Strawberries with Toasted Cashew Cocoa Crumble and Chocolate Balsamic Whipped Cream

Yesterday was packed full for me—and I knew I needed to be home by around 3:00 so I could make a contribution to dinner (I was in charge of dessert). Kind of a fair trade (for me) … My neighbors (Mom and Fred) made everything else, and I brought wine and dessert. This dessert was being concocted in my head all day…and I had to improvise based on the organic produce (not) available at Wegmans yesterday. When it was done, I told my Mom I think it was the best dessert I’ve made–and I think she agreed.

I even used stevia as the sweetener without telling anyone (including someone who really does not like stevia), and no one noticed! I know I usually keep my ingredient lists and instructions pretty simple…this has one or two things you might have to search for, but I have substitution ideas!


Strawberries with Toasted Cashew Cocoa Crumble and Chocolate Balsamic Whipped Cream


12-16oz strawberries

1 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp toasted butternut squash seed oil*
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1/4 tsp liquid vanilla stevia (I use NuNaturals)

1 8oz container heavy cream
1/2 tsp liquid vanilla stevia (to taste–you may want a touch more)
1 tbsp dark chocolate balsamic vinegar (and more to drizzle)


Chop strawberries and set aside. I did not add anything to these–if you want your dessert really sweet, add some sugar or make sure the berries are really ripe!

In the food processor, add all of the ingredients for the Crumble. Process until it forms a ball, but before it turns to nut butter! Spread out on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15min. This gets warm, but does not get very crunchy. You could probably bake it longer if you want it more like granola texture.

For the whipped cream, add all ingredients to a bowl and mix on high until it forms whipped cream. Set aside in fridge.

Assemble these however you want to! I made one that I tried to look kind of pretty, but when I actually served it, I just had people dump what they wanted into their bowls.

Sometimes it's all for the picture!


The real presentation....
I honestly think this is the best dessert I've made. The chocolate balsamic in the whipped cream, plus the toasty-chocolate-y flavors in the crumble complement the strawberries perfectly.

*If you don’t have toasted butternut squash seed oil (which, tastes like toasted seeds….NOT like squash!), you could probably get the same effect by using a toasted sesame oil.

This dessert is amazing–if you’ve never had chocolate balsamic vinegar, please stop what you’re doing and go find some (and so convenient if you live in Canandaigua, Ithaca, or Rochester…because there are F. Olivers stores in all three places. You will get sucked in, and before you know it, drinking salad dressing will be a sport!).

It’s hard to tell in the last two pics, but the whipped cream does have a “chocolate” tint to it, just slightly. Please make this, or something like it! I originally wanted to use peaches, but let’s face it…they’re not in season and I couldn’t find any organic ones. Other berries, like raspberries were on my list too. But the strawberries were great. I did eat a little of the fruit, even though I don’t do that very often—I had to taste test, and then it was really good so I ate more. I’m going to find other things to use this for because fruit really does not work for me (and I proved that again!). But now I know it tastes good, so I can make this for other people.


Yesterday morning, I went to my trainer.


My trainer wanted me to see my muscles so he took pics with his phone.

Then I met this girl for brunch at Jines, and we went to High Falls (and then back to Park Ave because HF was a ghost town), and talked about her new job and lots of great stuff.

Oh, I also went to Target and looked for a couple new workout tops. I’m just saying that because I tried hard not to buy expensive ones—but I tried on a couple at Tar-jay, and they just seemed cotton-y and cheap. I mean, I’m going to Work these Things Out….I want the top lined, and I want them to fit a certain way and last for like 3-5 years. At $28, the cheap ones seem like they’ll maybe last a year….I can spend $50-ish at Lululemon and get 3-5 years out of one. Moral of the day: Pay more up front, benefit later!

Note: I also bought a sports bra at Dicks for $58 and that is dumb and it is awful (I don’t try things on)…so I’m taking it back, which means I totally just saved $58.

I’ll show you what we had for dinner later.

