raw vegan vanilla raspberry cheesecake …

This is another recipe that I stumbled across on Pinterest. A simple no bake recipe. It looked delicious and I had to try it.

The recipe is courtesy of Eat Good 4 Life.

_cheesecakes_

Ingredients
Bottom layer
1 cup Cascadian Farm cinnamon crunch *
1 cup pitted dates
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1-2 tablespoons almond milk

Cheesecake layer
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons almond milk, if mixture is too dry

Top Layer
10 oz organic Cascadian Farm raspberries, defrosted *
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup maple syrup

* Instead of the cinnamon crunch, I used raw almonds. Fresh raspberries put in the freezer work well too.

Method
1) Soak the cashews in water for 1 hour. Discard the water and line a loaf baking pan with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.

2) In a medium mixing bowl, mix the topping ingredients and let it sit for 1 hour until it thickens.

3) Place the crust ingredients in your food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together; this should take about 1 minute.

4) Press this mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared loaf baking pan and place it in the freezer while you prepare the cheesecake topping.

5) Place the cheesecake ingredients in your food processor and pulse until smooth.

6) Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust in the baking pan and spread it evenly. Freeze the dessert for at least 1 hour.

7) Spread topping ingredients evenly over the cheesecake layer. Freeze for another hour.

I left the tin in the freezer overnight. To cut and serve I took it out of the freezer and let it defrost for about 20 minutes.

8) Cut the cheesecake into squares before serving.

9) Keep leftovers covered in the freezer for up to 3 months.

The cheesecake squares were delicious. The family liked it :) The 3 layers have 3 different textures. If you don’t have raspberries, try other fruits. With the cheesecake layer, why not add some cacao powder. The combinations that you could try are endless.

This is a fantastic recipe. Very easy, not too sweet and healthy. It’s a great recipe for summer which you can make ahead of time. Perfect!

 

“Real food means big unflavoured, unpretentious cooking. Good ingredients made into something worth eating. Just nice, uncomplicated food.” ~ Nigel Slater

 

triple layer chocolate and peanut butter slice …

I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again – the chocolate and peanut butter combination is the best food combination. Ever. So imagine my delight when I discovered this recipe via Instagram. It was like all my Christmases had come at once :)

This recipe is courtesy of Hippie Lane.

Base
1 cup (120g) walnuts
1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
¼ cup (60ml) rice malt syrup (I used maple syrup)
8 Californian dates ( or Medjool dates)
½ tablespoon cacao powder
Pinch salt

Filling
2 cups (500g) peanut butter
4 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla powder (or equivalent vanilla extract)
3 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon extra coconut oil

Chocolate Drizzle: (optional)
½ cup (90g) dark sugar free chocolate

Method
Base
1) Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2) Place walnuts in the food processor and process until nuts have broken down into small pieces.

3) Add coconut, dates, syrup, cacao powder and salt and process. The mixture should begin to stick together.

4) Press base mixture into prepared loaf tin and spread evenly.

Notice how straight my baking paper is lined? I usually scrunch the paper in. I found a very helpful video which explained how to line a loaf tin.

5) Place in the freezer.

Filling
6) Blitz banana, peanut butter, vanilla and 3 tbsp coconut oil in the processor until mixture is completely smooth.

7) Remove tin from freezer. Divide the filling in half, and pour one half over the base. Place the tin back in the freezer.

8) Add cacao powder and extra 1 tbsp coconut oil to the remaining filling and process.

9) Remove the tin from the freezer and spread remaining filling evenly to complete the three layer slice. Set in freezer for at least 8 hours.

10) Remove cake from tin, and cut into slices. Place pieces on their side on a sheet of baking paper.

Chocolate drizzle (optional)
1) Place chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once the chocolate begins to melt, reduce the heat to simmer and stir chocolate until it has fully melted. Remove from heat.

Note: I made my own chocolate using:
2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup.
In a small bowl, combine all three ingredients and mix until well combined. taste the mixture, and adjust sweetness, to taste.

2) With a spoon, drizzle each slice with melted chocolate in a zig-zag motion.

Best eaten within 30-40 minutes of removing from freezer.

OMG! Amazing! These slices were to die for. Natural and healthy. Free from all the sugar, flour and butter of the usual desserts. And no baking! The recipe is simple to follow. The slices were easy to make. And you can store them in the fridge or freezer. It’s a guilt free treat :)

“Raw food desserts are the getaway drug to healthy eating” ~ Kevin Gianni

 

gluten free and dairy free chocolate cupcakes …

These cupcakes are the best cupcakes. Ever.

My mum was searching for a gluten free, dairy free and soy free cupcake recipe to make cupcakes for her grandson Jake’s 4th birthday.  A few family members have food intolerances. Mum found a recipe that looked okay and we made them – with fingers crossed. They turned out perfectly.

