dates

Raw Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars

There are few people you meet in life who would wholeheartedly say, “Cheesecake? Nah, I’m good thanks” (unless they’re a pure savoury addict, then I’ll let them off). Which means there’s more of this raw coconut lime cheesecake for the rest of us. Just the title makes you want to read on, check out the pictures and zoom straight down to the recipe method!raw coconut lime cheesecakeThere’s something about raw desserts that just makes me want to have more and more. Charlotte decided to make this beauty of a cheesecake, slice it all up and freeze it…I was only happy to take some photographs and test for it’s authenticity and sheer indulgent taste (without all that nasty sugar and dairy).

raw coconut lime cheesecake

As you can see from the ingredients list, the natural sweetness from dates and maple syrup are plenty to give this that satisfying sweet edge needed to be a real cake. It’s all natural and nothing processed added which means you can feel really good about asking people to give these a go (I doubt any kind of resistance will happen here).

raw coconut lime cheesecake

The lime taste that comes through is subtle enough to really taste it’s “limey” but not overpowering, and the coconut….well you know goodnessgreen’s obsession with the white stuff! Thank you nature ūüėČ
A vegan dessert or little treat you can be proud to put out on a dish and just leave people to pick and pick. Your freezer just got real exciting.

raw coconut lime cheesecake raw coconut lime cheesecake

Raw Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars

base:
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup oats
1 cup dates
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
filling:
1 cup soaked (at least 6 hours) cashews
1 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
juice + zest of 1 lime

  1. Line a small baking pan with baking parchment.
  2. Blitz the base ingredients until a sticky dough forms. Press firmly into the pan + freeze.
  3. Blend the filling ingredients until super smooth + creamy. Pour over the base + freeze until set.
  4. To enjoy, remove from the freezer to thaw a little + slice away. Eat up or place in the fridge.

Sugar Free Chocolate Brownie Loaf

A sugar free chocolate brownie loaf, sounds good for you right? It is.
Dates, oh how I love thee. I am head over heals with dates…….on their own, stirred through porridge, in smoothies, smothered with nut butter (oh you haven’t tried this? Please do, immediately!), in ice cream, pure date paste, in caramel sauce……I just REALLY like dates.

sugar free chocolate brownie

Naturally these brownies are jam packed with date loving, making them free from nasty sugar but rather packed full of goodness. Here’s 7 damn good reason’s to eat more dates from naturalsociety.com. Oh these brownies are whole grain too :-), just sayin’. Recipes like this sugar free whole grain brownie loaf highlight how redundant eggs + dairy really are in sweet treats. Not necessary at all.

sugar free chocolate brownie

Date + chocolate = so much yum. Guilt free yum. A sugar free chocolate brownie.
And did I say how easy these are? Yep, add this little lot to a blender/processor and Bob’s your Uncle and Annie’s your Aunt.

sugar free chocolate brownie

I reckon I’ll be whipping this up for future last minute dessert ‘needs’ as they’re really tasty as hell, healthy to boot and ready in a flash.

Sugar Free Whole Grain Brownie Loaf

200 grams pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 ml almond milk
150 grams spelt flour
50 grams cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 grams dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 200 ¬ļC. Blend the dates, milk + vanilla until smooth.
Add the flours + combine thoroughly. Stir through the chips + transfer to a baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Fig and Tahini Energy Bites (Calcium Rich + Dairy Free)

So, like, where do you get your calcium? Just kidding.
But really, this here from MindBodyGreen is a great little visual piece if you were wondering the best sources or perhaps wanting a few quick fire responses up your sleeve!
OK, let’s get to it, fig and tahini energy bites.

Vegan RAW Fig Energy Balls There are tonnes of plant based sources of calcium that nourish our bones rather than acidify¬†them¬†as dairy does. Many people worry about folk on a plant based diet in terms of their protein (yawn!), iron and calcium intakes. Calcium has long been associated with dairy which is completely misleading as nature is chock full of it and more nourishing to our skeletal system. What I’m saying is don’t sweat the calcium, especially now you got balls of calcium steel.

Vegan RAW Fig Energy Balls

Calcium rich, protein pumped, fibre packed little balls of pure RAW goodness. Quick to knock up, these are ready when you are!

Vegan RAW Fig Energy Balls

Fig and Tahini Energy Bites, a calcium love affair.

1 cup dried figs
1/2 cup dried dates
3/4-1 cup oats
1/4 cup light tahini
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Add this little bundle of goodness to a food processor or blender + process til a real smooth dough forms. Divide into amazing balls of calcium rich energy. Enjoy.

