“When I became Ella’s stepmom I took out my twenty-year-old Farm Vegetarian Cooking book and baked a vegan recipe for strawberry shortcake –wedding cake, actually!”
Hello to all you sexy fit vegans (and future sexy fit vegans!) from Ella’s (fortunate) stepmom! I feel lucky to have Ella in my life and so admire her dedication and compassion. As a clinical psychologist and as a yoga teacher, I know the transformative potential of our choices about how we live, how we care for ourselves, and how we care for others and the world around us. I haven’t eaten (or wanted to eat) meat since around 1971; back then everyone wondered how I’d ever survive. After I met her dad, Ella inspired us both to take the next step! We’ve been vegan for a decade or so. No regrets, no looking back – in fact, I wonder why I didn’t take that step years ago! It’s so much truer to my values – preserving the earth, honoring living beings, and “ahimsa” — the yogic teaching of non-injury to self or others. Also, it’s easier than you think, and life is still delicious and satisfying.
I love to cook. I love to grill, I love to stir-fry, I love to bake…. When I became Ella’s stepmom I took out my twenty-year-old Farm Vegetarian Cooking book and baked a vegan strawberry shortcake –wedding cake, actually!. (It is still a terrific cookbook resource – check it out.) Being vegan is not about self-denial. It’s about being healthy and strong, living with awareness and kindness, and enjoying the abundance this world offers us all.
- 3 cups of strawberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
- 1 and ½ cup flour (I use Red Mill Gluten-free, but you can use unbleached wheat flour)
- ½ cup coconut flour or a blend of coconut and almond flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup Earth Balance original butter substitute (you can substitute coconut oil for up to 3 Tbsp)
- 1 cup sugar (I use raw sugar, but any sugar will probably work)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 tsp each vanilla and almond extract. Or 2 tsp rum!)
- 1 ½ c nondairy milk (I use a blend of soy and coconut, but almond works too. Hemp is a little bitter.)
- Spray a baking pan (9×11) or a dozen cupcake tins.
- Put the coconut milk, and a bowl, in the freezer.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
- In a bigger bowl, blend the Earth Balance and the sugar together with an electric mixer or a big wooden spoon, till it’s smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla (or almond or rum).
- Add a cup of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir with the big spoon.
- Add ½ cup of the nondairy milk to the batter and stir.
- Add another cup of the flour and stir, then another ½ cup of the milk and stir again.
- Add the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk.
- Spoon into the pan(s) and bake 30-35 minutes till light brown.
- While it’s baking, slice the strawberries and sprinkle sugar over them so they get juicy. (Add a splash of rum if you like.)
- Take the coconut milk out of the freezer and whip it with an electric mixer in the cold bowl. Put it back in the freezer.
- When the cake is done (golden brown, and a toothpick poke in the middle comes out clean) take it out and let it cool at least ½ hour.
- Assemble the cake: put the strawberries on the cake (or split the cake and put some in the middle and then some on top), put the whipped coconut on top! Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Enjoy! And don’t regret!
This cake goes incredibly well with Ella’s favorite nut milk too by the way!
Photo Credit: “Your Vegan Neighbor”