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Raw Raspberry Dream Cheesecake

9 Jan

Okay this cheesecake was beyond delicious. It was creamy and the perfect sweetness. I adapted the recipe from here. I added a little cinnamon to the crust and almost doubled the recipe to make it in a larger pan. This cashew base became a great consistency once it froze then defrosted a bit. You can  enjoy a slice of decadent cheesecake full of healthful cashews, almonds, dates, and raspberries! Desserts are awesome to take to parties or for others if introducing them to vegan and/or raw foods. Everybody loves raw desserts…who can’t!?!?

Raw Raspberry Dream Cheesecake (Dairy free, gluten free, guilt-free)

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (or sub pecans or walnuts-but almonds are my preference)
  • 1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  •  1/4 tsp.  sea salt (Himalayan)

Filling

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
  • juice of 1-2 lemons (I used 1 large lemon)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or the seeds of one vanilla bean
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup raw agave or honey
  • 1-1.5 cup frozen raspberries thawed. (or just fresh)
  • Add small amounts of water at a time if too thick

* I almost doubled everything to use a larger spring-form pan. You can’t really go wrong-the thickness will just vary.

*The filling should be a thick batter consistency, not as thick as a pudding though.

Directions:
1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt  and cinnamon and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness. Mine became a very thick and sticky consistency. It does not necessarily need to be wet, just make sure the crust will hold together. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7” spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout.
2. Heat coconut oil and agave or honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
3. In the vitamix place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth.
4. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it) over crust.  I did less than I should have, so even though it may seem like too much pour more rather than less and  smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling in the vitamix and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid. You want to make sure there is a thicker white layer, but still a good bold pink color for the top layer!
5. To serve, remove from freezer 15-30 minutes prior to eating. It is best to use a very sharp and smooth knife to cut slices. Keep in the freezer, if you have any leftovers (:

This went pretty fast in my house. I think it was difficult for my parents to save me a piece since I left for Atlanta for 4 days right after I made it. But I mean Passion Conference as soooooooo worth leaving to have most of my cheesecake eaten. I will just have to make some more before I go back to school-maybe lemon, pumpkin, or blueberry?

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Indulge

26 Sep

So I make my own nut butters on a weekly basis. Most of the time I do go through a whole jar in 1-2 weeks! I rotate between almond, cashew, peanut, walnut, pecan. But I have to say I make cashew the most. I would love to expand my horizons to make pumpkin seed butter, sunflower seed butter, and brazil nut butter soon.

Roasted raw peanuts = delicious peanut butter. I make all raw nut butters except for peanut.

This is so much better than any organic peanut butter you’ll buy in a jar. This is much more fresh with such a better flavor-like most things you make on your own. Make sure you always get any peanuts organic! Peanuts are more prone to mold-especially raw-so they are sprayed so much more than other nuts, as well as packed with preservatives after harvested. If you want to make it a little more exciting, add some cinnamon, agave, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla or almond extract, or mix with other nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made this crunchy by first putting in a couple of handfuls into the vitamix and just pulsing to break them up. Then take them out and blend the rest of the peanuts until completely creamy. Dump the crush peanuts into the vitamix with the creamy-and just blend a couple of second to combine. You get perfectly crunchy peanut butter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade nutella!? I think yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw hazelnuts (also known as filberts) + dark unsweetened (preferably organic) cocoa powder + couple of dates + splash of vanilla + squeeze of agave.

This was beyond amazing.

Cashew icecream from Eats = new obsession. So apparently the store’s freezers were not working properly, so all of the icreams were on sale. Meaning I ended up getting $6 or $7 ice creams for about $2.25 a piece. It was a good day. I walked out with enough cashew ice cream to last me a year. Well maybe a couple of months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are raw, vegan, completely dairy free and all real ingredients. Not only are the ingredients not horrible for you, but they are full of nutrients! Look at the label!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirulina is an amazing super food. Known as the best plant food you could possibly eat. It is an aquatic plant=algae. Just 1 teaspoon has 100% vitamin A, 20% vitamin K, 45% B-12. It is especially powerful against oxidant stress, meaning neutralizing free radicals from oxidation caused by stress. I will have to dedicate a whole post to spirulina one time. Get exited.

Maca is a root vegetable, in the same family as radishes. You can buy it in powder form, and it helps with hormonal function, adrenal regulation an is loaded with a ton of essential amino acids. They have around 55 phytochemicals which is how it helps boost energy.

Lucuma is a fruit from the lacuma tree. It resembles a persimmon and is a popular flavor used in icecreams and yogurts in South America. It has beta-carotene, niacin, and iron! It has a maple like flavor. Here is a quick recipe I found and really want to try for ice cream!

1/2 cup LUCUMA POWDER
1 cup CASHEWS
1 Tablespoon VANILLA POWDER
1/4 cup YACON SYRUP
1 cup filtered water

Locust Bean gum and guar gum are natural thickening agents. Guar gum comes from a guar tree, and it hydrates well in cold water. Locust bean gum comes from the carob tree (carob powder is a raw cocoa substitute).

