1-2 hours if possible)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
75g desiccated coconut
50ml coconut oil (melted)
2 tablespoons manuka honey
Plus 5 fresh figs to decorate
300g chopped dates
50ml coconut oil
Handful of almonds
To create the creamy, coconut top layer, simply put everything in the food processor and whizz together. This may take a little while as it’s good to ensure the cashews are as smooth as possible. Place in a bowl and set aside in the fridge.
To create the base layer, simply whizz everything together, adding a few drops of water if you need to. You’re looking to create a sticky base layer. It doesn’t matter if the almonds aren’t perfectly smooth, crunchy bits taste good!
Press the base layer into a shallow tin lined with greaseproof paper and place in the freezer for 20 mins.
Remove the base layer from the freezer and spoon on the creamy cashew layer. It should have firmed a little from being in the fridge for half an hour.
Press the sliced figs gently into the cashew cream and return to the freezer to set for an hour or two. Use a sharp knife to cut into slices. Return to the freezer to store.
Ideally these coco cashew slices are best taken from the freezer and placed into the fridge for around 20 minutes before serving to allow them to soften a little.
I love how they look like little works of art. Almost too pretty to eat 🙂 …. almost!!