Red, White, Blue, and Green: Berries and (Raw) Whipped Cream

by Gena on July 4, 2009


Happy 4th of July!

I’m taking a break from my exciting day of work, which will hopefully be punctuated by some fireworks later. As the scent of charred meat wafts up to my apartment from the Mexican restaurant below, I’ve been enjoying my favorite summer foods: fresh berries, jersey tomatoes, avocados, and lots of coconuts. With these colors in mind, and in honor of the day, I present two summertime sweet treats!

The first is a smoothie I love to enjoy in the hotter months. Avocado based, it’s slightly less sweet than some other smoothie concoctions, but I still find it totally delicious. It makes for a good snack, a light dessert, or an excellent post-workout smoothie. Best of all, it’s reminiscent of key lime pie!


Lime-in-the-Coconut Smoothie (serves 1-2)


1/2 avocado
1 lime, pith and skin removed (if you don’t have a VitaMix, just use lime juice)
3/4 cup pineapple, chopped, or 1/2 banana, chopped
1 tsp agave, or stevia to taste
1 cup water
6 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients on high until creamy. Add more ice or water as needed, and enjoy!


My favorite July 4th ritual has always been spending the weekend with Chloe (my BFF, now living in NOLA) at her place in upstate New York, where we dutifully attend the local berry farm’s strawberry shortcake festival. I’m usually ignoring the cake and whipped cream part of the whole thing, but I DO get to savor the fresh berries. Work is keeping me in the city this year, but I can re-create at least that part of the experience: the Union Square farmer’s market is bursting with summer blueberries and strawberries right now, and I have a fully stocked kitchen!

To make things a little more fun, I’ve concocted the following recipe for raw, vegan whipped cream. NB: this is no substitute for the airy, Cool Whip variety of whipped cream. Instead, it resembles homemade whipped cream, just before the thick peaks start to form and become fluffy: it’s a rich, thick, and decadent concoction. The recipe is essentially a sweet spin on my savory cashew alfredo, and it’s just as simple.


Raw Whipped Cream


1 1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked 2 hrs
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp agave (or 2 dates)
1/2 vanilla bean (I threw the whole thing in my Vita; if you do this in a food processor, sub 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Blend all ingredients in your Vitamix until smooth and fluffy. To make this in a food processor, start by blending all ingredients, minus 1/4 cup water. Stop frequently to scrape the bowl. When the mixture is quite smooth, drizzle in the last 1/4 cup water till fluffy.


This stuff is so decadent, it’s hard to believe it’s plant-based. Scoop over fresh berries or fruit, and enjoy!


Note the flecks of vanilla bean: mmmmm…


A nice alternative would be to serve the now-famous banana soft serve over your berries. Yum!


Have a great, celebratory night, everyone!


P.S. …And thanks for the awesome responses to Melissa’s interview! Keep them coming!

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl July 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Fresh berries, tomatoes, avocados, and coconuts, raw whipped cream…. here’s to summer’s most delightful eats!! :-)

Happy 4th of July, dear Gena!!


Cecilia July 4, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Happy 4th of July to you Gena!! So glad that you posted this recipe because whipped cream hurts my tummy… :) Hope you get to see the fireworks later!!


Jessica July 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm

oh my … both of those look SO good! I’m definitely trying that whipped ‘cream’! It looks so delicious!


Dori July 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm

That whipped cream! I would love it. Maybe one day I will not be lazy and actually make it.


kristin f. July 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Do you happen to know if the leftovers of the “whipped cream” would keep in the fridge? I’m not sure I could eat it all at once, but it looks great. Thanks!


Manda July 4, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Looks amazing. I am so excited to be waiting on my vita-mix, I think I’ll try the whipped cream as one of it’s first uses.

Does your friend in NOLA share your healthy preferences? If so, you should totally consider her for an interview on how to keep healthy where organics are scarce and everything is salted and fried.


