Raw Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake

It’s rare to have good consistent weather here in the UK and although normally I have no problem spending time in the kitchen I do find it particularly difficult on sunny days.

The beauty about this attractive Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake is that you can freeze it. I suggest making a couple of them in advance, as it keeps well in the freezer and that way after a long days escapade soaking up some of the sun’s rays all you have to do is open the fridge door and wellah, dessert is done.

Bursting with fresh fruity citrus flavours, a charming soft body and crunchy biscuit like base – served in the garden with family or friends… a perfect end to a lovely summer’s day.

 

img_0977

 

img_0976_fotor

 

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 4oz chopped dates
  • 4oz whole almonds, chopped
  • 4oz quinoa
  • pinch of salt

Lemon Layer:

  •  2 cups of soaked cashews
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
  • zest of one lemon

Blueberry Layer:

  • 8oz of frozen organic blueberries, plus a handful of blueberries to garnish.
  • 1/4 of the lemon cheesecake mixture
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup

 

Directions 

To make the crust: process the dates, almonds, salt and quinoa in a high speed blender until it resembles a crumb base.  You may need to add a little water (but don’t over do it) until the mixture becomes sticky.  Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and put in the freezer.

To make the lemon layer: blend the cashews and honey/maple syrup in a blender until you get a smooth cheesecake consistency.  Reserve 1/4 of this mixture for the blueberry topping. Place the rest back into the blender and add the lemon juice, blend until combined then mix in the lemon zest. Pour onto your crust and place back into the freezer.

To make the blueberry layer: blend the blueberries with the reserved cheesecake mixture in your food processor until creamy.  If desired add a handful of whole blueberries and combine by hand. Spread this over your cheesecake  base and keep in the freezer overnight or for at least a couple of hours. I suggest waiting a day before serving,  as it will deepen the flavours of the fruit.  When ready to serve leave to thaw for about 20 minutes.

 

– Enjoy –

 


Chocolate Date and Peanut Fingers

We all have those days when we feel a little down in the dumps and it can be difficult to find motivation or even attempt to bake, right?

I tend to crave sweet things when I feel tired (and hormonal) and this is one of my ‘go-to’ recipes when I’m feeling a little low.

It’s quick, simple and the ingredients you will more than likely find in the cupboard. I use Medjool dates over regular dates as they offer that extra toffee like squidginess but both work well here, so use what you’ve got.

I recommend dusting with cocoa powder and cut into small finger slices as it’s fantastically rich.

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Ingredients:

  • 350g pitted Medjool Dates
  • 100g of melted good quality dark chocolate (I use Lindt 90% Dark)
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp 100% peanut butter (I use Meridian Peanut Butter)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil

 

Directions:

  1. Line a small cake tin (I used a 2lb loaf for mine), leaving excess parchment paper hanging over the edges to help with lifting out later.
  2. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and leave to cool.
  3. Blend the dates in a blender until you get a fairly smooth paste.  Add the melted chocolate, oats, peanut butter and coconut oil. Blitz together.
  4. Spread the mixture out evenly into the prepared tin and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  5. Lift out of the tin, dust with cocoa powder and cut into fingers. Served best with pyjamas, chunky socks and a movie.

– Enjoy –


Fruity Almond Pulp Bars

 

milk

 

If you’re a fan of almond milk or any nut milk, I suggest you consider making your own (if you don’t already) for two reasons. One, its cheaper than buying from the supermarket and two (more importantly) home-made almond milk won’t contain additives such as Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum and Sunflower Lecithin that the shop bought varieties do. Although there seems to be some controversy about whether such additives are harmful for the body or not, personally I would rather play it safe and stick to making my own, besides, it’s so damn easy.

So if you haven’t before, try it!  You will find dozens of videos and recipes on the net or click on this link to get a heads up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeZCMNB2YO0

Right, so after you have made your amazing almond milk (it wasn’t hard was it?)  you will find that you are left with some almond pulp. Don’t throw this away because here is an easy peazy recipe for Fruity Almond Pulp Bars.  Speedy, hassle free to make and these vegan bars are baked without a trace of refined sugar.

I’ve been eating these little darlings for my breakfast…rather a lot!  They’re soft, naturally sweet, elegantly modest mouthfuls of fruitiness.  I really hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

milk2

 

Ingredients:

  • 8oz Almond pulp
  • 6oz Oat flour (make your own my blitzing up organic porridge oats)
  • 2oz Dried apricots
  • 2oz Sultanas
  • 4 Dried figs chopped
  • 100ml Maple syrup
  • 200ml Melted coconut oil

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4 and line an 8 inch cake tin with parchment paper.
  2. Place the almond pulp, oat flour and dried fruit into a bowl and combine.
  3. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and mix together.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin before removing and cutting into slices.

