Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake + Coconut Whipped Cream (Vegan)

I knocked it outta the park with this one. The carnivores love it, too.

tastes even better than it looks

Ingredients

3/4 c coconut milk
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t vanilla extract, divided
1 c flour
1 scant cup almond flour
2 T cornstarch
3 T sugar, plus a few pinches more for topping
1/2 t sea salt
2 t baking powder
3 T coconut oil, plus a bit more for brushing onto shortbread
1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
3/4 c powdered sugar

scant cup of almond flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, stir together coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 t vanilla. Let it sit for a few minutes, allowing it to curdle.
  3. Add flour, almond flour, cornstarch, sugar, sea salt, and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the coconut oil and use a spatula to mash and break it up into the flour mixture.
  4. Add about 3/4 c coconut milk mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine into a semi-sticky dough. Note that you may not use all of the coconut milk mixture (I used all but 1 T). If mixture looks too dry, add more coconut milk 1 T at a time. If it looks too wet, add more flour 1 T at a time. Err on the side of too wet.
  5. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and dust the top with a bit flour. Handling dough as little as possible, form it into about a 1″ thick pancake with your hands. Using a well-floured biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or narrow drinking glass (what I used), cut out circles and transfer them carefully to the baking sheet. Arrange shortcakes so they touch (see photo).
  6. Reform leftover dough as needed until all is used, making about seven shortcakes.
  7. Butter tops of shortcakes with melted coconut oil and sprinkle each with cane sugar.
  8. Bake 15 minutes, until beginning to brown slightly. Increase heat to 450°F and bake for another three minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  9. When done, remove shortcakes from oven and let cool five minutes. Then, separate shortcakes and move to a plate so they can better cool. It’s okay if they’re a bit warm when serving.
  10. While shortcakes are cooling, put a large mixing bowl into the fridge for ten minutes in preparation for the whipped cream.
  11. Being careful not to tip or shake, remove can of coconut milk from the fridge. Scrape out the thickened cream that has risen to the top into the chilled mixing bowl and save the liquid for another recipe.
  12. Beat solidified coconut milk until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/2 t vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until creamy and smooth, about one minute.
  13. To serve, slice shortcakes in half and top with coconut whipped cream and a generous serving of sliced strawberries.

The biscuits (let’s be honest, that’s what they really look like) and refrigerated strawberries will last in airtight containers for a few days, but that whipped cream is a like a fine wine and stays good for a couple weeks.

Serves six normies or three wild dessert eaters.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 10/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: ?/10 (he’s in NYC, I’m in Texas)

Adapted from Vegan Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake and Coconut Whipped Cream.

Related on Bummed Out Baker: 
Strawberries Romaoff (Gluten-Free + Raw + Vegan)
Strawberry Cake
Velvet Cake


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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A Change Has Come to Bummed Out Baker!

After 63 consecutive Mondays of recipes, I’ve made the decision to cut recipes back to every other Monday. I put so much TLC into my recipe posts- from the grocery shopping to the cooking to the photographing to the cleanup to the photo selecting / editing to the post drafting, and each recipe post takes about one full day of work to put together. That’s 63 days of my life spent lovingly working on this passion project in hopes of drawing people into a supportive, unguarded, sometimes funny (I like to think) community and, while I’ve enjoyed it, I realize I need to reclaim some time to work on my book / thesis and my budding home organization business, Tidy B Organizing. More importantly, for those seeking community, I can now focus more energy toward my mental health posts, which seem to interest and resonate with readers most.

This is not some kind of slow decline until BOB slides off the face of the earth, rather quite the opposite! I’m in the throes of designing a fabulous new website with Kiki + Co. and have recipes that are both delicious and a bust (lol remember, honesty is my policy) queued up for the rest of 2019, even some for 2020. I’ve also been dreaming up and brainstorming the approach to something super exciting I have in mind for a Friday feature.

As BOB evolves organically to better suit readers and myself, the aim remains the same: to champion mental illness and discuss it openly. It’s imperative to destigmatize something that every person has been touched by in some way, and I look forward to continuing the charge.

Thank you, readers, for all your support so far!

