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BERRY NICE CREAM CAKE

Neuro 9: This tantalising Berry Nice Cream Cake contains three Neuro 9 items. Drs Dean and Aleysha Sherzai’s Neuro 9 list for their Alzheimer’s prevention programme includes green leafy vegetables, whole grains, seeds, beans and legumes, berries, nuts, crucifers, tea, and herbs and spices. Pictures by Elaine Clark
Whole-food plant-based: Dates are for sweetness and have been found to be helpful for lowering inflammatory markers in the brain. It is well established that blueberries help maintain brain function and memory. Cashews are high in magnesium, which is believed to help with memory recall.
Magic ingredient: Frozen bananas are a “must have” during summer. They are an icy treat when blended to snow cone consistency. It’s even better with added berries.
A guilt-free ice cream treat is ideal for the summer months ahead. The Berry Nice Cream Cake recipe from The 30-day Alzheimer’s Solution brings together fruit and nuts in a way that looks naughty and decadent, but is truly refreshing for your taste buds and nourishing for your brain.

Simple ingredients are key to this luscious dessert. I like to mix cherries with my blueberries for the topping, but frozen bananas are crucial for that dreamy ice cream texture. It is heavenly served with frozen mango. The Berry Nice Cream Cake is easy to make

. . . just remember to freeze the bananas, and soak the cashews and dates the night before. All the recipes in the book — written by co-directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Programme at Loma Linda University Medical Centre Drs Dean and Ayesha Sherzai — are whole-food plant-based (WFPB). And the Berry Nice Cream Cake just happens to also be gluten-free.

Neuro 9 items: Cashews, walnuts, blueberries

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 8 hours of freezing time

Cooking time: none

Total time: 8-9 hours

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the vanilla nice cream cake layer

• 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours or, better, overnight

• 2 ripe bananas with brown spots, sliced and arranged on a plate and frozen for 4 hours or overnight

• 1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 10)

• Seeds from ½ vanilla pod (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)

• ¼ cup unsweetened soy milk as needed to thin the nice cream (any milk will do)

For the berry layer

• 2 cups frozen blueberries

• 1 cup soy milk, and more to thin as needed

• ½ cup of dates

• 1 cup raw walnuts

Method

Nice cream base

Soak the cashews and dates, and freeze the banana slices either overnight or at least four hours before starting.

In a blender or food processor —I use a Ninja — blend soaked cashews and dates, frozen bananas and vanilla together until smooth and creamy, adding as little soy milk as possible. Spread into a tart pan with a loose base and put in the freezer for at least two hours.

Top berry layer

Blend together blueberries, soy milk, dates and walnuts until smooth. Carefully spread over the top of the vanilla nice cream cake layer and put in the freezer for two to three hours or until set.

Tips

• Let it soften a little before eating so it is creamier. Take it out of the freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

• Dip a large knife in hot water and cut the cake. Serve with berries, nuts, mango, passionfruit, cherries or even some yoghurt.