Natural ‘free from’ goodness

In August, berry bushes become laden with fruit, and it’s a good time to make the most of this bonanza. One advantage of berries of all kinds over other fruits is that they influence positively the way our body handles sugar. Blackcurrants’ dark pigment is evidence of their high levels of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants which may protect against the proliferation of liver cancer cells and slow the ageing process. I love their distinctive tang. With the creaminess of the custard and the sweetness of the strawberries counterbalancing their sharper notes, this is a delicious summer dessert.

The dairy free, egg free custard is super simple and quick to make at home, with natural ingredients. Coconuts are rich in medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) which, unlike most saturated fats, are rapidly metabolised into energy in the liver, and far less likely to be stored as fat in the body.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tin of coconut milk or cream for a thicker, more velvety result

1 large tablespoon corn flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coconut sugar (or Demerara)

1 tbsp desiccated coconut, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan

1 handful chopped strawberries

2 handfuls blackcurrants (other berries would work well too)

Preparation:

  • In a cup, mix the cornflour with a little water so that it’s reasonably fluid.
  • Pour this mix into a medium saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon.
  • As soon as it begins to thicken, pour in the coconut milk or cream, vanilla and sugar.
  • Keep stirring for about 5-7 minutes until the custard thickens.
  • Once thick and smooth, pour the custard into 4 glasses or ramekins and leave to cool.
  • In another medium pan, leave the fruit to simmer for 5 minutes in a couple of tablespoons of water
  • Once the custard has cooled down and become firmer, pour the fruit on top
  • Sprinkle with the desiccated coconut and serve.
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