The birthday boy, Jake, is the one wearing the Batman top and cake :)

To say that these cupcakes were a hit would be an understatement. The kids (and the adults) loved them. Easily the best cupcakes they’ve had. A couple of people asked for the recipe.

This recipe is courtesy of Sarah Bakes which was adapted from The Food Network. Sarah proclaims this recipe as the best. She says “So delicate.  So divine.  The recipe is so simple.  The results are perfection every time.” She’s not wrong!

I made another batch on the weekend for Mum’s quilting class.

Ingredients
2 cups Sarah’s gluten free flour blend (I used gluten free self raising flour)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh brewed coffee or hot water

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
2) Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

3) In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
Note: Because the mixture will eventually become runny, it’s best to use a pouring jug to combine the ingredients – it will make it easier to fill the the cupcake liners.

4) Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients.  Mix until just combined.

5) Drizzle in coffee (or hot water) slowly, scraping the bowl while beating on low.  Batter will be thin.

6) Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

7) Cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes.

Sarah topped her cupcakes with a heavenly chocolate buttercream. I needed a dairy free and soy free alternative. Found one. And it was adapted from the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s birthday cake book – page 2. Practically every Australian household in the 80’s had this book! It was published in 1980 and re-released in 2011. I’ve got the original – mum passed the book onto me. Lucky me! Thanks mum!

Vienna cream frosting

Ingredients
125g (40z) butter (I used dairy free butter)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk (I used water instead)

Method
1) Have the butter and milk at room temperature.
2) Place butter in small bowl of electric mixer, beat until butter is as white as possible.
3) Gradually add about half the sifted icing sugar, beating constantly.
4) Add milk (or water) gradually, then gradually beat in the remaining icing sugar.
5) The mixture should be smooth and easy to spread with a spatula. If the mixture is too runny keep adding icing sugar until the mixture becomes thick.
Note: for these cupcakes I added a teaspoon of instant coffee to the frosting. For Jake’s birthday party, red and yellow food colouring was added.

These cupcakes are so light, moist and not too sweet. And delicious. Amazing recipe!

 “Nothing heals the soul like cupcakes … it’s God’s apology for muffins.”

 

raw bounty bar …

This simple recipe comes from the August 2014 edition of Woman’s Day. I was flicking through the magazine, at the doctor’s, and saw the recipe. It looked interesting so, instead of ripping the page out (like you used to do in the past – not that I ever did that!), I took a photo of the recipe.

raw_bounty_bar

These slices are a raw version of the bounty bars – a chocolate bar manufactured by Mars, Incorporated.

Ingredients – sugar, desiccated coconut, glucose syrup (sources include wheat), milk solids, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, invert sugar, vegetable fat, emulsifiers (471, soy lecithin), humectant (glycerol), salt, natural flavour (vanilla extract) and peanuts. Mmm …. healthy – not!

Ingredients
Crust
1 and 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup fresh pitted dates *
1 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons light agave syrup or rice malt syrup
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons chia seeds

Filling
1 cup soaked cashews **
3 cups shredded coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup light agave syrup

Topping
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup light agave syrup

* Soak the pitted dates in warm water for 10 minutes then drain before adding to the food processor.

** Cover cashews with water, soak 2 hours and drain well before use. This creates a soft creamy texture for the filling.

Method
Crust
1) Lightly grease and line a 20cm square pan with baking paper.
2) In a food processor, combine coconut, almond meal, dates, syrup, cacao and chia together. I used maple syrup instead of the agave syrup.

Note: Because I was reading the recipe off my phone, I left out the cacao! Oops!

3) Process until mixtures forms a sticky crumbly dough.

4) Press mixture evenly and firmly over base of pan.

5) Chill until required.

Filling
1) In a food processor, combine all ingredients, pulsing until well chopped and mixture binds together.

2) Spread evenly over base, pressing down with a fork.

Topping
1) In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Whisk together until smooth.

2) Pour over slice. Spread evenly over surface.

3) Chill 30 minutes until set.

Just like a bounty bar only healthier! Guilt free too! Enjoy :)

“You can’t eat coconut without breaking its shell; you can’t succeed without breaking the cycle of failure.” ~ Vinita Kinra

 

no bake chocolate fudge fridge cake …

If you love chocolate then you’ll love this recipe. This is courtesy of Gourmande in the kitchen. No baking. No mess. Simple.

Ingredients
¾ cup coconut oil
½ cup coconut butter coconut butter
1/2 cup cacao powder for raw / natural un-dutched cocoa powder if not, sifted
½ cup maple syrup
Pinch of fine sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/3 cup freeze dried raspberries or other freeze dried berries
¼ cup soaked and dehydrated raw almonds for raw or roasted almonds if not, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
Extra cacao powder for raw or natural un-dutched cocoa powder if not for dusting tops

Note: I couldn’t source any coconut butter so I used creamed coconut which I bought from my local Healthy Life store.

