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 –

 


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


Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

Like many, I overindulged this Christmas.  I just couldn’t resist all the wicked desserts and mulled wine!

So I am starting 2016 off with plenty of good food choices but I still have cravings for cakes and biscuits!

To help with this small inconvenience,  I’ve made some delicious sugar free, vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies.

I keep them in the freezer, that way when I have the urge to bury my face in a bowl of chocolate all I have to do is open the freezer door and bingo, I will be saved from sin!

I adore these little cookie bites, so simple but deliciously mouth watering.

If you too have made resolutions to eat better this year, I hope these beauties will help you stick to your goals !

We can do this!

Happy 2016 Beautiful People x

Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

Makes 9

IMG_1198

Ingredients:

  • 8oz / ¼ cup of Almonds
  • Half a jar of 100% Peanut Butter (I used Merdian)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Raw Organic Coconut Oil

Chocolate Topping:

  • 2oz/ ¼ cup of Raw Organic Coconut Oil, melted
  • 5 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup or Honey.

 

Directions:

  1. Soak Almonds for a couple of hours or preferably overnight in water. Drain and place into a blender  with 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil and whizz until combined.
  2. Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into a ball then flatten. Place on greaseproof paper and repeat until all the mixture has been used, it will make approximately 9 cookies.
  3. Spoon Peanut Butter on top of the cookies and place in the freezer for at least an hour.
  4. Melt the Coconut Oil in a saucepan on low. Remove from the heat, add the Cocoa Powder and Maple Syrup or Honey.  Leave to cool for a couple of minutes (Don’t leave too long or the chocolate will harden.)
  5. Remove the cookies from the freezer and spoon over the chocolate mixture. Place back in the freezer for another hour.
  6. They can then be left in the freezer and taken out as needed or kept in the fridge.

 

 


Vegan Chocolate Orange and Cranberry Ice Cream Log

I don’t know about you, but for me this time of year always seems hectic. I’m the person rushing around on Christmas Eve in a flap because yet again I am not organised and ultimately Christmas Day could be ruined because of it.

If you’re anything like me, then I think you’ll appreciate this recipe because you can make it in advance. On the day all you will have to do is add fresh fruit and Ho Ho Ho you’ll have an eye-catching centrepiece dessert that will convince your family that you are in fact a domestic goddess!!!

It’s vegan, refined sugar free and totally delicious. You can adapt this recipe using berries of your choice instead of cranberries. Or leave out the orange if you prefer the chocolate to be plain.

 

Vegan Chocolate Orange and Cranberry Ice Cream Log

IMG_0689

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Oranges
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 340g (1 ½ cups) Cashews
  • 240ml (1 cup) of Soya Milk
  • 9 Tablespoons Maple syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
  • 227g (1 cup) Almonds
  • 170g (¾ cup) Dates
  • 200g fresh or frozen Cranberries
  • 57g  (¼ cup) Coconut oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Line a small bread/loaf tin with cling film and set aside.
  2. Place the cranberries into a saucepan with 5 tablespoons of maple syrup, add a little water and gently simmer for 8-10 minutes. Continue to add more water if needed until you have a sauce like consistently. Then leave to cool.
  3. Mean while add the cashews and soya milk to a blender and whizz until nearly smooth.
  4. Halve the cashew mixture and place into separate bowls.
  5. Layer one: Add the orange zest and juice of 1 orange along with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to one of the cashew mixtures and combine. Pour into the prepared tin and place in the freezer until firm (approximately 30 mins).
  6. Layer Two: Add half the cooled cranberries to the remaining cashew mix and combine. Pour on top of the orange cashew mixture and place back in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  7. Layer Three: In a blender whizz the remaining cranberries with a teaspoon of vanilla essence and pour over the cashew mixture, place back in the freezer.
  8. Base Layer: In a blender whizz together the almonds and dates. Press onto the cashew ice cream mixture and place back in the freezer. Leave to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Chocolate Topping: Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan remove from heat, add the cocoa powder, 2 tablespoon of maple syrup and juice from half an orange, combine and allow to cool slightly.
  10. Remove the ice cream log from its tin by turning upside down (so the date base is on the bottom) onto a plate. Pour over the chocolate topping and place back in the freezer.
  11. Garnish with fruit when ready to serve and Merry Christmas!

IMG_0575_Fotor


Vegan Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

At the weekend it was my Step Fathers birthday, aka The Fat Italian.

He gained the nickname from his slightly obsessive relationship with food and has even been known to get hostile at the threat of somebody eating the last piece of rocky road (I still have a bald patch where my hair never grew back). The fat Italian is actually half Italian – so you can see what we did with the name there!

My mother made a gigantic lunch for his birthday and true to family tradition at least 3 different desserts where on offer, one of which was my Vegan Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups. Certain members of my family (who aren’t vegetarian or vegan) don’t understand the concept of sugar free desserts, with my younger brothers being my biggest critics. I watched contently as the pair of them greedily devoured my sugarless creamy vegan cups. The centre of these desserts were so incredibly moreish I promise you, you wouldn’t have realised you were eating tofu. The sweet nutty biscuit like base along with the rich chocolate topping and the fresh strawberries were enough to convince my brothers. I felt a point was made, that it’s not always necessary to add a tonne of refined sugar to enjoy your dessert.

Vegan Strawberry and Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

Makes 6 Cups

Poss final Fotor_Collage

Ingredients:

  • 4oz (½ Cup) Dates
  • 7oz (¾ Cup) Whole Almonds
  • Half a Vanilla Pod
  • 698g Firm Tofu  (I used 2 boxes a Silken Tofu)
  • 5 Tablespoons Honey (or Maple Syrup if vegan)
  • 2oz (¼ Cup) Cocoa Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup
  • Punnet of Strawberries

Directions:

  1. Place the tofu in a colander to drain off any excess liquid.
  2. To make the base, chop the almonds and dates and place into a blender. (If you’re using a high-speed blender there is no need to chop before adding.) Blitz for a few seconds with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Spoon the base into 6 glasses and place in the fridge to chill.
  3. With a sharp knife cut along the edge of the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Place into the clean blender along with the tofu and honey and blitz to a creamy texture.
  4. Take the glasses out of the fridge and arrange strawberries on the base reserving a few for decoration. Pour over the tofu mix and return to the fridge.
  5. Put the cocoa butter in a heat proof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Once the cocoa butter has melted add 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder, the maple syrup and mix well.
  6. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly before pouring over the prepared cups,  place a strawberry on top.
  7. Do not return to the fridge until the chocolate has completely set otherwise the chocolate could bloom. (the chocolate takes on a whitish coating that arises from changes in the fat in this case suddenly going from hot to cold)

 

Ivan2n_Fotor