It is so worth indulging in some organic, raw cashew icecream. You will never want to go back to dairy icream. There is no comparison in my mind.

 

 

P.S. I just did this whole post in my sociology class, instead of watching a documentary on tattoos (: I think I used my time very wisely.

Chocolate Fix

22 Jul

This chocolate “mousse” is so incredibly rich and delicious. I don’t understand how this can not satisfy any chocolate craving. I think this dessert idea was actually on dr. oz a little while ago. The key is to use extra dark, unsweetened (good quality) cocoa. You can’t skimp on the dates either. I don’t really measure, I just throw in all the ingredients, taste, and add more of whatever it needs. Now this should actually work in a food processor, so I gave my little Cuisinart a shot, since I never pull him out post vitamix. Well the dates didn’t get all the way smooth and it was just taking too long,  so I regretted giving Cuisinart a try.  So I transferred everything to the vitamix and the smooth rich consistency was perfect. (If you arn’t that picky a food processor will do just fine).

Dark Chocolate Mousse

1 large avocado

6-10 dates (pits removed).

1 1/2-2 Tbs dark unsweetened cocoa powder (or carob powder if you want it raw)

Splash of vanilla

 

I soaked the dates in some warm water to soften them up. I also threw in some chia seed for added nutrition. But if you strictly want the smooth “mouse” consistency you won’t get that with the chia. Add more dates if it isn’t  sweet enough and more cocoa powder for a richer chocolate. If it is really too thick than you can add some flax or coconut oil (melted) or even coconut water.  Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is so amazing on it’s own, but you can top with blueberries, strawberries, or fresh picked peaches!

 

figs!

10 Jul

Sorry I have had so few posts lately! I went on a trip for a while, and now my online class (anatomy) has started, and I am working a lot more and have been super busy! So the blog hasn’t been priority-unfortunately.

I found a ton of fresh figs (at costco of all places) and was so excited to buy them and try something new. Something I havent had in soooo long and reminds me of childhood is fig newtons! So without the added sugar and artificial coloring, I made homemade vegan fig newtons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I adapted a recipe that I found online, if I made them again, I would’ve used coconut oil or grapeseed oil instead of olive oil. Make sure you wash the figs well and cut in half or in quarters before tossing into food processor, when making the filling. You want to keep a chunky filling so don’t blend too thoroughly (mine was a bit too thin)

Fig Newtons

Dough

1 cup of almond flour/meal

1 1/2 cup brown rice flour

pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup grapeseed or olive oil (or do a combo using some coconut)

1/3 cup or less of raw agave nectar or pure maple syrup

FIlling

1 cup of fresh figs (you can use dried as well)

1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs vanilla

cinnamon

nutmeg

ginger

For Dough: Mix flour in food processor with salt. Combine the wet ingredients in separate bowl, then add the wet ingredients slowly to food processor with the flours. Transfer dough back to bowl and refrigerate 1 hour.

For Filling: Combine all ingredients in food processor. If too thin/thick use more figs/lemon juice. You could also add some oat flour or arrowroot powder to thicken up if its too runny.

After dough has chilled, roll out onto parchment paper into 2 thin rectangles. You can use wax paper or another sheet of parchment to press down dough and roll out. It will be a little wet. Pour filling on one half of the dough on a baking sheet/pan. Lay the other half of dough on top and pinch edges to seal. Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cut into small squares and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I did not roll my dough thin enough! My crust was too thick, but it was still delicious. Also, make sure your two large pieces of dough are the same size, I had a small part with no top crust. But it made the color of the bright pink figs pop out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using fresh figs was a first for me, but these were really fun to make!

lovely lavender

24 Jun

The other week my mom and I made a trip to the lavender farm in Milton, Delaware. The fields were full of beautiful purple lavender, covered with butterflies and bees. I could have done without the bees, but luckily they were more interested in the lavender than stinging us. We got baskets and scissors, and went out to pick our own!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the lavender we went to Lewes, which is the cutest little town on the water with adorable shops and restaurants. We ate lunch on the porch at The Buttery. The Buttery is right on the corner of the main street with a quant homey feel.  I got a vegan vegetable platter (no it was not raw) that was amazing. It was a pile of spring vegetables over quinoa with a ramp and sorrel pesto. There was fresh asparagus, kale, beets, carrots, and I even ate the morrel mushrooms (which arn’t my favorite).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lavender is one of my favorite scents for lotion, soap, or anything. But cooking with lavender was new for me, but just as good. It is much more potent and flavorful if you hang the leaves upside down and let them dry out. Some of the buds have been falling on the floor, so its best to put something under to catch them to save. First I made a lavender iced green tea. I heated a little bit of agave nectar with water and a huge tablespoon of dried lavender. I brought to a boil then drained the lavender out and mixed the liquid in with the iced green tea I made. It was the perfect amount of lavender and very refreshing.