Vegan Cupcake Cheesecakes

vegan cupcake cheesecakes

We did a raw berry coconut cheesecake recipe once before and it turned out to be a real success Рespecially as a first go! So the thinking behind this recipe was to carry on with the cheesecake theme using coconut + berries and put a twist to the whole idea. Born were vegan cupcake cheesecakes.

vegan cupcake cheesecakes vegan cupcake cheesecakes

For regular visitors you’ll know that we think coconut is just amazing – and that flavour really comes through with these little gems. Producing cheesecakes with no cream cheese is so simple and this will most definitely impress all cheesecake¬†lovers (and possibly convert them to the idea of using dairy-free¬†baking ingredients, ha ha).

vegan cupcake cheesecakes

As it’s still January, people are giving the whole veganuary thing a shot (keep it going – you’re doing great) so why not give these sweet little treats a whirl…Mmmm!

vegan cupcake cheesecakes

Useful link: Veganuary¬†– it will put your curious mind at ease…

Vegan Cupcake Cheesecakes

base:
1 cup oats
7 dates, no stones
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup flax meal

filling:
1.5 cups cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 lemon, juiced

optional:
berry compote, chocolate, nut butter

Method:

  1. Prepare 12 silicone moulds (cupcake liners would also work) ready for your cheesecakes.
  2. Blitz the base ingredients + divide amongst the liners. Press down hard to compact with a glass or something like that. Place in freezer until set.
  3. Blitz the filling ingredients + spoon on top of the base. Decorate exactly as you fancy: some berry compote, caramel or alternatively flavour the filling with a nut butter or dark chocolate melted.
  4. Place in freezer for a 3-4 hours until set. These can be thawed for 15 minutes prior to eating or eaten straight from the freezer. Enjoy.

Recipe for vegan cupcake cheesecakes adapted from Minimalist Baker + My Whole Food Life. 

3 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Caramels

Better than rolos ūüėČ

 Vegan Rolos

Sometimes only caramel will do, and at other times only chocolate caramels will do. Thank heavens for these 3 ingredient beauties. Not only are they 100% plant based, but contain only 3 ingredients and take no time to put together. I reckon I can make these quicker than Russ can drive to the supermarket and buy some Rolos! But why would you anyway – these chocolate caramel treats are uber healthy, natural and perfect for an afternoon accompaniment to a cuppa tea!

vegan rolos

Have you got dates? Have you got peanut butter? What about some dark chocolate? No, well you can make your own with coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder ūüėČ

vegan rolos

Do you have 10 minutes free today? Yep, well looks like you’ll be eating these too! Enjoy!

Vegan Rolos

3 ingredient vegan chocolate caramels

(makes 12-15 balls)

1 cup dates + pinch sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon smooth natural peanut butter
25 grams dark dairy free chocolate

Pulse/blend the dates + pb until smooth. Form 12-15 small caramel balls. Melt the chocolate. Coat the caramel balls with deliciously dark chocolate, remove with a toothpick + freeze for 15 minutes. Remove + devour. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Raw Berry Coconut Cheesecake

cheesecake vegan

So, when you’re having hardcore meat and dairy lovers round for tea, what in god’s name do you make for them and more importantly what about dessert? You make this of course, this raw berry coconut cheesecake.

Yep, it’s vegan AND raw, so I’m breaking them in gently but boy it’s good and nuts don’t need cooking. This is pure heaven on a plate and our guests thought so too. Thank the lord.

vegan cheesecake

There’s something about inviting meat eaters round for tea, like I almost feel guilty about subjecting them to plant based food as a break from their meat twice-daily norm. Really, come on, it’s not that bad – some veggies just for one meal for one day of your life. I like eating this way, I know how good you can feel so for me I just cannot believe how much of a novelty it becomes for other people. Y’know – not having meat or dairy at lunch time is like, so weird? What’s happening to the world when we can’t seem to have a couple of animal free days a week? Ah man, c’mon stop breaking my heart.

cheesecake vegan

Who were these ‘people’ anyway? Russ’s parents, who love their meat and love their dairy desserts. The thing is we don’t actually broadcast our food choices unless at family occasions where we’ll always cater for ourselves and take an appropriate dish. I gotta say people are generally OK when you’re a vegetarian, ‘but you still eat dairy and eggs, right?’, followed by a deep breath and then an ‘oh good’ when you nod yes. That’s why we haven’t gone there with family, it really feels like treading cement so when Russ’s Mum asked whether we ate dairy and Russ answered no, I really was not prepared by the reaction which was a mixture of disappointment, disapproving, judgement, bewilderment and slight anger. Really, I was cringing inside and upset for days after. It was just plain awkward.

