Strawberry and Cream Dessert with Cacao Pecan Crunch [Vegan + Gluten Free]

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Sometimes the best laid plans. Don’t happen like you want them too. Has this happened to you? That was my day when I made these Strawberry and Cream Dessert with Cacao Pecan Crunch. 
Behind the Scenes at Bad to the Bowl 
I am going to tell you a little story behind me taking photos of this delicious easy vegan Strawberry and Cream Dessert with Pecan Cacao Crunch.
I really wanted to make something special for our friend Jen at Sprouting Zen for an upcoming Valentine Day recipe share. So I brainstormed what would be an easy, delicious, raw, no refined sugar and vegan dessert option…and still be perfect to serve on Valentine’s Day.
Of course, something with strawberries – because that just goes really well with Valentine’s Day –
1. it is red
2. it turns pink when it is pureed
Perfect for the holiday of love.
So I brainstormed what would fit all these requirements?
And I came up with this super easy Strawberry and Cream Dessert. BUT I love crunchy things and it couldn’t hurt if it had a hint of chocolate. So, back to the brainstorming! What about a Cacao Pecan Crunch.
Strawberry and Cream Dessert with Cacao Pecan Crunch. YUM!
And it came together like a breeze – those who create recipes know this is often not the case! So I am doing a happy dance. The husband, my official taste taster, gave it a thumbs up!
SO – onto the photography part.

Neighborly Love….or Not
I was already nervous about taking photos of this lovely Valentine Dessert. For some reason tall cups and me – well we aren’t exactly a pair in the photo department. And I wanted to use natural light…and it was like 12 degrees out. BRRR.
So I gathered all my supplies and headed to the door.
And here is where things started to fall apart.
My dog Daisy (who is a rat terrier and old: 14 years exactly and only 12 lbs!) well, she wanted to go outside. In cold weather she doesn’t go far and we live on a private rural road in West Michigan – so the normal cold weather dog outside process is open the door and let her out.
I knew the minute I opened the door something was wrong, as she tore out of the house barking. And then I saw my neighbor. Who hates our dog (has never verbally said this, but I have always just witnessed the look in his eyes).
And then the worst thing happens.
Dog runs at him and jumps at him. He kicks her. I witness this and run out of the house screaming.
Like any dog mom would. Protect her baby, right?
My response was not neighborly and I do feel shame about that. I said some things. He said some things. I finally just walked away shaking my head.
Shaking. Fuming. Upset over the whole situation.
I am not sure what I would have differently. The dog will go on a chain now when she goes outside. I can’t trust this neighbor not to run her over in his truck the next time. There is no compassion there (and based on past summers when he has not slowed down when the dog is in the road, well, can’t take our chances).
Now I needed to take pictures of the vegan strawberry dessert. Shaking. Upset.
Needless to say the pictures don’t do the plant based dessert justice. Sigh.
I guarantee you will love this light, raw, vegan Strawberry and Cream Dessert with Cacao Pecan Crunch. Tag us on social media if you make it? I would love to drool over your picture!

Strawberry and Cream Dessert with Cacao Pecan Crunch [Vegan + Gluten Free]

Recipe by SarahCourse: Dessert

Light strawberry dessert that is creamy and dairy free! Topped with a delicious pecan cacao crunch.


  • Strawberries and Cream
  • 1 cup silken tofu

  • 1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

  • 3 Tblsp maple syrup

  • 1 Tblsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • Cacao Pecan Crunch
  • 1/4 cup gluten free old fashioned oats

  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

  • 1 Tblsp cacao powder

  • 1 Tblsp baking date paste

  • 1/2 Tblsp maple syrup

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • pinch of cinnamon


  • In blender, blend tofu, strawberries, maple syrup, lemon juice, extract and salt until smooth

  • In small food processor, combine your oats, pecans, cacao powder, date paste, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon. Process until well combined. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.
  • Alternately layer your strawberry mixture and cacao pecan crunch mixtures into two glasses, sundae jars or parfait cups.
  • Eat right away or store in fridge!

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