Ever since I adopted a vegetarian diet I have become more aware of the importance of eating seasonal produce. Before I didn’t really pay much attention to this, but now that I am striving to live a healthier life I’ve learned to be more appreciative of what nature has to offer with every changing season.
If you think about it, there’s a reason why tomatoes grow in the summer, apples in the fall and squash in the winter. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are designed to keep your body cool when it is warm and to warm it up when it’s cold. Also, by eating fresh, seasonal produce you can be certain that you are getting all their nutrients and full flavor, since they where harvested right when they where ready. That is not the case with produce grown out of season, which is harvested earlier and refrigerated so they don’t get spoiled during transportation. This does not only affect taste and nutrients, but your health and the environment as well, since it takes a lot of pesticides to grow them and preservatives to keep them looking fresh. So if you ask me, I think it’s definitely worth it to start paying more attention to the food we buy and what we put into our body.
Speaking about seasonal produce, this summer I’ve been having a love affair with fresh, local berries. To me they are like tasty little gems that I just can’t resist to, so I was thrilled when I discovered a berry farm close to where I live, where you can go and pick your own. We quickly went there for what was my first ever blueberry picking experience, so of course I wanted to make something special out of them and share it here with you.
Since it has been so hot in our area lately, I opted for a cold dessert, which better yet, does not require baking. You can’t go wrong with cheesecake, but to make it a little different I decided to serve it in shooter glasses as individual mini portions. This makes a fun and cute presentation, ideal for entertaining or for those who are concerned about portion control. To spice up the taste a bit I used gingersnap cookies for the crust base and maple syrup instead of sugar for the filling. The result was just perfect and now I’m obsessed with the whole idea of mini desserts.
No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Shots
(Makes 6-8 shot glasses)
For the crust base:
3/4 cup ginger snaps biscuits, crushed.
1 ½ Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted.
For the filling:
½ cup cream cheese
½ cup Mascarpone cheese
¾ cup fresh blueberries, pureed
Juice and zest of half lemon
5 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. In a medium bowl, combine the gingersnaps crumbs and the melted butter.
2. Place 1 Tbsp. of the mixture in each individual glass and press down with a small spoon or your fingertips to form a crust layer. Reserve in the fridge.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients of the filling and beat with electric mixer or a whisk, until you get a smooth and even cream.
4. Evenly distribute the filling among the reserved serving glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
5. Just before serving, garnish with fresh blueberries and mint leaves.