So it’s that time of the year again! Happy 2014! The holidays are coming to an end and my church is preparing to start our annual time of fasting and consecration. There’s no better way to start the new year and one of my personal New Year’s resolutions is to get closer to God through more dedicated prayer. Kudos to you if you’re doing this fast for the first time. Hang in there, and if you feel a mood swing coming on, refocus on God. Fasting isn’t easy, but in the end, it can be a rewarding experience and you’ll be healthier!
One of the hardest things during the Daniel fast is abstaining from sweets and desserts. It is expected to be a challenge, after all, the holidays were a time of indulgence and sweets galore. Quitting abruptly on sweets can be rather shocking and temptation is luring all around us. One solution is hydration! Yes, camel-up. It is important to stay hydrated, especially when you experience the side effects of detoxing or sugar withdrawals, and that’s why I’ve included watermelon in this recipe. Watermelon is a summer fruit but I’m fortunate to live in Southern California where we can find off-season produce at reasonable prices. This Daniel fast fruit delight is good for you and can fool your system into thinking you’re having some dessert, although I think it makes a great breakfast. I first came across a version of this recipe on paleocupboard.com. Check out the most amazing watermelon cake, which I tried for the first time for my husband’s birthday last year. He was determined to eat healthy, even on his birthday! So, that watermelon cake was my inspiration for this recipe. The reason why I thought of fruit stacks is because a whole watermelon cake can be bit too much, especially if you don’t have a big crowd to devour a big watermelon. Now, don’t expect this to be super sweet because it’s not. All the sweetness comes from the fruit itself. The coconut whipped cream is only slightly sweetened with some maple syrup, which is optional, especially if you’re doing a more strict version of the Daniel fast. If you’re diabetic, check with your doctor. Fruit is very sweet on its own.
Total Prep Time: 15 min.
Ingredients (amounts may vary depending on size of fruits and desired quantity):
- 1 can full fat coconut cream, refrigerated overnight (you may need more if frosting a whole watermelon, or save extra cream to make curry later)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 watermelon, sometimes stores have very small or 1/2 watermelons available (you can make a fruit salad with leftovers)
- 1 pineapple
- Other fruit options for stacking: apples or oranges, cut into rounds
- crushed nuts or sliced toasted almonds to garnish
- additional fruit for topping
To make coconut whipped cream:
Refrigerate the can of coconut cream overnight. When ready to use, open the can from the bottom and drain out the liquid. You only need the thick cream that separates at the top to make the whipped cream. The cream contains coconut oil so it separates and coagulates at the top when it gets cold. Save the milk to use in smoothies or curry dishes. Scoop out the cream into a mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and maple syrup. Whip the cream with a stand or hand mixer, with a whisk attachment, on low-speed. Work you way up to medium and high speeds slowly, being careful not to over mix. It takes about 7 minutes for the cream to get nice and fluffy. One can of coconut cream yields enough whipped cream for about 3-5 fruit stacks, depending on how much you use. If you’re like me and you like to douse your fruit with a lot of whipped cream, then get ready to make more.
I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream. I think it whips better than other brands perhaps due to a couple of additives like xanthan gum, used as an emulsifier to add volume to gluten-free foods. You may want to avoid foods with additives during your Daniel Fast so use at your own discretion. Light coconut cream will not work for this recipe.
To prepare and assemble fruit stacks:
If you have a stand mixer, you can prep the fruit while the cream is being whipped.
Peel and cut the pineapple into 1/2 inch slices. You may remove the cores but that’s optional. Next, cut the watermelon into 1/2 inch slices and cut out circles similar in diameter to the pineapple slices. This can be easily done with a sharp knife and using a pineapple slice as a cutting mold. You can also try cutting the watermelon slices into squares if you’re interested in a different look. Finally, stack one pineapple slice on top of a watermelon slice. Top with whipped cream and a slice of apple, plus more whipped cream, more fruit, and nuts to add some crunch.
I almost feel too guilty for posting this on a Daniel Fast website. It’s so yummy it may be considered a king’s delight. Below are two instagram photos of the watermelon birthday cake I made for my husband back in July.