Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2 New Cake Recipes: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake and Banana Blackberry Ice Cream Cake

Today I'm sharing 2 of my latest raw vegan cake recipes that I've created and posted on Vivapura's blog. The chocolate peanut butter cheesecake is totally decadent and perfect when you have a chocolate craving. The blackberry banana ice cream cake is light, refreshing, and fruity for these hot summer days when you want something to cool you down. 

I have some new raw recipe videos up on Youtube too!

My FAVOURITE new recipe is Raw Coconut Cream Bars. If nothing else, you have to make these if you're a coconut lover. 

Raw Superfood Cookies dusted in lucuma are a great afternoon snack and pack well for a hike or day at the beach. 

Raw Chocolate Wild Jungle Peanut Butter Cheesecake 

I've incorporated wild jungle peanut butter into a luscious raw chocolate cheesecake and topped it with a peanut butter drizzle and crunchy peanuts. This is best served with a side of vanilla ice cream (find the recipe HERE). Again, you'll want/need to cut the richness of the peanut butter and chocolate. 

1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup pitted, packed dates
1 1/4 teaspoon water

Grind the almonds and peanuts to crumbs in a food processor. Add the dates and process until they're broken down and combined. Add the water and pulse in. Press the mixture into a 6" spring form pan. Set aside.

1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Blend the water, cashews, peanut butter, maple, and vanilla until completely smooth. Add the cacao powder and coconut oil. Blend to combine. Pour the filling over the crust. Spoon a small blobs of peanut butter on top and use a chopstick to swirl it in. Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours and then in the fridge for 12 hours.

Peanut butter drizzle
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cashew butter
3/4 teaspoon water

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle around the edge of the chilled cake.


Arrange the peanuts around the top edge of the cake.

Now for something light and fruity! A banana based ice cream cake with a chocolate crumb crust. 

Blackberry Banana Ice Cream Cake 

Chocolate Nut Crumb

1 cup pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup monukka raisins
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
2 tablespoons cacao nibs

Grind all ingredients (except the cacao nibs) together in a food processor into crumbs. Add the nibs and pulse to incorporate without breaking them down. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 6" spring form pan. Set the rest aside.

Ice Cream

4 medium bananas
3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup blackberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder

Blend the bananas, cashews, and coconut sugar until completely smooth in a blender. Transfer half of the mixture into a bowl. Add the blackberries and vanilla powder to the remaining mixture and blend until smooth to incorporate. Pour a big blob of the banana mixture over the crust in the pan. Pour some of the berry mixture into the middle over top of the banana mixture. Keep pouring a blob into the middle, alternating fillings until they've been used up. Drag a chop stick from the centre out to the sides all the way around creating a pattern like the one in my photo. Arrange a few blackberries on top. Freeze for 8-12 hours. Let sit at room temperature (about 30 minutes) until the sides soften just enough to remove the ring of the pan. Press the remaining chocolate crumb mixture on the sides. Slice and eat!

You always get FREE shipping on orders over $75 with Vivapura. 

And I have a new savoury recipe on Youtube! Raw sun dried tomato and olive spread is great with zucchini noodles, on crackers, or with veggie sticks. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Choosing Raw and No Bake Sunflower Oat Bar Recipe

Recently I was sent a copy of Gena Hamshaw's new recipe book, Choosing Raw: making Raw Foods part of the way you eat. You're probably already familiar with Gena's popular and excellently written blog, Choosing Raw, where she shares many raw and vegan recipes along with bits of her personal life, and the stories of readers who have recovered from eating disorders and have turned to a vegan diet. As Gena has recovered from her own eating disorder, many people have confided in her and have been inspired to heal and share their stories in the hope of helping others.

Gena's book is great for those who are starting out on a raw and/or vegan diet, anyone who leads a busy life and doesn't have much time for food preparation, and for people who are looking to expand their recipe repertoire. From the start, Gena encourages her readers to make any recipe their own by exchanging ingredients and making it their own. As a chef, blogger, and recipe book author too, I can relate to the importance of encouraging readers to experiment and turn my recipes into something that suits them.

