If you're not British, allow me to introduce you to one of our food traditions: strawberries and cream. I may be living in Canada, but I do love to make food from my home country. This dessert is one of my favourites as it reminds me of childhood summers spent picnicking in our garden. The snack of choice at the Wimbledon tennis tournament each year, strawberries and cream have become a British staple over time. I'd go so far as to say that they're now one of our most-loved summer desserts. Simple by nature and utterly delicious, they're one of those ideal combinations that need no further ingredients. They're perfect as they are.
That said, I have played with the traditional recipe because they aren't usually vegan! For these Easy Vegan Strawberries and Cream, I've omitted the dairy cream and replaced it with whipped coconut cream. Yes, it does have a slightly different taste to dairy cream - you can't avoid that if you're using coconut. But in my opinion it still tastes delicious! Using whipped coconut milk has the added benefit of being a little lighter than dairy cream also, so you won't get that full, heavy feeling as quickly.
A note on ingredients
One important thing to note with this recipe is that it's CRUCIAL you use a good quality coconut milk. Buy the best one you can find (with the highest percentage of coconut in), as not all coconut milks are created equal and some have a lot of water in. I really like using Whole Foods 365 Organic Coconut Milk. Leave it overnight in the fridge to let the water and cream separate. Then it will be ready to use!
It probably goes without saying, but to get the most out of this Easy Vegan Strawberries and Cream recipe, use the most delicious strawberries you can find. It's a simple recipe with few ingredients, so those ingredients need to be good quality or you'll really notice! Small, sweet strawberries from local farms usually taste the best. If you can pick your own, even better! The riper the fruit, the better it will taste.
Easy Vegan Strawberries and Cream (sugar-free)
- Electric whisk
- 1 400ml can full fat coconut milk (chilled overnight in the fridge)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (for sweetness if desired)
- ¼ tsp vanilla essence or raw vanilla powder
- 1 lb fresh strawberries
- Fresh mint leaves
- Remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge and open it. Scrape out the hardened coconut cream that has solidified in the top half of the can into a large bowl.
- (The leftover coconut water isn't needed for this recipe. You can use it in smoothies or on cereal, or just drink it!)
- Add the vanilla essence and maple syrup (if using) to the large bowl with the cream and using an electric whisk, beat the cream for 3-5 minutes, until it is lump-free and fluffy. It should have roughly the same consistency as whipped cream.
- If not using the cream immediately, store in the fridge as it will melt if it gets warm.
- Slice the strawberries in half and divide between small bowls.
- Spoon a dollop of cream on top of each bowl, and sprinkle fresh mint leaves over the top for added colour and taste. Enjoy the dessert as it is or with a glass of wine.
- The only note for this recipe is to not scrimp on the coconut milk! Buy the best quality you can afford, as some lower quality milks can be thinner and contain more water. This can also mean that sometimes they don't separate properly!