Method
1) Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, set aside.
2) Set the coconut oil and coconut butter in a medium bowl placed into a larger one filled a quarter of the way up with hot water. Stir until both are fully liquid and melted.

3) Whisk in the sifted cacao powder until smooth and well incorporated.

4) Whisk in the maple syrup and a pinch of salt until fully combined.

5) Mix in the freeze dried raspberries, chopped almonds and cacao nibs.

6) Pour into parchment-lined loaf pan. Let set up in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

7) Cut into desired sized pieces and dust with additional cacao powder before serving.

I’ve made these a couple of times now. They look and taste delicious. You cannot resist these healthy treats! You can substitute the almonds with other nuts and you can use other berries. Feel free to experiment with any combination you like. You can store these in the freezer.

“Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it I wash my mouth out with chocolate.” ~ Charles M Schulz

strawberry and raspberry cheesecake hearts …

These bite-sized mini cheesecakes are just the cutest things! So simple to make. And healthy.

The recipe is courtesy of The Healthy Family and Home.

Ingredients
Filling
1/2 cup organic strawberries
1 cup organic raw cashews
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
1 tablespoon organic coconut nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

Crust
1 cup organic pecans
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
1 tablespoon organic coconut nectar
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Note: I used raw almonds instead of pecans and maple syrup as a substitute for the coconut nectar.

Garnish
16 organic raspberries

Method
1) Put all ingredients for the crust into a food processor and process until moist and crumbly.

2) Divide the crust mixture between 16 mini heart molds and press down evenly and firmly.

Note: I tried to find mini heart shaped molds but I had no luck so I had to make do with the mini circle shaped molds. I had been meaning to buy a silicone mold for a while as I had read that with the silicone molds the raw cheesecakes pop out easily. A silicone mold would have made it so much easier for me to pop the mini vegan cheesecakes out!

If you don’t have a silicone mold, a mini muffin tin can be used. Lightly grease the muffin tin. Cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the slots. This creates little tabs that makes removing them easier to pop out once frozen.

3) Put the mold into the freezer for approximately 15 minutes or until the crust hardens.
4) Put all ingredients for the filling into a Vitamix and blend until well combined and creamy.

5) Remove the mold tray from the freezer and divide the filing mixture between the 16 mini heart molds, making sure the top is smooth and even.

6) Optional: add a single raspberry on top of each heart for garnish. I made half the cheesecakes with raspberries and half without.

7) Return the mold tray back to the freezer for about 30 minutes or until they are hard and firm.
8) Keep in the freezer until ready to serve because they will get soft and lose their shape if left out at room temperature.
9) Enjoy!

My nephew Jake was one of the first to sample them. He chose a raspberry-topped cheesecake. The mini cheesecakes were the ideal sweets for Jake as he doesn’t eat dairy.

“I love berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black berries, anything with an ‘errie’ in it!” ~ Jordin Sparks

 

 

gluten free fruit mince tarts …

These fruit mince tarts are perfect to make for the Christmas season. It’s a popular Christmas treat.

A custom from the middle ages says that if you eat a mince pie on every day from Christmas to  the Twelfth Night (6th January) you will have happiness for the next 12 months!

Ingredients
Fruit Mince
2 cups mixed dried fruit
1 green apple, peeled, grated
1/4 cup brown Sugar
50 g butter, melted
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup silvered almonds
pure icing sugar, to dust

Pastry
250 g gluten-free plain flour
1/2 cup Pure Icing Sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
160 g butter, chopped, chilled

Method
1) Place flour, icing sugar and xanthan gum in a food processor. Add chopped butter and pulse, in short bursts, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2) Add egg white and pulse until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, flatten slightly and wrap in plastic. Chill in freezer for 30 minutess. Cut off one-quarter, re-wrap and place back in freezer.

3) Preheat oven to 160°C or 140°C fan. Grease a 12-hole ¹⁄3-cup muffin pan. Roll out pastry between baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut out 12 x 9½cm rounds and ease into greased tins. Prick each pastry with a fork a couple of times. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Note: I didn’t have a round cookie cutter big enough so I used a mini fluted flan tin.

4) Meanwhile to make Fruit Mince: Combine fruit mince ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer for 5-6 mins, or until thickened. Cool completely.

5) Fill each pastry with fruit mince. Grate the frozen pastry over top of each fruit mince tart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Dust with icing sugar, to serve.

I get really nervous whenever a recipe calls for the pastry to be made from scratch. No problems with this recipe. The gluten free pastry was easy to make, roll and shape.

I was happy with the way the tarts turned out. They looked so cute. They were delicious. The pastry was crumbly and buttery. The mince fruit was sweet, sticky and moist. So much better (and healthier) than the store bought mince pies.

“The future… seems to me no unified dream but a mince pie, long in the baking, never quite done.” ~ Edward Young