The book contains a mix of cooked and raw recipes which I think opens the door to more people - there is something for everyone in here. Another great feature is that Gena includes 21 flexible, easy to customize meal plans. She also dedicates a section of the book to addressing myths and misconceptions around raw and vegan diets. Gena presents the information based on her own personal experience and from her knowledge as a certified clinical nutritionist.

Two other great things about the book: the recipes are very easy to follow and most of them are accompanied by beautiful photographs (photos are very important to me. I think its the top selling feature of a cookbook).

Cobb Salad - doesn't it look amazing?! It's next on my "recipes to make" list. 

So far I've tried 3 recipes from the book: No bake sunflower oat bars, Green herb dressing, and Almond butter and sun dried tomato dressing. All were fantastic. I tossed the almond butter tomato dressing with zucchini noodles, avocado, and fresh tomato for a fantastic dinner one night - well ok, it happened 3 or 4 nights!

I'm fortunate enough to be able to share one of the recipes from the book with you. The No Bake Sunflower Oat Bars are a delicious, healthy, sweet snack. Gena gives the option for different nut or seed butters. I made them with peanut butter, and I also used half cacao nibs and half mini chocolate chips. They were also a little thicker than hers because I used an 8x8" pan. I needed a bit more sweetener because they were a bit too dry. I keep the bars in the freezer and enjoy them in the afternoon when its crazy hot outside.

No Bake Sunflower Oat Bars

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cacao nibs
2/3 cup sunflower seed, cashew, peanut, or almond butter
6 tablespoons agave nectar or brown rice syrup

1. Line a small (7 x 11' or 9")baking dish with foil or plastic wrap. Mix oats, seeds, raisins, and cacao nibs in a large bowl.
2 . Whisk together the nut butter and 1/2 cup sweetener. Pour over the mixture, and mix well, until everything is sticky and combined. If the mixture is too dry, you can add more sweetener as needed.
3. Press the mixture into the lined baking dish. Cover with another layer of foil or plastic wrap, press well into the baking dish and refrigerate for 4 hours. Cut into bar shapes, wrap, and keep refrigerated until ready to use. They ought to keep for 2 weeks.

From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

If you check out Gena's recent blog post HERE, you'll find a recipe from her book for Heat Free Lentil and Walnut Tacos. They look delicious! (photo from Choosing Raw).

Yum, I hope you check out Gena's book and blog! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raw Blackberry Cheesecake

An abundance of blackberries that a friend recently picked for me inspired this cheesecake. It was SO good! You see, this is the first time I have access to fresh wild blackberries because we didn't have them in Ontario where I used to live - I'm thrilled to live on the West Coast now and have access to a whole new range of ingredients to play with.

Raw Blackberry Cheesecake

I garnished the cake with more blackberries, coconut flakes, and a dusting of coconut creme powder which mimics icing sugar!


3/4 cup cashews
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 teaspoon water

Process the cashews, coconut, and dates together in a food processor until ingredients are ground down. Add the water and process briefly to incorporate. Press the crust into a 7" or 8" spring form pan.
Optional: Sprinkle 1 cup of blackberries over the crust and mash them with a fork.


2 cups blackberries
1 cup cashews
1/3 cup coconut sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2 drops stevia, optional

Blend all but the coconut oil and stevia until completely smooth in a blender. Add the oil and blend again to incorporate. Taste and add the stevia if needed. Pour the filling over the crust and mashed berries. Freeze for 4-6 hours and then transfer to the fridge for 12 hours.


Blackberries, coconut flakes, and coconut cream powder - all optional!

And a reminder that I'm having a 30% off summer book sale for a limited time! A combo of my 3 most popular ebooks: Raw Chocolate Dream, Just Desserts, and Ice Cream in the Raw for only $31.49! Check out THIS POST for all the details.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Raw Mango Lime Cheesecake Bars and Summer Ebook Sale!

Today I've got a summery dessert recipe to share with you today! My tangy mango lime cheesecake bars are also infused with flavours of passionfruit and coconut.
I'm also doing my annual Sweetly Raw dessert ebook sale. For the next 7 days, receive 30% off my most popular 3 ebooks: Raw Chocolate Dream, Ice Cream in the Raw, and Just Desserts. All recipes are raw, vegan, and gluten free. If you have one of these books already, you can swap it for a different book. Simply email me to request it.