Gena July 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Hey Manda! Chloe’s not vegan or raw, but she IS a new pescatarian, and I have been totally inspired by her capacity to stay away from meat and poultry down there. And I totally want her to do a guest post!


Briana (aka Trilby Drew) July 4, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Ok, Gena. You have to stop creating these mouth-watering recipes and stop posting beautiful pictures of food on your site. Because I can’t take it anymore! Frozen Banana Soft Serve! Berries with Raw Whipped Cream! And Avocado-Lime-Pineapple Smoothies! I am simply overwhelmed with the shear deliciousness of these recipes. They all look so good that I don’t know where to start!

Ok, I take it back. Keep all the awesome food coming! And the interviews! And the Q & A! And the giveaways! And your great personality! And all the other awesome stuff that makes this one of my favorite sites! :)

Happy 4th!


Gena July 5, 2009 at 2:41 pm

And you, my dear, must stop leaving me such preposterously kind remarks! Thank you so much. I’m behind on blog reading but plan on heading over soon…in the meantime, happy holiday!


Diana (Soap & Chocolate) July 4, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Looks to me like cashews are kind of a gateway raw food – they are sneaky enough to recreate the darndest things you wouldn’t think could be made raw!

Hope you’re enjoying your 4th, m’dear. :)


melissa July 4, 2009 at 9:01 pm

yum the vanilla bean looks incredible. have fun with all your work, blog and social endeavors this month, I’ll see you before you know it. And I might make you bring me some berries and cream!


Suzanne July 5, 2009 at 2:17 am

Both of those recipes look amazing! Must tries! Hope you anjoyed your 4th!


Suzanne July 5, 2009 at 2:17 am

I meant enjoyed (obv.) :-)


Lauren July 5, 2009 at 5:41 am

Gena – the raw whipped cream looks awesome! Thanks for the recipe :).


Shelby July 5, 2009 at 6:16 am

I CANNOT wait to make both of these recipes!! They sound so decadent and creamy…mmm. I’m putting the ingredients on my grocery list asap!


Tyler July 5, 2009 at 6:27 am

that smoothie looks awesome and sounds so simple and easy! i definitely will have to make that soon. i don’t have a vita-mix, and I don’t think my blend could turn cashews into raw whipped cream, but it looks delicious, too!


Gena July 5, 2009 at 2:42 pm

A food processor will do it, Tyler!


Caroline Cain July 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

My question is almost the same – just tried to make the cashew cream in a regular blender. It’s delicious but not fluffy at all. I then tried to fluff it up with an electric whisk but no go. Will still enjoy it with our breakfast fruit salad, but wondering if you have any tips for next time (maybe we should just get a vita-mix!!?!).


Gena July 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Alas, a normal blender won’t do it! But a food processor definitely will.


Caroline Cain July 18, 2011 at 1:40 am

Thanks for reply…vitamix is on the long term wish list ;). Next time will give the food processor a whirl to see if it delivers the fluffiness!

Brittany July 5, 2009 at 7:39 am

Both of those recipes look awesome Gena and I love your photos. I’m definitely bookmarking this post. One question though, where do you get the vanilla bean paste/what part of the store is it usually in?

Happy belated 4th of July.. I hope you were able to see fireworks!


Gena July 5, 2009 at 2:42 pm

You can find whole vanilla beans at any health food store, Brittany, or most gourmet markets. I actually found Tahitian vanilla beans, which are incredible.


Maria July 5, 2009 at 8:04 am

Mmmm that smoothie looks absolutely thick and delicious–the color is beautiful too. Whoa, that whipped cream looks fantastic over those colorful berries! Didn’t know a raw vegan whipped cream was possible, but I guess you can create anything raw and vegan, Gena ;). Happy 4th weekend to you too!


MarathonVal July 5, 2009 at 8:46 am

Gena, I just copied and pasted both of those recipes onto a word doc so that I can access them easily as soon as I am able to get back to Chicago to make them!!!!! They look fabulous.