I was planning to do raw coconut lavender icecream, but then decided to made a raw lavender coconut cheesecake! I had a young thai coconut in the fridge anyway, so it was perfect. Young coconuts are the white ones with the point at the top-you can get them at Whole Foods and most other grocery stores. They are full of hydrating coconut water, that has a ton of natural electrolytes. One coconut gives about 1 1/2 cups of water and about 1/2-3/4 cup of coconut meat. It is absolutely heavenly eating fresh coconut meat from a young thai. Although you can buy coconut water, drinking the fresh water from a freshly cut coconut doesn’t compare to the VitaCoco or Zico, although both contain the natural potassium, electrolytes, and hydrating power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening a young coconut is quite the process in my house. You really need to use a machete, I just have yet to get one. So I end up either sterilizing a nail to break open with a hammer, or sterilizing a drill bit to use a power drill. No knife will cut through the hard shell. But whatever it takes to get it open, is so worth it.

To make the cheesecake:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Coconut-Lavender Cheesecake

Crust

1-2 cups of unsoaked pecans or almonds (depending on the size of the pie dish)

About 7-8 large dates, soaked for a few minutes

Cinnamon

Filling

1 1/2 cups soaked raw cashews, for about 2 hours

Coconut meat (the more the better-But I just had 1 coconut)

1 cup of fresh coconut water

1-2 Tbs coconut oil

2 tsp dried lavender

1-2 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

Note the more cashews you use, the more cheesy it will be. The more coconut meat & oil will make it have a stronger coconut flavor. Use less coconut water if you don’t want it to become too icey when you freeze it. I really liked the lavender flavor, so use less if you don’t want it too over-powering

First put nuts then dates in food processor or vitamix until it becomes a heavy, thick consistency (will be a little wet). It will be very thick. Press into a pie dish and chill in refrigerator.

Meanwhile make filling by combining all ingredients in vitamix, until a thick liquid. The more cashews and coconut meat, the thicker it will be. Mine was a little thin because I used a little more coconut water-so it just ended up to be more frozen. Freeze for several hours before serving, but thaw for at least a 1/2 hour before eating so that it becomes more of a cheesecake (and not frozen) consistency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sprinkle with some lavender to make it pretty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After it thaws for a little it becomes so creamy. The perfect dessert!

thai lettuce wraps & chocolate brownies

10 Jun

My mom has been here at the beach now, so I had to make a delicious all-raw meal and dessert to continue to prove to her how you don’t lack in flavor or variety eating raw. I chose thai lettuce wraps with a peanut sauce and then I had to make her something with chocolate so I made a delicious fudgy-nutty-coconutty treat.

I got this organic red pepper from Ocean City Organics (first time I went there) and it was literally the perfect looking pepper I have ever seen. Have you seriously ever seen a more gorgeous organic red bell pepper?

These wraps can have any other veggie added-it would be great with mung bean sprouts, or other crunchy veggies. The sauce can be made spicy by adding some red pepper flakes! The sauce has raw almond butter, because raw peanuts/peanut butters are near impossible to find (because of mold problems with raw peanuts). I mixed the sauce with a sprouted bean trio to top on the veggies. These were beans I bought sprouted and dehydrated and soaked them myself to soften them up, but you could also sprout them yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw “Peanut” Thai Wraps (serves 2)

Large romaine lettuce leaves (or kale)

2-3 cups of chopped or shredded veggies (carrots, celery, red pepper, green pepper, green onions, sprouts)

sprouted beans (I used green lentils, mung, and adzuki beans)

Sauce

2 1/2 heaping Tbs raw almond butter

2-3 tsp agave nectar

2 Tbs soy sauce

2 Tbs fresh ginger

2 large fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic

added coconut water for consistency

Arrange veggies over the lettuce leaves. Combine all sauce ingredients in vitamix and mix with sprouted beans. Top bean/sauce mixture over veggies and serve!

 

Most raw desserts (especially chocolate ones) are made up of basically dates, nuts, and cocoa powder. Simple and delicious with no added sugar. Of course there are a ton of different types of desserts and other fun ingredients to add too. Raw desserts don’t compare to other processed ones, because you use the best quality ingredients from whole foods.

Soak the almonds to soften them up and release the natural enzyme inhibitors that they contain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fudgy Brownies

1/2 cup soaked almonds

1/2 cup soaked or unsoaked combo of walnuts & pecans

1/2 cup of dates & dried plums, soaked

3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp coconut oil

unsweetened shredded coconut

cinnamon

Soak almonds 5-8 hours (preferably overnight). Soak dates and dried plums for five minutes, then chop. Combine nuts and dates/prunes in vitamix and combine. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, and coconut oil. Add some shredded coconut  & ground cinnamon(optional). This will be a very sticky consistency. Press onto waxed paper, lightly press down some shredded coconut and chopped walnuts. Chill 2-4 hours in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mom who LOVES chocolate even loved of these. These were still a little sticky after being chilled, but it made them even more like fudge!