Mental Health: A Regular Ole Tuesday

Tonight on the way to dinner I’d barely hit the road before I felt strong anxiety coming on. I gripped the car wheel tightly at the top and, when that didn’t feel just right, moved my hands into different arrangements that never felt secure. The AC was blasting in my face and I took deep breaths over and over. I pictured my mom sitting in the kitchen eating the roasted artichokes I’d just made before I left and thought Well, that was the last time I’m ever gonna see my mom because I was about to have a seizure followed by an aneurism, swerve off the road into a guardrail and die. I don’t even remember what my dad was doing. Why didn’t we hug bye? How’re they gonna tell Rick I’m dead? I rifled around in my purse for meds at a stoplight but couldn’t find any. I’d run out. I forgot to restock. Shit. I mashed the gas and raced to my destination, knowing if I could just get to where I was going my anxiety attack would subside. I was meeting three friends for dinner – a low pressure social situation. But it was in public! There would be people there! I might ralph everywhere and humiliate myself! There might be extremely bothersome fluorescent lights! There would! There might! This is it, sorry for wrecking your Lexus mom and dad, bye mom and dad! Did I just begin to drift? No that’s my imagination. No, no, no. Am I here? Is this it? Thank god. I pulled into a parking space, concluding an experience that was not unlike the Willy Wonka boat ride from hell.

If booze is handy when my meds aren’t, I cruise into the self-medication zone. When I get a cocktail down, usually my anxiety-induced nausea subsides and my heart slows down. When I ordered a drink with my friends tonight, though, it didn’t work. I put my forehead in my hands and ran my hands across my head and over my hair over and over. I fiddled with my fingers. I told them I couldn’t relax. I admitted I self-medicate w booze. They understood my plight and, while it’s not great, I do what I can to survive when I genuinely think death is imminent.

My mental unrest never receded tonight. Even as I type I feel jumpy and my brain seems to be 1-2 seconds behind my actions, which alarms me. What’s wrong with me? At the same time, my body is exhausted, completely spent after being tense for so many hours, unconsciously holding my muscles tight while in survival mode.

A regular ole Tuesday, folks, imagining the last time I’ll ever see my parents over and over and over. With artichokes!

Written on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

Related on Bummed Out Baker: 
Mental Health: No, You Don’t “Have Anxiety”
Mental Health: Psychiatrists
Mental Health: Compassion Fatigue and Hyper-Empathy


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Lemonade (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

If you’re bummed out about your long weekend being over, make this lemonade esta noche to cheer yourself up. If you’re catatonically bummed out, add liquor and then look for a new job.

Ingredients

1/2 c lemon juice (~4 large lemons)
1/3 c cane sugar
4 c water
Optional: raspberries or other fruit to garnish, vodka

Instructions

  1. Stir or shake ingredients until well combined.
  2. Pour lemonade over ice and garnish / spike at will.

Keeps for about a week in the fridge and, if you use them, will become more and more pink due to the raspberries.

Serves four.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 8/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 7.5/10

Adapted from Perfect Summertime Lemonade.

Related on Bummed Out Baker:
Pumpkin Spice Creamer
Avocado Strawberry Caprese Salad
Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Mental Health: No, You Don’t “Have Anxiety”

I’m gonna try to keep my cool here because, if you’ve been reading BOB for a while, you know I get fired up about word impeccability.

I’ve known about word impeccability ever since I read the book The Four Agreements ten years ago. It essentially champions saying what you mean and meaning what you say, something that’s not as simply employed as it seems. It remains on my nightstand as a reminder to this day.

I learned about the nuance of word impeccability as it pertains to specific people while working at Special Olympics International down in D.C. People first language, such as “Tabitha uses a wheelchair” versus “Tabitha is wheelchair-bound” and “Frankie has autism” versus “Frankie is autistic” gives agency to the person being described and also eradicates the physical or intellectual disability from defining the person being described.

Shortly after adopting this language I realized its parallels to the mental health community. “Sarah has Bipolar Disorder” versus “Sarah’s Bipolar” or “The psychiatrist says the man may have borderline personality disorder” versus “the man is borderline”. It’s essentially the use of “is” (defining) versus “has” (one descriptor).