Anyway, I had to have a show stopping dessert, a dessert that says yep there’s no egg, milk or cream in me but geez i’m the best god damn cheesecake you ever ate. Period.

This did it. Thank you raw berry coconut cheesecake. You made my day. You made that cringeworthy moment not so bad.

vegan cheesecake

Raw berry coconut cheesecake

(8 slices)

crust:
1 cup almonds
1 cup dates
1/2 cup dried coconut
pinch of sea salt

cream:

2 cups cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
juice of half lemon
pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup of berries (I used frozen raspberries + blueberries)

berries + raw coconut for dressing (entirely optional)

method:

1. In a food processor or blender pulse the nuts to a fine crumb. Then add the coconut, dates + salt continuing to pulse until a sticky smooth dough forms. I used a Vitamix so had the push the ingredients around a little to get it all smooth. Press mixture firmly, evenly + smoothly into a 7 inch springform pan.
2. Drain + rinse cashews. Blend with remaining cream ingredients apart from the raspberries. Pour half the mixture over the almond crust + place in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
3. Add the raspberries to the remaining cream mixture + blend to a pretty smooth mixture. Pour the pinky/purply cream over the cheesecake. Freeze for 4 hours until set or overnight.
4. Remove from freezer 2 hours before serving + top with delicious things like more berries + coconut.

 

 

Mocha Quinoa Truffles (GF + Vegan)

mocha quinoa trufflesI need chocolate. Everyday. I love chocolate in all it’s raw, unprocessed and darkest glory. I think we all need chocolate, it’s good for the soul. Seriously.¬†A bowl of mocha quinoa balls

‚ÄúAll you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.‚ÄĚ

Charles M Schulz

See, this man is sooooo right. Love + chocolate = just perfect. Definitely a cup of coffee too. Or even some mocha quinoa balls!Making mocha quinoa balls

When I fancy some sweet in my life I go to these delicious chocolate, walnut and coffee infused balls of goodness. An immediate snack that’s so amazingly yummy but shockingly good for you, like really, eat these mocha quinoa bites for good health. Yes, real chocolate is good for us, always has been and always will be – dark and unadulterated cocoa. So thankful.A loada balls

The great thing about and date/nut balls are they’re beyond adaptable, just see them as your sweet, nurturing, flexible and friendly snack. Any nut would work, the quinoa can be subbed for oats, more nuts, almond flour, coconut flour, if you don’t like mocha then ditch the coffee, if you hate chocolate…….only kidding, who doesn’t like chocolate, right? You get the point though – put in what the hell you want and bust some serious balls.¬†Mocha quinoa balls

I used quinoa to pack these out and up the protein content as I had a little left over from lunch and they added a nice nutty texture but brown rice would also be good. Have you noticed how there’s never ever, like never ever any leftover chocolate? Strange……

These sweets/truffles/power balls/bites are truly free. Free from dairy, soy, gluten and processed sugar. Enjoy the purest and loveliest of plant goodness.

Easy recipe for mocha quinoa balls

Mocha quinoa truffles

(makes 16 balls)

1 cup dates
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon maca
1 tablespoon espresso/coffee powder + 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the ingredients in a food processor + pulse to a dough. Scrape down the sides + redistribute if necessary.
Make 14-16 balls, place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes + enjoy straight away or store in an airtight container for later.

Almond, Cocoa + Maca Energy Bites

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? I’ve been dipping into some seriously decadent dark chocolate truffles the past few nights, and whilst they’re good, there just seems to be something missing. I think its the bite, there isn’t any really! I need some texture, some nuttiness, something to get my teeth into when it comes to sweet treats. I do like a sweet treat after dinner so I gave these almond, cocoa + maca energy bites a shot, and they worked despite the guess work. They worked really well.Energy bites in a bowl

Question: how healthy are these power balls packed full of these raw ingredients? Answer: way too healthy for words.Raw + healthy ingredients

These bites are completely free of refined sugars and full of heart healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants. This really is good mood food, I swear I felt better after a couple of these nutrient dense chocolatey nut balls. Thank you cocoa and almonds. The dates provide a natural sweetness and more vitally the binding force for the rest of the ingredients. Not only is maca super good for you, it lends a super malty cereal undertone, a bit like malted milk balls (you know, maltesers!) but nicer. Packed full of goodness, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, deliciously rich, nutty and taste like they should be bad for you. This here is raw almond, cocoa + maca energy bite success. Cocoa + maca energy bites

I blitzed the ingredients in a Vitamix as I don’t own a food processor and it worked fine. A little prodding, poking and scraping was required but all in all I’m happy to do the recipe again in a blender. Yep, a food processor would be better but a blender really is fine with a bit of extra work.¬†Super simple process

These are super quick to put together and really adaptable too, I used almonds purely because I had a surplus but any nut would work well. Same goes for the maca powder as I reckon coconut powder, extra cocoa, carob, ground chia or hemp seeds would be great in an energy bite. Just mix it up and make your preferred ball of energy.