Today, I am going to do a little work, work out, visit some of my most favorite friends, and drop a bunch of junk off at the Salvation Army. I’m contemplating getting rid of all my stuff that’s packed away. I don’t need my Care Bears Cousins lunch box anymore, do I? Or my old records, or knick knacks I collected (read: fimo beads and junk from the first half of my life)… or all of my sister’s holiday decorations, or my Mom’s old Santa Claus collection? Why is it hard to get rid of that stuff?! I hate stuff!

How was your Saturday? 

Would you try a dessert with balsamic vinegar in it? 

Do you get rid of your stuff when it’s old? 

Buy expensive workout clothes or cheap ones? And why?


12 thoughts on “Strawberries with Toasted Cashew Cocoa Crumble and Chocolate Balsamic Whipped Cream”

  1. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Um look at you girl! Lookin’ good. Glad he took that picture. And balsamic reduction is really so good. Definitely doesn’t sound like it should go with a dessert, but totally does. 

  2. Wow … you ate strawberries?  lol!  That was my first thought when I read the title of your post 🙂  It looks so good!  You should get rid of some of your stuff … it is so freeing!  I’ve been going through donating a ton of stuff!

  3. i love balsamic vinegar in EVERYTHING! sweet and savoury- this dessert looks truly amazinG!! 
    nice photos of you, I wished I had your trained arms!! I am teaching and practicing so much yoga plus running that i have no more time for strength training. the only thing i do is playing around with my Xcos. 
    I do splurge on my workout bras and yoga clothes, when teaching I like to be in “nice looking” and comfortable clothes. It makes me more confident too. But when I go running or practice myself, I put on ANYTHING. my favourite yoga leggings have a big hole from the crutch all the way down to the knee.. haha

  4. GREAT work out photos, lisa!!! can i please have your arms?!!
    that balsamic vinegar that you used for the dessert sounds amazing. there is a local fine foods/gourmet shop that i bet would stock it, and flavoured oils, too. glad everyone enjoyed your dessert invention – it does sound wonderful!
    i dislike having stuff around, too. except i am now no longer going to give away clothes – lesson learned the hard way. but yes, i have very little “stuff” and it feels great.
    i am with you on paying more (ie lulu!) for better quality. my fave running shorts are lululemon and they are at least six years old and still as good as new. so i say go for the top name brands (we sell nike and adidas etc at the store and those two brands esp are also really good).
    have a great monday!!

  5. Gina (Candid RD)

    I would DEFINITELY use balsamic vinegar in my dessert, if it sounded as good as this!  Wowza, I need to try this.
    And, wowza to those muscles!!  So impressive.  You just got me motivated to do my workout 🙂

  6. OH MY gosh your body is amazing..I couldn’t think of any better way to word that without sounding totally creepy. Your muscles are rockin girl! Keep doing what you’re doing!

    This dessert looks delicious, that whipped cream looks amazing. I will take your word for this being the best dessert. YUM! 

    I need to start paying more for workout clothes, I tend to just wear a tank top or shirts I have been given from runs. 

  7. Carrie Forrest

    I hate stuff, too!!! I am going through a major de-cluttering phase. Just spent the last hour deleting old photos and I’ve taken endless loads of old clothes and other junk to Goodwill last week. It feels so good to get back to basics!!!

  8. OMG can you puhleeze beam me up some of that dessert? Looks unreal!! And ps. HOT STUFF over there, check out those guns girlfriend!! Hard work pays off!!

  9. Oooh goodness I love choc balsamic. I’ve tried that and also many fruity balsamics at the CT Veg Fest last month. It all blew my mind! Your desserts are always fantastic so for you to call this the best you’ve ever made…that’s saying something!
    Your muscles are looking amazing girl, wow! So strong 🙂 jealous that you got to dine with Chef Katelyn. She’s hilarious!
    Cheap workout clothes are for me…I think we talked about this on my blog’s comments recently too! I can’t stand to spend too much but thankfully TJMaxx and Marshall’s have plenty of cute options that are also affordable. I still don’t own anything Lululemon!

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