Sugar Free Vegan Mini Easter Eggs

On a recent shopping trip I came across some cute little Easter Egg moulds which gave me the idea of making healthier Easter Eggs that aren’t full of sugar, artificial sweeteners and E numbers.  I also thought this would be great for anyone on a dairy-free diet, as it’s cheaper than buying super market dairy-free versions (that still contain a lot of sugar).

I had so much fun making these little Eggs.  If you have kids, trust me they will love getting amongst the action too, although this runs the risk of chocolate finger prints all over the house – you’ve been warned!

The coolest thing about making your own, is that you can create a variety of different flavoured eggs using the same batch of chocolate mix.  I made Plain Chocolate Eggs, Bee Pollen Chocolate Eggs, Coconut filled Chocolate Eggs and White Chocolate Eggs.

The possibilities are endless, for example you could add peppermint or orange extract to either the coconut or chocolate mix. You could use goji berries or nuts instead of Bee Pollen or have one side of the egg white and the other plain…

You will get between 100 to 120 mini Eggs with this recipe. Once made place in little baskets, mini felt bags or in my case these adorable little pink rabbits. You will have some lovely little Easter treats that aren’t all that bad for you.

 

Sugar Free Vegan Mini Easter Eggs

IMG_3144

 

IMG_3143

 

Ingredients:

Chocolate Mix:

  • 150g Cocoa Butter
  • 3 0z Cocoa Powder
  • 1-2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 6 Tbsp Maple Syrup

White Chocolate Mix:

  • 150g Cocoa Butter
  • 1-2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 6 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Coconut Mix:

  • 6 Tbsp Coconut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Directions:

Plain Chocolate Eggs:

  1. Melt the cocoa butter on a double boiler and remove from the heat.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (depending on your taste) and 6 tablespoons of maple syrup stirring until combined.
  3. Leave to cool for a few minutes before pouring the mixture into the egg moulds. Remember to reserve some of the chocolate mix for sticking the two egg halves together or if you wish to make different flavoured eggs.
  4. Place the moulds in the fridge until cooled and set (I left mine for an hour).
  5. Once set carefully remove the eggs from the moulds and set aside.
  6. You will need to reheat the remaining chocolate mix as it would have set hard. (Do this with the double boiler again)
  7. Spoon a small amount of chocolate mix onto the flat side of one egg, then carefully  stick the other half on top.
  8. Place back in the fridge for another hour to set, and that’s it…enjoy x

White Chocolate Eggs:

  1. Melt the cocoa butter on a double boiler, then remove from the heat.
  2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (depending on your taste) and 6 tablespoons of maple syrup, stir until combined.
  3. Leave to cool for a few minutes before pouring the mixture into the egg moulds. Remember to reserve some white chocolate mix for sticking the two egg halves together.
  4. Repeat as above.

Coconut Mix:

  1. Place the coconut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup in saucepan and slowly melt over a low heat.
  2. Leave to cool for a few minutes before pouring the mixture into the egg moulds.

 

IMG_3141

Happy Easter X

 

 


Vegan Pistachio, Fig and Nutmeg Cake

This is a lovely tasty simple cake to bake.

I have experimented with both fresh and ground nutmeg and both work well but if you really want that aromatic flavour I would suggest using fresh nutmeg.

Unfortunately my photographs do not do this cake justice as the pistachios really give it a vibrant burst of bright green.

 

IMG_2187

 

Ingredients:

  • 5oz (¾ Cups) Unsalted Chopped Pistachio Nuts
  • 4oz (1 Cup) Wheat-Free Self-Raising Flour Blend
  • 3oz (5/8 Cups) Ground Almonds
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 5oz (1 Cup) Chopped Dried Figs
  • 150ml (2/3 Cups) Apple Juice
  • 120ml (½ Cups) Melted Coconut or Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 5 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the Oven to 180c/ Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tin with grease proof paper (I used an 8 inch tin).
  2. Place the figs in a pan with the apple juice, cover and gently simmer for 5 minutes until soft, then leave to cool.
  3. Place the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and grated nutmeg into a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and fig mixture.
  5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and place into the prepared cake tin.
  6. Sprinkle with the pistachios and bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin .
  8. Serve with a nice cup of tea. X

 

IMG_2188