Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


No more Cool Whip

Plastic food, that which comes from a laboratory instead of a garden (or kitchen), is a sad and stupid fact of life. Supermarkets are full of the stuff. It's all technically edible but it certainly isn't what Mother Nature intended, and it doesn't nurture our health and well-being.

When the convenience craze made real whipped cream seem labor-intensive, some clever person who had no taste whatsoever decided that a new white dessert topping made of cheap chemicals could really capitalize on the trend. And, oh, did it ever! I have no idea how much Cool Whip gets sold every year, but I know kids who have never tasted actual whipped cream. They think Cool Whip is cool, which makes me want to weep.

My one caveat for real whipped cream is that you buy organic whipping cream. Logic tells me that an ordinary dairy cow that's been shot up with hormones and antibiotics and fed who-knows-what will produce milk that's tainted with chemical residues that I sure don't want on my strawberry shortcake. (Not to mention that whipped cream is high in saturated fat, so we shouldn't make a steady diet of it if we value our cardiovascular systems.)

If you want an alternative to whipped cream because you choose not to eat dairy products at all, that's different. Here's a yummy vegan dessert topping that has many uses.


Yield: 1 cup

5 ounces firm tofu
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashew pieces
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, strained
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt

1. Dice the tofu into 1/2-inch pieces and wrap in a clean tea towel to absorb any excess moisture. Set aside until needed.
2. Finely chop the cashews in a blender or food processor, then add the orange juice in a thin stream while the motor is still running. Process for 30 seconds, then turn off the machine and scrape the sides and bottom of the blender to release the cashew "mud" back into the mixture.
3. Add the tofu, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and salt. Blend at high speed until the mixture is very smooth and as thick as lightly whipped cream, about 1 full minute.
4. Chill for an hour or so before serving, if desired.


At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Geraldine said...

Great recipe idea Mindy. I actually never liked Cool Whip although it certainly showed up when I was still living at home with my parents, Im amazed junk like this is still on the market. I am adding your great blog to my veggieroll today. Hope you will stop by again soon. Cheers, G:)

At 5:01 AM, Blogger Anderson, Cherie said...

Wow, I've never seen a whipped cream tofu or cashew recipe with orange juice. Great idea!


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