I am on a mini-vacay out of state for a few days and have been feeling a bit of guilt because, while I ate super high-raw yesterday, today I basically through that out the window, haha. It’s tough to eat raw at a Waffle House in southern Indiana since even their “fresh fruit plate” involved canned, nursing home fruit….. but I hope to get back on track once I’m home, and I love that I can rely on your blog and awesome recipes to do so! Hope you had a good holiday weekend!


Gena July 5, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Don’t get discouraged, dear Val! Tomorrow is always a new day and a clean slate. My question of the week has to do with “falling off the wagon,” so please stay tuned.


Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) July 5, 2009 at 9:10 am

Your smoothie sounds delicious. I’m so making it this week, but mine will be about 3 x’s the size of your’s. I’m a bit of smoothie piggie. :)

Cashew cream – been a staple in our house for years. LOOOOOVE it!

Hope you had a Happy 4th!


Jocelyn July 5, 2009 at 10:13 am

mmm im going to be doing this with banana softserve.
I dont have cashews on hand, could you make this with any other nut?


Gena July 5, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Sure! Pine nuts and macadamias would work nicely…


Holly July 5, 2009 at 11:32 am

Both recipes look delicious- yum! Just wondering why the smoothie is called Lime-in the-Coconut Smoothie if coconut isn’t listed as an ingredient? BTW- I am really enjoying your blog.


Gena July 5, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Ha, I’m not sure, Holly. Random mis-naming? I think I had it in mind to put coconut meat in this at first, then didn’t — let’s call it the Key Lime Pie Smoothie.


Brooke July 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I also wanted to know if you could make this with another nut? How do you store and keep it?
Love your blog and wonderful recipes.


Gena July 5, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Macadamias or pignolis would be best, Brooke.


Katharina July 5, 2009 at 1:06 pm

YUM YUM YUM YUM!!! Gobble gobble mm mm that sounds so good! I feel silly posting this comment, but this is how I feel! Berries are beautiful :)


Gliding Calm July 5, 2009 at 4:32 pm

oh my gosh!! both of those treats look delightful!!!

Gena, how do the food combination rules work for smoothies? I’m so confused!!


Gena July 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm

They’re the same as for any meal, GC. What in particular was the question?

(If you were prompted to ask because of the nut and berry combo here, it is in fact a bad combo, and I do this sauce with bananas (which combine with nuts), but it’s totally fine for a raw newcomer.)


Gliding Calm July 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Oh bananas can combine with nuts? I did not know that!! I thought only dried fruit did? Is that a rare exception?


Gena July 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Nuts AND dried fruit combine with banana :)

And avocado combines with fruit.

Don’t get too stressed about the combos, dear. A little miscombining in a smoothie won’t kill you! Just don’t eat steak with a roll ;-)


Hayley July 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm

I am literally salivating as I type this. I don’t even know where to begin! Your recipes look mouth-watering and after making a few already I know that they are! So far I’m hooked on your marinara, guacamole, cashew sundried tomato nut cheese, and zucchini pasta alfredo.. I can’t wait to make more! These sound SO good!

Quick question in response to the last reader’s post – is the nut and berry combo not a great food combo because you’re supposed to eat fruit on its own? Thanks! You’re the best Gena!

P.S. – I loved your interview with Melissa yesterday. I didn’t know about her blog beforehand…I’m glad you let us know about it! :)


Gena July 5, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Hayley —

If you honor food combining (not all raw foodies do), you eat fruit on its own or with avocado (which is a starch, but combines with fruit).

Thanks for the sweet remarks!



Casey July 5, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Delicious Gena! Thanks for sharing. x


Lauren July 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm

I do admit, cool whip is my weakness! I know that this stuff is basically “crack” in the edible form, but I can’t seem to break myself away. I did, however, just pick up some “True Whip” which is organic and natural but also a small fortune.