Raw Mango Lime Cheesecake Bars

I garnished the bars with extra coconut cream powder, a pinch of spirulina, and goji berries for a colour contrast.


2/3 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup well packed dates, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons water

Grind the cashews, coconut, and dares in a food processor. Add the water and process briefly to combine. Press into the bottom of an 8x8" pan.


1 2/3 cup diced and packed ataulfo mango
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons passionfruit powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until completely smooth and creamy. Add the oil and blend to incorporate. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the filling and transfer it to a bowl.

Lime Swirl

1/4 cup mashed avocado
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons coconut cream powder
1 drop of stevia
Up to 1/8 teaspoon spirulina

Add all ingredients to the remaining filling in the blender, adding a bit of spirulina at a time to achieve the colour you desire.


Pour large blobs of HALF of the mango filling over the crust. Pour a few smaller blobs of the lime filling in between. Swirl the two together with a chopstick. Pour the remaining mango and lime fillings as blobs on top and swirl again with a chopstick. Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours and then transfer to the fridge for 12 hours. Slice into bars.

Raw Chocolate Dream ebook - Get all the book details HERE including lots of photos.

Ice Cream in the Raw ebook - Full book details HERE including photo teasers.

Just Desserts eBook - Full details on the book HERE. 

Hope you're having a great summer!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

6 New summer dessert recipes!

Today I have 6 new raw desserts to share with you. I created them for Vivapura's blog and now I'm sharing the recipes with you here. They're all perfect for this hot summer weather with their refreshing flavours. I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think if you try any of the recipes :)

First up is a Matcha Mint Ice Cream. If you're not familiar, matcha is green tea powder. It's a vibrant green colour and has a very distinct taste which is best paired with sweet things.

Matcha Mint Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups cashews
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3 teaspoons matcha powder
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Blend the cashews and water until smooth in a high speed blender. Add the syrup, mint, vanilla, and matcha. Blend again. Add the coconut oil last and blend to incorporate. Pour the mixture into a bowl and chill in the fridge for 12 hours. Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufactures instructions. Transfer the soft serve to a container and freezer for several hours until it firms up a bit more.

Neopolatin Parfaits are great for entertaining especially if you put them in cute mini parfait cups like I did.

Neopolatin Parfaits

Coconut Cream Pudding

1 cup very well packed young coconut meat
1/4 cup water or coconut water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Blend all but the oil until completely smooth in a blender. Add the oil and blend to incorporate. Chill in the fridge while making the other pudding

Chocolate Cream

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup pecan butter
1/4 cup melted coconut creme
3 tablespoons cacao powder

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender.


1 1/2 cups diced strawberries, mashed with a fork

Layer the coconut and chocolate puddings together with the mashed strawberries in parfait glasses. Eat immediately or chill for a few hours.

Lemon cheesecakes studded with goji berries are great when you want something that is both tangy and sweet! It's like lemonade turned into healthy dessert.

Lemon Goji Berry Cheesecakes


1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup dried mulberries
2 tablespoons hunza raisins
1 1/2 teaspoons water

Grind the almonds into flour in a food processor. Add the coconut, mulberries, and raisins. Grind until the raisins are completely broken down (this will take a minute or two). Add the water last and pulse to combine. Press the crust into 4-5 mini silicone muffin pans (or mini cheesecake pans) and set aside.


1 cup cashews
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
Heaping 1/4 cup goji berries

Blend the cashews, lemon juice, coconut sugar, and vanilla until smooth in a blender. Add the coconut oil and blend to incorporate. Add the goji berries and blend briefly until they begin to break down but keep some texture and see bits of the goji berries. Spread the filling over the crusts (as I said above, there will be more crust than filling). Chill in the freezer for 8-12 hours. Peel away the silicone moulds and transfer to the fridge for at least 6 hours.


1 1/4 cup diced strawberries
2 dates, chopped
1/4 cup goji berries

Blend the strawberries and dates in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the goji berries. Set aside for at least 20 minutes. The berries will soften. Spoon over the cheesecakes before eating.

In my next recipe I infused coconut and mulberries into a chocolate brownie and topped it with frosting - because every great brownie needs frosting right?! 