Are you team blender or team food processor? Maybe both?Delicious cocoa + maca energy bites

Almond, cocoa + maca energy bites

(makes 10 bites)

1 cup almonds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons maca powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 dates

Method:

1. Blend the almonds until chopped finely but not to a flour as you need some texture. Set half aside.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until a sticky dough forms. If like me you’re using a blender you may need to scrape the bottom of the jug to redistribute the dough or pat the sides. Add the remaining almonds and blend once more.
3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and fill a smaller bowl with tepid water. Using your hands form 10 small bites, using the water to dip your fingers for a more pliable consistency.
4. Transfer the bites to the freezer for 30 minutes and store in the fridge for up to a week. You’ll eat them before then, take my word for it.

Note: Date sizes vary a lot so you may need a little more or less. To achieve a more pliable dough it’s advisable to dip your fingers in tepid water for a smoother, more uniform bite.

 

Raw Buckwheat Vanilla Porridge (GF + Vegan)

Raw buckwheat + vanilla porridge for twoThe perfect breakfast.

Today is most definitely a day for raw buckwheat vanilla porridge and following your heart.

I’ve been cotemplating, pondering and realising today. Realising that no matter how much you tell yourself otherwise, you cannot get along with everyone. This may sound obvious but I got caught up for a while there, caught up in the belief that we should all get along and love thy neighbour regardless. But I don’t buy it. Today I understand the need to be a better person, to strive for harmony and most of the time I’m good with this. You know the kind of stuff I’m talking about- less judgements, helping others more, greater compassion, embracing differences and just general goodness. On the whole, I am this person, I’m pretty kind, ¬†I care, I make a point of understanding different viewpoints, I like to help, yeah I’m doing OK here.

But then it happened, I gave in and accepted that some people are simply not deserving recipients of our precious time and energy. Perhaps I ¬†sound like a bitch and maybe I am, but I’m ok with this because sometimes you have to have an opinion and just go with what you believe, I’m big on integrity. And I’m not talking about particular people but just generally accepting that some differences cannot be bridged in life. Those who just feel like a steep hill, possessors of harsh tongues, makers of arbitrary judgements, disregarders of other’s feelings, showers of sheer recklessness, complacent with delicate souls -it’s these who I’m talking about. When one cares less for the consequences of their actions or lifestyle choices, who are aware ¬†but care ¬†much less of the damage they cause to themselves and others too, including the world we share, yes I can get along but not get on with them. I know it’s such a minority but it still just is and I’ve decided to let these toxic people go, albeit lovingly, with good thoughts and no hard feelings.

There’s too much greatness out there, overwhelming acts of kindness and heartbreaking generosity, thank god for all these good people……and for delicious breakfasts too.Raw buckwheat + vanilla porridge

So I love porridge but usually stick with the oat variety, definitely one of my favourite foods ever. But I was kind of intrigued by buckwheat porridge so it was high up on my hit list of recipe to-dos! ¬†I found the raw buckwheat very reasonably priced in a local health food shop. This recipe requires the raw groats so be sure that you don’t buy the cereal version because this is not what you want. Despite the name, there is no wheat in buckwheat so this super whole grain is a fabulous option for gluten free diets or even as a change to the grains that get so ingrained in our diets! This buckwheat breakfast is simple, wholesome and can be enjoyed on the run too. The perfect breakfast.Easy buckwheat porridge process

Raw buckwheat vanilla porridge is an uber easy process – just soak the groats overnight, rinse, combine with the remaining ingredients and blend. Like overnight oats these can be flavoured any way you prefer or accordingly to what’s in the fridge. I decided almond milk with vanilla and cinnamon to be the wisest decision – I can’t get enough of this little combo. Adding the dates to the mixture thickens it a little as well as giving a fudge like flavour, so yum and I truly believe we should add dates to everything. Always looking for an excuse for a berry fix I decided to top this creamy buckwheat with British raspberries and blueberries. Yeah I know, British blueberries eh – since when did we start producing blueberries? That’s exactly what the Waitrose package said so no complaints here! I also remembered that there were still lots of blackberries on the bush behind the flat and I couldn’t resist the thought of triple berries for breakfast!Raw buckwheat + vanilla porridge