This variation of whipped cream sounds so luscious and creamy. I never would image that cashews could be turned into something like whipped cream. You are brilliant! :)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Take care Gena!


Kristen's Raw July 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Ohh la la! Those berries and cream sound divine!!! Wish we were in NY so I could share with you :) (rather, you could share it with me – LOL).

Cheers and Hugs,


gina (fitnessista) July 5, 2009 at 6:56 pm

ahhhh megan makes that whipped cream and it is SO FREAKING DELICIOUS.
i’ve gotta try that smoothie!
hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend <3


Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) July 5, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Delicious Gena! You know how I used to love my condom lube (aka cool whip). I can’t wait to try this on a little chocolate almond milk.

Thanks for the additional info in the comments too about the food combining. I didn’t know that bananas and nuts were okay (hello almond butter and bananas!!!), nor did I know that ‘cados combined with fruits. Maybe that little chart I have bookmarked in RFDD isn’t the gospel ;)


Kersten July 6, 2009 at 10:21 am

This. looks. so. good. (Drooling.) Where have I been living the last several years to have never known the wonderous things one can do with nuts?? frozen fruit?? Your creations are so inspiring and beautiful! How did you learn all of this fabulosity?? You should totally have live cooking classes online!!


Melanie July 6, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Yummy – Tried the whipped cream last night. I used a smaller amount of nuts to make a single serving and it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked, but its a start. I’ll have to keep working on it – but it was heaven, even with a few lumps in the whipped cream.


Erin July 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I can’t believe nuts could produce something so foamy and creamy.
Ha! I didn’t even mean for that to sound like that! But I’m so glad it did.


Lauren July 7, 2009 at 5:56 am

Oh Gena, you’ve done it again! :) :) I am loving the banana soft serve (even had it for breakfast one morning). I’ve told my whole fam about it and they are on board as well!! Now you are tempting me with whipped cream..OH YUMMMMM! :) T and I use to eat cool whip out of the container when we first moved into our apartment together (4 years ago)..this will bring back some memories!!


Alex July 7, 2009 at 9:10 am

Hi Gina,

I am itching to try both your banana soft serve AND this new lovely cashew whipped cream…but not at the same time. Surely, it would be so heavenly I’d never come back to earth…

Check out my blog sometime!

Take care,


ttfn300 July 7, 2009 at 6:11 pm

absolutely fabulous, adding these of the list of things to try!!


Jess July 8, 2009 at 9:57 am

I tried the raw whipped cream today – awesome! I love it! Mine didn’t come out super fluffy, but I think that’s cause I used dates instead of agave. I added a bit more water too since my Vitamix just kind of stopped mid process :)

Hubby wasn’t a fan – just means more for me! Thanks for the great recipe!


dorothy July 16, 2009 at 6:42 pm

raw whipped cream!!! looks amazing- you’re so creative :)

i know a few other people asked if you could use diff nuts but could i specifically use almonds? or is it just cashews, pine nuts & macadamias that work?

thanks for the recipe!!

ps i tired the banana ice cream for the first time today.. all i have are three words.
oh. my. god.


Emily Eats July 28, 2009 at 5:03 am

OH MY! I must get a Vitamix asap and make that smoothie :) The berries and cream sound delicious too, but that smoothie had me smiling and my eyes widening! ….Bookmarked, again… Thanks for sharing Gena!


Veg_Kathryn November 21, 2009 at 9:37 pm

God that whipped cream looks AMAZING :)


Kath July 12, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Holy whipped cream!!!!!


Tabitha Teeter October 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be back to do it right. I didn’t sweeten it today and used it to replace cream in a saltimbocca recipe. Worked great. Dairy free is still new to me.


Angie February 13, 2013 at 5:01 am

If you want a raw whipped cream that is lower in the rich oils of pure cashews try mixing the cashews with really ripe peeled pear and vanilla!


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