Alright, now, where word impeccability gets personal is with the flippant use of the word “anxiety”.

When I was 13 years old, the summer before I went to high school, I went with my family to a sold out showing of a blockbuster. Every seat was filled and the movie was original, visually arresting and, for me, an absolute terror fest.

I was seated next to my mom right in the middle of a packed row mid-theater, ideal seats for most. Except I began to experience anxiety that I would not be able to quickly exit the situation. If I did, I’d upset people by making them have to stand up to let me by (this was long before recliners) and then upset them again by side-stepping back to my seat in front of their view. And then, what if I had to get up again?

Wait, is that an urge to pee? No, wait, I’m going to vomit. Yep, I’m certainly going to vomit and ruin this movie for everyone in seats around me.

My body became drenched in sweat despite the generously air-conditioned theater. I slipped around in my seat and gripped the arm rests. I began to panic, and my mom glanced over me and saw my white face. She had no idea what to do, and couldn’t open up a conversation in the middle of the movie to do a deep dive on what the hell was wrong. She asked me if I was okay, and I couldn’t even open my mouth to respond. If I did, I’d certainly vomit.

What if this is my last moment? Oh, god, I’m going to die in this movie theater. This is it.

My body turned rigid.

Isn’t this how a seizure begins? I’m going to die here in this velour seat with popcorn stuck to my sweat after I fall to the ground. I’m going to choke on my tongue. This is it. This is it. This is it.

My mom pulled papers out of her bag and began fanning me. She didn’t know what to do, either.

What was this?

I might as well not have been in a theater, because my thoughts were solely on survival. My thoughts had literally turned to death. When the fanning cooled me off, my heart began to slow, but the terror of leaving my seat made me stay in my seat until, finally, the movie ended. When the credits rolled people began to leave their seats, the bottoms springing back up to meet their seat backs with a thud, clearing the aisles. As they exited the theater, my body began to relax. I was physically exhausted and dazed as I walked out into the merciless sunlight. Instead of jabbering excitedly about a great movie, I was just working to get my body to the car.

On the way out I saw one of the “hottest” guys from school and we waved at each other. I gave him a weak smile. I was so relieved to be seeing him then instead of when I almost hurled in the theater. Don’t even get me started on dealing with undiagnosed mental illness in the throes of the social stressors of puberty…

People, that is a panic attack.

An anxiety attack is like a panic attack’s more reasonable cousin, as the former usually has an identifiable source. Panic attacks come out of nowhere and I’ve been absolutely plagued by both of these experiences since childhood.

It really upsets me when someone says they’re having anxiety and it doesn’t have anything to do with mental incapacitation. It downplays the experiences of people who truly have anxiety or panic disorders. It downplays the plight that trails me everywhere I go like some hungry, stray dog. It downplays true suffering and further hurts those afflicted.

Being anxious is a normal feeling fueled by cortisol that is a part of our survival mechanisms as humans. It comes and goes in appropriate situations, like job interviews or first dates. You can be anxious, but you’re not having anxiety. You’re not having an anxiety or panic attack.

You. Are. Simply. Anxious.

Someone who actually has anxiety is like their internal jug of cortisol gets dumped over in unsuspecting, often inopportune moments that deteriorate quality of life. In the 90s and 2000s I didn’t have language to describe what I was going through and felt completely isolated. Now that there’s common language for these disorders, people throw it around like a frisbee. Now, when I tell someone I have anxiety, it’s written off because “everyone” has it. That’s incorrect and, again, downplays the very real mental illness I suffer from.

It’s a blessing and a curse, really, the growing commonality of language pertaining to mental illness. While I’m glad people are able to talk more openly about their issues, others casually adopt the wording to describe every day feelings.

As I work hard to linguistically respect others with descriptors instead of definers, I wish to receive the same respect, myself. Please, work hard to respect people by using the correct wording. Everyone deserves that fundamental consideration.

I know this is going up the day before the 4th of July so, as Kevin G and the Power of Three would say after an aggressive performance, “Happy holidays, everybody!”