There is rarely a night I don’t end with something sweet. I love a good dessert. It tells my belly that dinner is over and leaves me with a satisfied and pleasantly full feeling. Ice cream used to be my go-to dessert, but as my eating habits have changed, becoming more healthy, so has my take on dessert. These days I am much more likely to end the meal on a lighter note. Healthy desserts based around fruits and natural sugars are some of my favorites. They are sweet and delicious without leaving you feeling over stuffed or guilty. If you’re going to have dessert you might as well enjoy it, guilt free!
Strawberries and chocolate are a classic pairing. From chocolate covered strawberries to strawberry chocolate pie people go nuts over this combination. Another rising combination in the food world is the pairing of balsamic and strawberries. The sweetness of balsamic vinegar enhances and perfectly compliments the flavor of the strawberries. I thought that mixing these two classic pairings would result in another unusual and delicious flavor combination, and boy did it ever! I added some coconut cream for good measure and some cocoa nibs for crunch. Trust me, this is one unusual dessert that you’ll swoon over, and feel good about eating!
- 1 pound strawberries, greens removed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon aged chocolate balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or more to taste
- Pinch salt
- ¼ cup coconut whipped cream (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons cocoa nibs
- In a medium bowl combine strawberries, chocolate balsamic, maple syrup, and salt. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or until the strawberries have released their juices.
- Add the cocoa nibs to a small nonstick skillet. Toast the cocoa nibs over medium heat until they have become fragrant and have darkened in color. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
- Spoon the strawberries into serving dishes. Top with coconut cream and sprinkle with cocoa nibs and serve.
To make the coconut whipped cream, chill 1 can full-fat coconut milk in the fridge over night. This will allow the coconut cream and the coconut water to separate. We are after the coconut cream for this recipe. The next day remove the can from the fridge and turn it upside down. Using a can opener open the can of coconut cream. There will be a layer of coconut water which you will pour off. You can drink this, use it in your smoothie, or another recipe. Next, scoop out the coconut cream that has solidified in the bottom of the can into a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut cream until it is light and fluffy. Flavor with some pure vanilla extract and add your favorite natural sweetener to taste. The coconut whipped cream will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy!
If you can't find chocolate balsamic vinegar for this recipe, you can mix 1 tablespoon high quality balsamic vinegar with ½ teaspoon cocoa powder for a similar result.