I like to stretch out my birthday. It’s in February, the shortest month of the year, which means it’s very easy to justify taking a birthday month. I also have a lot of different groups of friends and sometimes, it’s just easier to see people in an environment where they all know each other. It means I get to enjoy myself and not worry if my different groups of friends are getting along or not. It’s not really an issue anymore- we’re all adults and well and truly capable of mingling, but it’s just a habit from my teenage days. Either way, a birthday is an excellent excuse to catch up with friends.
I’ve always enjoyed planning parties and such things but now, my focus is on ensuring that everyone is able to have a relaxed, chilled time- including myself. That means less obsessive organisation, less meticulous planning and more time surrounded by people on the day.
As such, I’ve organised a pot luck picnic for my birthday this year, where everyone will be bringing something to share. I’ve decided on a few things I’ll bring to cover the bases but it shouldn’t be as much cooking or stress if I was catering for the whole thing myself- which I like!
One of the things I’ll be taking is a healthy take on a Cherry Ripe- one of my childhood favourites.
I love the flavours of dark chocolate, coconut and cherries (or berries) and so I decided to combine these in their purest form and what a combination it is! It’s so quick and easy to put together and I highly encourage you give it a try!
I sourced the basic recipe from Frankie’s Feast but adapted it slightly to be even easier and even healthier.
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup cacao
- 1/3 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/2 cup dates, soaked (if you have time)
- Unsweetened almond and coconut milk as needed
- 2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries- I used a mix of cherries, boysenberries and blackberries
- 2/3 cup raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours or overnight (I didn’t do this and it turned out fine!)
- 1/2 cup fresh coconut
- Sweetener, to taste (I didn’t need to use any)
- 1 tbs chia seeds
- 1 tbs desiccated coconut
- 1 tbs cacao nibs
- 1 tbs dried blueberries/goji berries
Process all the base ingredients until well combined. Add some unsweetened almond coconut milk as needed to moisten the base. Press this mixture into a square pan and put in the freezer to chill while you make the next layer.
Process all ingredients for the middle layer until combined. Add chia seeds and pulse once or twice to stir through. Taste and add sweetener of choice if desired.
Pour this over the top of the base layer and sprinkle the toppings over your slice.
Remove from the freezer when firm and slice into desired size. Store in the freezer and serve straight from the fridge!