Why this is the perfect breakfast….first up, whole grain buckwheat is great for our cardiovascular system, has a positive effect on blood sugar control and is a great source of fibre. Also, it’s zero gluten, free of dairy and soy -perfect. What’s more, the added berries, nuts and almond milk make this an antioxidant and calcium rich balanced and nutritious way to start the day. Raw buckwheat porridge¬†is so versatile and works well with any fruit, I suspect apples and bananas would be pretty special though. This recipe is great as a simple yet perfectly nutritious breakfast or a smooth nutty dessert. It’s all your choice.Raw buckwheat + vanilla porridge

Raw buckwheat + vanilla porridge

(serves 2)

2 cups raw buckwheat, soaked in water overnight
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans

to serve:
berries
extra pecans

Method:

1. Rinse the soaked buckwheat groats with clean running water + add to the blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
2. Serve in glass bowls and garnish with berries + pecans.

 

Easy No Bake Granola Bars

Easy no bake granola barsMy Vitamix arrived yesterday morning and at first I was scared of it so I left it in the box, all day. Today I thought I should get her out, so I reluctantly did and I’m glad now because I was pleasantly surprised by her sleek, fuss free, two switch appearance. It was the simplicity and lack of dials that did it for me, I have no desire to play around with numerous gadgets and add ons so this is just the ticket. I’m clutter phobic, especially when it comes to pointless gadgets, so this is me, very me. I have an aversion to large, bulky, complicated ‘things’ and some of the models I was looking at were frankly quite scary and intimidating. It’s OK though cos the Vitamix and I are getting along just fine. So anyway, not daunted by these two switches I really wanted to pulse something to oblivion to see what this baby could do! Dates seemed like a good place to start so I blitzed a whole bag of them into a big gooey ball! Wow, the thing is mighty powerful but I didn’t actually think about what I was going to do to with my dates post Vitamix treatment! After staring at them for ¬†a good five minutes wondering what to make I decided on granola bars.Granola bars ready for the cut!

Never having made a proper granola bar before this seemed like the most suitable destination for my pulsed dates. I’ve eaten plenty but have never been bowled over by a particular brand and the majority have a disappointingly high sugar content. Many boast of ‘all natural ingredients’ on the sleek packaging fooling us into thinking they’re healthy but sugar is natural, right! Another downside is the price, why are they such a rip off? Never mind, my first world problem is now solved with these beauties.¬†Easy & good value granola bars

These worked out fabulously for my first shot at cereal bars. I focused on creating a wet ingredient consistency that would bind well with the dry bits and the whole mixture came together nicely. ¬†They do hold together well but I still wouldn’t want one jiggling around in my handbag, not unless I fancied granola instead! I’m not talking break a tooth sturdy but rather a chewy robustness that will take a few knocks here and there. Anyhow, these¬†are better than any health store bar I’ve had, by miles and they’re just the start of my mission to produce a robust, tooth friendly and delicious cereal bar. ¬†I’m very happy with this bar for now though.Easy no bake granola process

Right, a bit about the ingredients. I used almonds and sunflower seeds purely because they’re a favourite but I suppose any nuts / seeds can be supplemented here. I like to toast the oats and nuts because it really brings out the flavour, plus it smells heavenly. The peanut butter can be replaced by any nut butter and the honey for agave or maple syrup. Chocolate, dried fruit and other cereal would also make good additions. They’re pretty adaptable and can be changed to suit your store cupboard, as long as the wet and dry ratios are kept similar to the original recipe. I bet you even have the ingredients to make some now?

So, what’s your secret to a granola bar that can handle a ride in my handbag? Is there a secret ingredient?Yummy granola bars

Easy no bake granola bars

1 cup pitted dates
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
pinch of salt
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup clear honey

Method:

1. Pulse the dates until a doughy ball forms. Remove & place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Toast the oats, almonds and seeds over a low heat for 10 minutes. Alternatively place in a medium heat oven for 10 minutes.
3. In a pan over a low heat, combine the peanut butter, honey, salt & date mixture until well blended. Add to the oat mixture and combine fully.
4. Line a 8″X15″ baking pan with plastic wrap or grease proof paper. Press mixture into pan evenly and compact.
5. Freeze for 30 minutes. Slice in to 10 bars. Store in an airtight container.