Coconut Mulberry Brownies 

Brownie Base

1 1/2 cups pecans
3/4 cup shredded coconut 
1 cup pitted lightly packed dates
1/2 cup dried mulberries
4 tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
1 1/2 teaspoons water

Grind all but the water in a food processor until all ingredients are broken down and combined. Add the water and pulse in. Firmly press the dough into a plastic wrap lined 8x8" pan. Set aside.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

3/4 cup pitted, packed dates - soaked in 3/4 cup warm water for at least 30 minutes
1/4 cup melted coconut creme
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cacao powder

Blend the soaked dates with 1/2 cup of the soak water and remaining ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Spread the frosting over the brownies. Chill in the fridge for 12 hours.

Coconut Drizzle

1 tablespoon melted coconut creme
1 1/2 tablespoons warm water
1 drop stevia 
1 1/2 teaspoons melted coconut oil

Drizzle over the frosting (either before or after chilling). Chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge for the drizzle to firm up a bit.


Dried mulberries, shredded coconut, cacao nibs

Sprinkle over the coconut drizzle before chilling.

Inspired by the cherries that are in season right now I created a Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake that turned out beautifully! 

Raw Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake


2/3 cup cups almonds
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon water

Grind the almonds to flour in a food processor. Add the dates, cherries, cacao, and vanilla. Process until all ingredients are completely broken down. Add the water and pulse in. Press into the bottom of a 7" or 8" spring form pan.


2 cups pitted, packed cherries
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons coconut nectar or agave
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until completely smooth in a high speed blender. Add the oil and blend to incorporate. Pour the filling over the crust. Optional: 1/4 cup cherries, pitted and quartered. Arrange the chopped cherries on top of the filling and use a chopstick to press them down just until the filling covers over them. Chill the cake in the freezer for 6 hours and then transfer it to the fridge for 12 hours.

Coconut Cream Drizzle 

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon melted lucuma coconut creme
1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 drop of stevia 
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cashew butter

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over the chilled cake.

Chocolate Drizzle

2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon cashew butter
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cacao powder, sifted
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 - 3 teaspoons warm water

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth, starting with 1 teaspoon of the water and adding the other to thin it out as desired. Drizzle over the chilled cake.

And last, but not least - a refreshing sweet and tangy smoothie featuring raspberries which are also in season right now. 

Lemon Raspberry Goji Smoothie

1 1/4 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 cup water
Heaping 1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup pitted dates - chopped
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 large ice cubes

Blend all but the ice cubes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the ice and blend until it breaks down. Drink immediately.

Check out Vivapura's new website! You always get FREE shipping on orders over $75!

And we have new recipe videos up on YouTube! 

Raw chocolate peanut butter brownie cups

Raw sun dried tomato and olive spread

Nutty Raw Chocolate Hemp Fudge

And see more of my video's on Vivapura's Youtube channel HERE!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Raw Superfood Chocolates

When Detox Your World recently asked me to create a raw chocolate recipe using some of their organic products, I was eager to jump into my kitchen and create something new. With special ingredients like mucuna, lucuma, and coconut cream powder, I decided to make super food chocolates studded with goji berries.

If you've never heard of mucuna before, it's a magical bean which is turned into a powder. It has a mild taste and is perfect for adding to chocolate, smoothies, puddings, and pretty much any other raw dessert. Its been used for ages to help balance the body's energies and is a potent aphrodisiac!

Raw Superfood Chocolates

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon melted cacao butter
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, powdered*
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
2 1/2 tablespoons lucuma powder
2 tablespoons coconut cream powder
2 teaspoons mucuna powder 
3 tablespoons goji berries

Once the cacao butter is melted in a bowl sitting on a pot of hot water, sift in the coconut sugar and cacao powder. Whisk in the remaining ingredients except the goji berries. Add the berries last and stir in. Spoon the liquid into Small silicone chocolate moulds that are sitting on a tray. Mine made 21 small chocolates. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before removing from the moulds.

*Powder the coconut sugar in a coffee grinder.

North Americans, please note that you can still order from Detox Your World HERE, you just have to email info@detoxyourworld.com for details and shipping costs.