With an oat-like base, a layer of fresh berries and a golden crumble sprinkled on top, this Strawberry and Lemon Coconut Slice takes the Real Simple Coconut Slice to another level. There’s a certain buttery satisfaction in the base, but without the dairy. There’s the sweetness of the berries, but without the sugar of jam. And the topping provides a fresh and zesty contrast. Where the Real Simple Coconut Slice is just quick and easy for every day, these simple variations turn it into something special. Yes, I’d say it’s good enough for Mother’s Day Brunch.
Strawberry and Lemon Coconut Slice – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free
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When I was growing up, my mother often made a Raspberry Coconut Slice. I hadn’t thought about it for years, but making this took me back in time. I can’t remember the recipe exactly – did it have a biscuit base, or was it more of a sweet, buttery dough? It definitely had a thick layer of seedless raspberry jam, which in my earliest years would have been scooped out of a tin. And a coconut crumble, baked just to golden. What a wonderful treat.
I dare say now I’d find it too sweet. Looking at old recipes – or the sweets recipes in contemporary magazines – I’m usually shocked at the quantities of refined sugar. This Strawberry and Lemon Coconut Slice, for our new tastebuds, is just right. It’s so good to have the nostalgic, emotional satisfaction of my childhood slice, but without the inflammatory insulin rush, and with the added bonus of all that coconut fat from both the shredded flesh and the oil.
Using fresh berries instead of jam means there’s no sugar to preserve the fruit, so you’ll want to consume this as soon as possible. If you don’t have enough people around to eat the lot within a couple of days, then do as we did – freeze the extra portions. Fiorenzo’s favourite was to have it chilled from the fridge. I preferred it at room temperature.
This was one of those mix and match experiments that worked. I actually wanted to make cookies, but we had so many home-grown strawberries needing to be used that I thought, why not try a Coconut Slice with a layer of berries baked on top. Then I had the flash of the lemony crumble, so I mixed up, more or less, the topping of the Citrus and Coconut Poppyseed Cake. Thus the Strawberry and Lemon Coconut Slice was born.
That’s what I like about cooking. There really aren’t any rules, and the creativity makes it fun and playful. Disasters happen, to be sure, but something positive always results from a little experimentation. If not a new recipe, then at least you know what not to repeat next time!
What will you do to make this recipe your own?
Healthy Paleo Snacks
Mini Meatloaf Muffins with Baked in Chutney – Snacks don’t always need to be sweet. These are great for a picnic or lunchbox.
Basil and Chicken Meatballs – Just three ingredients in these meatballs! They’re always a hit.
Fresh Berry Paleo Muffins – Another great way to use an excess of summer berries!
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- zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon + ½ cup coconut oil, melted.
- 1 tablespoon + ¼ cup muscovado sugar
- ½ cup + 2 cups finely shredded coconut
- 1 sheet gelatin (or 1 teaspoon)
- 120 mls water, divided
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (omit for AIP)
- 250 grams fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
- First, make the crumble topping. Place the zest and juice of the lemon, 1 tablesoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar and ½ cup shredded coconut into a bowl. Mix well to form a wet paste and set aside.
- Now, for the base. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a 28cm/11inch x 21cm/8inch baking tray with parchment paper. Dissolve the gelatin in 60 mls warm water. Place the ½ cup coconut oil, ¼ cup muscocado sugar, 2 cups shredded coconut, the dissolved gelatin, remaining water, cassava flour and baking powder into the food processor and process until thoroughly combined. Press the coconut slice mix evenly into the tray, smoothing with a rubber spatula. Cover with a layer of thinly sliced strawberries, and sprinkle the coconut crumble topping over the top. Using the spatula, score through to make 16 portions.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden.
- Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely before serving. Freeze any portions that you won't be using withing a couple of days.