Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No Bake Granola Bars


Remember a few weeks ago when I posted a recipe for No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars? Well today I have a similar recipe to share with you. These bars are the first treat I made since moving into our new place about a week ago. We're slowly but surely getting the place into order but my dear kitchen was first on the priority list. And in the past few days I've made J's baked granola bars and spelt blueberry muffins for him to take to work. It's so great to be in the kitchen again - you know how it is during the moving process. Everything is upside down, inside out.

Anyway, back to the recipe! These bars are gluten free (if using gf oats), vegan, semi raw, and packed with nutrition, plus they're not too sweet. They make a great afternoon snack. Just make sure to keep them in the fridge - don't take them out for a picnic on a hot summers day or they'll melt and fall apart. Another plus is that these are ridiculously easy to make!!!


If you want a grain free granola bar, try my other recipe. And not to worry if you can't do peanuts, simply use almond butter.

Feel free to use honey in place of the coconut nectar if you're not vegan. Agave or maple syrup would work great too. Any mixture of seeds will do. Hemp and/or sesame would be a great addition.


No Bake Granola Bars
Gluten free - vegan - semi raw

1 cup oats*
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup dark mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower
4 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut nectar

Stir together all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Stir wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Combine the two mixtures together.
Press into a parchment paper lined 8x8" pan.
Chill in the fridge at least 4 hours.

*Make sure to use certified gluten free if you need them to be gluten free.


If you love peanut butter, be sure to check out my grain free peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe on Food and Yoga for Life if you haven't already.


And also in case you missed it, check out my cauliflower caesar dressing and cauliflower pizza crust recipes.


Part of Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend

Monday, May 20, 2013

Moving Day Swirly Strawberry Cheesecakes


Today's cheesecakes are in celebration of me and J moving to a new city for his new flight job and bigger opportunities for me. For the past few weeks I've been packing up our place (J had to come here early to start the job), visiting with friends, and tying up loose ends. In some ways it's hard to leave my hometown for good. There isn't a lake or forest in our new backyard and we can't hop in the boat in the spur of the moment, BUT we are so excited and so ready for all the other gifts this new phase of our life has to offer. We enjoyed these mini cheesecakes over the weekend as we were preparing to move and it was the perfect Spring treat.


Before I get into the recipe, I want to address a question I get asked a lot! "Do you soak the cashews?" The answer is NO! I never say to soak them because they are to be blended as-is. The key is to make sure you have a high speed blender or you will still be left with some grainyness from the cashews. Some recipes call for the cashews to be soaked to make them soft and therefore blend easier but this will also add water to the mixture. Also, soaking will NOT affect any enzyme inhibitors because they don't have any. Neither do macadamia nuts or pine nuts - you will notice they have no skin the way other nuts like pecans, walnuts, almonds, sunflower, sesame, etc, do and therefore do benefit from soaking.
If you only have a regular blender, I recommend grinding the cashews down to a powder in a food processor before adding all ingredients to the blender. This will help with smoothness. Not completely, not greatly and will make the blending process easier.


Swirly Strawberry Cheesecakes

The swirl in these cakes is optional but adds a nice little touch. Simply use the strawberry sauce from my vanilla bean cheesecakes!

Crust

1 cup almonds or macadamia nuts
1/4 cup pitted, packed dates
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon water

In a food processor grind the almonds.
Chop the dates and add to the almonds with the salt. Grind again into crumbs.
Add the water and zap again until the mixture turns into a moist dough that holds together when pressed.
Press into the bottom of a 7" or  8" spring form pan, mini pans, or small silicone muffin cups. Set aside.

Filling

3 cups diced strawberries
1 1/2 cups cashews
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt
3-4 drops stevia
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender.
Add the oil and blend to incorporate.
Pour over the crust. Drizzle strawberry sauce on the top using a squirt bottle and use a chopstick to swirl it in.
Chill in the freezer for 2-4 hours and then in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

And here's another recipe for raw strawberry cheesecakes. Mango ones too!


And check it out! Stephanie made my vanilla cheesecakes with strawberry sauce.

Stephanie also made my peanut butter crunch bars!

Pilar made my lemon blueberry jam cheesecake and shared on facebook.

And for those of you who enjoy protein packed treats, check out my Vanilla Protein Cakes with peanut butter frosting!


Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Raw Vanilla Cheesecake 2 Ways


Last week I had a dinner date with my dear friend Pam who I've mentioned many times on this blog. Over the years we've shared many dinners and it's such a thrill for me because, besides a fantastic friendship, Pam truly appreciates my food. She enjoys new tastes, savors every bite and is curious to know how I made each dish. For dinner I made raw fajitas - something I haven't made it a while. And dessert was this vanilla cheesecake with strawberry sauce, mixed berry chia jelly, and chopped macadamia nuts. I have to say, they turned out great! I made individual cheesecakes because I think they're so cute and I was in the mood for it, but you can make the cake in a 6 or 8" spring form pan.


