Strong Arms for Kids

 
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Continuing a bit with the strawberry theme, I made this rich chilled strawberry dessert.  I have seriously waited almost a year to make this recipe.  I found this recipe off of one of my favorite food blogs Diet, Dessert, and Dogs right after strawberry season ended last year in Japan.  And, unlike in the United States, once a season ends in Japan, there is no finding that fruit again until the following year.  So finally, strawberry season is upon us again and I was able to make this dessert.  It was worth the wait!

( I didn't make the crisps but I thought I would add it in the recipe because they sound really good)
 
 1. 2 pounds strawberries, hulled, 1.5 pounds coarsely chopped, 1/2 pound chopped

       2. 1/2 cup sugar

       3. 1 Cinnamon Stick

       4. 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg

       5. Black Pepper (more or less to taste, I had mine kind of spicy)

       6. 1 Teaspoon Orange zest

       7. 1/2 Teaspoon grated Fresh Ginger

       8. 1/2 Cup Orange Juice

       9. 1 Cup Water

      10. 4 Tablespoons chopped Fresh Mint Leaves.

 
    For the Cream:

       1. 1 Cup Greek Yogurt (If you are not using Greek Yogurt, Strain & Drain Regular Plain Yogurt, to get rid of all the liquid & make it thick)[ You are free to use Whipped Cream/Regular Cream or Sour Cream, this is a healthier version & really it was good too]

       2. 3 Tablespoons of Sugar

       3. 20 -25 Very Finely Chopped Fresh Mint Leaves

    For the Crisp:

       1. 1/2 Cup Almonds, Toasted & Roughly Crushed

       2. 1/2 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips


    Preparation:

 
    Set aside the 1/2 lb chopped strawberries till ready to assemble.

 
    Combine 1.5 lbs of Strawberries, with orange juice, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, sugar, orange zest, ginger & the mint leaves in a pan.

 
    Put the pan on the stove & simmer the berry mixture for about 25 minutes, till the strawberry releases all the juice. The mix will get slightly thick, the strawberries will be limp. The liquid should not get thick & syrupy.


    Prepare an ice bath. Pour the above mixture in a container & quickly put the container in the ice bath. Stir it for about 10 minutes till the mixture is chilled.


    Remove the Cinnamon Stick. Puree the Berry Mix & Strain.  The texture & consistency of the soup should be like a regular tomato soup, not gooey thick. Chill the Soup.

 
    Preparing the Cream:

 
    Process the Sugar & the Mint Leaves to  form something like a thick, coarse paste. I used a rolling pin & crushed everything together.. It was easy & took only a couple of minutes.


    Add this to the Yogurt, & whisk till it combines well & the yogurt is creamy & smooth. Chill.

 
    Preparing the Crisps:

    In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (or on a water bath if you prefer).  Stir in all the roughly crushed Almonds, but  about 1.5 Tablespoons.


    Put a sheet of parchment paper on a plate. Spread out thinly the Chocolate & the Nut mix. I spread it out in a rough uneven circle, like a very thin cookie.  Sprinkle the rest of the crushed Almonds on this & lightly press with the back of the spoon. Put it in the refrigerator till the chocolate hardens.


 


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