Vegan Strawberry Shortcake
It’s high summer and that means one thing, berry season.
This time of year is extra exciting for me, because I don’t use berries very often and when I do use them it is only now during thier peak season.
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Berries are a very labor intinsive crop. They are delicate and must be handpicked for ripeness and size, as well as to prevent bruising. If you’ve ever done a pick your own berry farm you also know that it’s work that you do bending over and even just a couple hours of it will leave you sore. Imagine doing this type of work day after day for 8 or more hours. Strawberry picking is a hard job. Many of those who do this work are migrant farm workers who on top of low pay and long hard hours are not treated with health care or suitable living conditions. If you care about human health and wellness (like you care about veganism), you should make sure you pick berries from farms and brands you know and trust, or do the berry picking yourself. One of the things to look for is the “I pick safety” berry label, you can find out more about it here. You should pressure your local farms to also give safe conditions and fair pay to all their workers, if they can’t then you should boycot their brands and strawberries.
The actions we take and how we spend our money matters and berries are not native to where I live meaning on top of the growing conditions there are massive emissions from refrigeration and long transportation. I consider the global impact of food to be very imprtant and eating local matters to me, therefore I look forward to my 1 carton of fresh berries each year. The rest of the year I boycot the berry business, write e-mails to farms and food distribution companies as well as donate to varioud farm worker unions and orginizers.
Consider what actions you can take to support farm wrokers and all of those who make your vegan diet possible.
Recipe notes: It’s very imprtant to make a crumbly dough before adding any of the liquid, sort of like pie crust making. It’s very esy to overwork the dough once you add the milk so be cautious not to work it too much when rolling and cutting the shortbread. This recipe uses vegan butter because it is easier to work with, but Im sure you could substitute with frozen coconut oil if you would like.
Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
375 (3cups) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
112g (1/2 cup) vegan butter (very cold)
50 g (1/4 c) sugar
180 ml (3/4 cup) plant milk
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Measure your milk of choice and add the lemon juice to “curdle” it.
2. Measure the flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl.
3. Cut the vegan butter into cubes and rub into the flour mixture until it is crumbly.
4. Add the sugar to the flour mixture and mix well.
5. Finally add the milk (with lime juice) and the vanilla and mix to just combine. The dough should be wet but not too sticky, do not over mix
6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and press into a round about 4-5 cm (2 inches) thick. Cut into circles of the size you choose, I prefer 4-5cm (2 inches) so the final shortcake isn’t too big. When you run out of room to cut rounds, fold the dough together careful not to overwork it, but working quickly so the butter doesn’t melt. Press out again and cut more rounds until you have used all the dough.
7. Bake the shortbread on a linned baking sheet at 218C (425F) for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before assembly.
Vegan Whipped Cream
and Strawberry Filling
1 carton of strawberries
30 g (1/8 cup) sugar
100 g (2/3 cup) cashews (soaked overnight)
55ml (1/4 cup) plant milk
3-4 T agave
55g (1/4 cup) coconut oil
1 T lime juice
1. Soak the cashews overnight.
2. Drain the casehws and combine in the blender with the plant milk, agave, coconut oil and lime juice. Blend until smooth.
3. Refridgerate the cream until it is stiff (aprox. 3 hours)
4. Remove the green stem of the strawberries and chop into small pieces. Mix with the sugar (use more or less to your taste). Chill until ready to use.
To Assemble the Strawberry Shortcake
1. Slice the cooled shortcake in half down the middle or chop into cubes
2. Cover with 2 heaping spoonfulls of strawberries and a bit of the juice from the bottom on the strawberry bowl.
3. Add a spoonful (or two) chilled vegan whipped cream and enjoy.