Aren’t these cute!
The original idea came from this month’s edition of Australian Healthy Food Guide. I then checked google images and found lots of very similar strawberry santas but found they were all filled with either cream or a mixture of cream cheese and icing sugar.
Strawberries are incredibly healthy. They are ranked number 27 in the top 100 antioxidant rich foods and 4th in the fruit category (behind blackberries, cranberries and raspberries). They are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese and fibre and a good source of folate, iodine, potassium and magnesium. So adding cream turns an extremely healthy strawberry into a high fat, high calorie, not so healthy food, which is not a good idea for anyone, but particularly if you are watching your weight or have high cholesterol or a family history of heart disease. I have a great alternative….
The filling for these strawberries is a cashew cream made from cashews, that you grind in a food processor, and tinned pears. The recipe comes from the Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic (where I used to work) Website. This cashew cream can be used to make other healthy desserts and is great on fruit, muesli or pancakes for breakfast!
I used pomegranate seeds for the eyes, a currant for the nose and pistachios on the top of his ‘hat’. Pomegranates are incredibly nutritious due partly to their very high antioxidant content. I also think they taste great and compliment both the strawberry and the cashew cream.
These are very quick and easy to make and you can get your children or grandchildren to help.
A plate of Strawberry Santas would definitely be popular and a very healthy addition at any Christmas function or for Christmas day. I can guarantee they will be equally loved by both adults and children 🙂
- ½ cup raw cashew nuts
- 2 canned pear halves, drained
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 2 punnets of large strawberries (Sunny Ridge are my favourite conventional strawberries as they are delicious and tasty, but where possible choose Organic)
- 32 pomegranate seeds
- 16 currants
- slivered pistachios or almonds or shredded coconut
- Start by making the cashew 'cream':
- Place cashews, pear halves and vanilla in a food processor and puree for several minutes until really smooth. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula and process again for a few seconds to fully incorporate. Set aside.
- Wash strawberries well and gently pat dry with kitchen paper towel.
- Slice off stem, creating a flat surface on the base.
- Cut the top third of the strawberry off and fill with approximately 2 teaspoons of cashew cream.
- Replace top of the strawberry, then using a teaspoon and your clean finger, mould a little 'hat' on top of the strawberry, then put 2 small dabs of 'cream' on the front for buttons.
- Place pomegranate seeds for eyes, currant for nose and top with slivered nuts or shredded coconut as per photo above.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve, but take out of the fridge about 30 mins before serving so they aren't really cold!
Per Serve (using very large strawberries 50g each): 158kJ or 38 calories; P 1.5g Fat 2g SFat 0.3g CHO 2g Fibre 1.5g