Since I made several mini cheesecakes, there was opportunity for different toppings! For my own decadent dessert the other night I topped the cake with rich raw chocolate sauce and chunks of dark chocolate. Yummmm!


Raw Vanilla Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

Choose from a tried and true date nut crust, or a chocolate crust which I used on this occasion.

Date Nut Crust

1 cup walnuts
2/3 cup pitted, packed dates

Grind both ingredients together in a food processor.
Add 1 teaspoon of water if the mixture is too crumbly.
Press the crust into your pans of choice.

Chocolate Brownie Crust

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/4-1/3 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons water, as needed

Grind the almonds in a food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients and process to combine into a dough.
If the mixture is too crumbly and dry, add a little water.
Press into the bottom of a 6" or 8" spring form pan or several mini pans. Set aside.

Vanilla Filling

2 cups cashews
7 tablespoons coconut milk*
8 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
4 teaspoons lemon juice
Seeds of 1 large vanilla bean
1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

In a high speed blender combine the cashews, milk, necar, extract, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Add the vanilla bean and oil. Blend to incorporate.
Pour the filling over the crust. Chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours, ideally 12.

*Either fresh young coconut blended with coconut water. Must be thick! OR full fat canned coconut milk.

Strawberry Sauce

2 cups chopped strawberries
3-4 medjool dates, pitted
Lemon juice, to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Or try the Vanilla Chocolate Cheesecake version! Drown it in raw chocolate sauce and dark chocolate chunks or cacao nibs. Alternatively, top it with anything you can think of :D


On a chocolate note, here's a raw chocolate platter I did for a party last weekend.


And one of my latest creations - chocolate caramel pecan stack. Friggin' good!!!
Make it: Layer the dark chocolate recipe and caramel from 'caramel peanut chocolate bars' recipe in Raw Chocolate Dream ebook along with pecans.


Part of Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Superfood Cups


Last week I made superfood cups. I love making little cup treats. They're easy and the perfect snack size when you need a little "something". You know - for when the mid afternoon sweet tooth creeps up. I've made so many cup sized treats over the years, most of them being chocolate and mini cheesecakes, but today is all about the superfoods. These babies are filled with lucuma, maca, mesquite,  bee pollen, hemp seeds, and coconut among other things.


Superfood Cups

Add whatever "add ins" you like. I've listed the items I used in this batch but I also like adding goji berries and cacao nibs.

1/2 cup melted coconut oil
6 tablespoons melted coconut butter
4 tablespoons lucuma
3 tablespoons maca
2 tablespoons mesquite
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons maple sugar
1/2 teaspoons vanilla powder
------------
Add ins:
Dehydrated buckwheat
Dried mulberries
Coconut Flakes
Hemp Seeds
Cashews

Sift the powders into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir all together. Make sure the mixture stays warm to avoid ceasing.
Stir in whatever amount of "add ins" you want.
Pour the mixture into little paper cups or silicone cups.
Chill for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.


Here are a few of my other favorite "little cup treats"

Raw White Chocolate Cups with Purple Mulberries



Carob Cups (one of my all time favourites)


Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

Mmm peanut butter cups - can never go wrong with those, right?!

And on a cakey note, check out my baked Protein Carrot Cake recipe on Food and Yoga for Life.

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Coconut Fudge


Last week I had a hankering for something coconutty with a fudgey texture = coconut fudge! I think this would be nice with some chocolate swirled in. You could add a bit of cacao powder to part of the mixture.

Naturally I dipped a few in raw dark chocolate. Simply the best!

Raw Coconut Fudge

Super easy treat to keep on hand for those afternoon sweet cravings!

6 tablespoons melted coconut butter
6 tablespoons cashew or almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 tablespoons lucuma
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl.
Spread into a plastic wrap lined container.
Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Slice. Store in the fridge.


And here are some of the chocolate happenings around here lately!

Mint Chip Chocolates
To make: Follow "Molded chocolate recipe" from Raw Chocolate Dream and add peppermint essential oil, cacao nibs, and buckwheat crunchies.


Maple Crunchy Chocolate Bars
To make: Follow dark chocolate bar recipe with addition of buckwheat crunchies, bee pollen, lots of maple flakes, chopped cashews, and goji berries.


Caramel Filled Chocolates
To make: Follow molded dark chocolate with caramel from "Caramel Peanut Chocolate Bars" recipe.


Caramel Chocolate Bars
To make: Same as above recipe but in chocolate bar form.

Part of Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays