Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake (raw, vegan)

Luscious, creamy, rich and delicious, this cake was my birthday present to myself. I have somewhat taken on the raw dessert queen role in my community and I take great pleasure in creating cakes and raw treats for friends birthdays. The time and money it can take to create one of these desserts is a true labor of love. And because I have taken on that role, I rarely get treated by someone else making me one of these desserts. So for my birthday, I made my own cake, because I prefer raw vegan desserts, and because I love myself 🙂

I do not make these desserts too often anymore but when I do I put all my heart into them and this one reflected that in it’s beautiful flavor combinations.

Don’t let the extensive list of ingredients scare you off, this cheesecake is worth every single bite!!

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Sorry for the poor photograph. This cheesecake came out of the fridge right before serving to a bunch of friends and I didn’t take that time to take a better picture of the whole cake. 

 

 

Ingredients: Makes one 10 inch cake

Crust:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 6-8 TBS raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup pitted soft dates (medjool are my favorites for this)
  • pinch of salt
  •  2 TBS water

Steps:

  • put all ingredients but water in food processor and blend until well combined but still loose, not formed into a sticky ball
  • while the food processor is running, scant some water until it starts to get a tiny bit sticky. You might not need both TBS. If you used very sticky dates you might not need to do this.
  • press this mixture at the bottom of springform pan that you have lined with wax paper. This will make taking out the cake at the end much easier.

 

Filling:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours or 30 minutes on hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used cashew milk because I had made some, but any other non dairy milk will work)
  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • 2 TBS beet powder (optional, I used this to deepen the color)
  • 3/4 cup raw agave or any other liquid sweetener
  • 1 TBS lucuma (optional, I just really like the flavor)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (the thick stuff from the can or if you can, get fresh young coconut meat!)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 TBS soy lecithin

 

Steps:

  • put all ingredients except coconut cream, coconut oil and lecithin in a blender and blend on high until very creamy
  • add the rest and keep blending until well incorporated but do not over blend at this point
  • pour in the pan over the crust
  • put in the freezer for one hour to set then transfer to fridge until ready to eat, about 4 hours. Because I had made it the night before, I put it back in the freezer for 45 minutes before serving. OR make a sauce for the swirls before putting int he freezer.

 

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If you want to add beautiful swirls like I did her is my chocolate sauce recipe. You need to pour this on the cheesecake before putting it in the freezer:

  • 1/2 cup shaved raw cacao butter
  • 1 TBS raw coconut butter
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 TBS agave

Steps:

  • put everything in a double boiler and melt
  • pour in a easy pouring cup
  • drizzle it over the cake and then take a toothpick or knife to create the designs
  • now put it in the freezer  for one hour to set then transfer to the fridge.

Decorate as you wish and share the love!!!

 

 

 

 

Chai Chocolate Rounds with Candied Ginger

I just really love chai flavors. It’s probably one of the reasons why Indian cuisine is one of my favorites. And you know what I love more than chai? Chocolate!!!! Combining the two was really a no brainer. So here you are friends, my latest chocolate creation, just in time for Valentines Day. Because if you love yourself or someone else, you surely want whats best, and what is better than home made refined sugar free chocolate? I rarely turn down chocolate, even the higher quality store bought one with sugar in it, but if given the choice, I will always go for a home made nutritionally beneficial option.

These little chocolates are so easy to make. I used silicone cupcake molds, but you could use actual chocolate molds, or even an ice cube tray. Just don’t fill that one up to the top unless you want a really thick chocolate!

If chai isn’t your thing, you can always play around with the flavors! Creativity is welcome here 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 100 g. of cacao butter
  • 1/8 cup coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp clove powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • dash of himalayan sea salt
  • 2 TBS agave
  • 2-3 TSBP thinly chopped candied ginger (optional, for a pure refined sugar free option) I have made these chocolates with freshly grated ginger and that was tasty also!

Steps:

  • put all ingredients except ginger in a double boiler, or a bowl over a hot pot of water
  • whisk together until all melted and well combined
  • pour in molds, add a few pieces of ginger per mold, and freeze until hard
  • depending on size of molds they can be done in a little as 30 minutes!!!
  • keep in fridge or freezer until ready to eat

 

For some of my other Valentines Inspired recipes click here:

Fudge Balls:

https://anaboreal.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/cherry-cacao-fudge-balls/

Raspberry Ice Cream:

https://anaboreal.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/vegan-raspberry-ice-cream-with-peanut-butter-chocolate/

Pistachio Delight and Nutella Divine:

https://anaboreal.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/pistachio-delight-and-nutella-divine/

Gianduja Chocolates:

https://anaboreal.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/gianduja-chocolate/

 

Cough Suppressant Tea

So simple and so effective. I had a cough lingering for a little over a week. Any thing that lingers for over 24 hours has overstayed it’s welcome. And I take serious action to get back to my fully functioning self.

I went on a field trip with my gardening class to a local farm and as we were walking through the orchard and admiring all the fruit trees my teacher starts talking about the Loquat tree and the healing properties of the leaves. As soon as he said “it is known to help alleviate coughs”, I grabbed a few leaves and asked him how to prepare it. As soon as I got home I made a batch and within a couple days of drinking my cough was completely gone! Not that I am surprised that nature works so well, I am just continuously amazed at the simplicity of healing myself naturally.

So I am sharing this with you, in case you believe in the power of nature as well and you can get your hands on some loquat leaves!

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Loquat leaves have this fuzz underneath them. You need to rub that off gently as it would be unpleasant to drink it.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large loquat leaves, fresh or dried
  • 5 cups water

 

Steps:

  • rub the fuzz off the leaves
  • chop up in large pieces
  • add to 5 cups of boiling water
  • simmer for 5 minutes with a lid on
  • let it cool
  • strain
  • drink a small cup 3 times a day until the cough is gone!

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I found the tea to be a subtle and pleasant flavor. Very easy to drink. You could add fresh lemon and honey to add to the benefits of healing, but I found it effective and tasty as is.

Just Persimmons Pudding

Another persimmon pudding? Yes. I am shamelessly posting another persimmon pudding recipe. Mostly because I just made this today, faster than it took my boys to destroy the living room. That’s how quick this recipe is! And also because I love persimmons and my husbands client just gave us a huge bag of the Hachiya kind, which are the ones that need to be super ripe before eating, which means the best way to eat them in my opinion is prepared, not just as is, as they are so messy when they are ripe enough.

This isn’t even a recipe. It’s really just an inspiration for you guys 🙂

 

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Ingredients:

  • 4 really ripe persimmons
  • 1/4 cup liquid (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 chunk of fresh ginger (optional, but with people getting sick everywhere I throw ginger in everywhere I can to boost our immune systems!)

Steps:

  • wash and stem the persimmons
  • add everything to a blender
  • blend on high, serve and enjoy!

 

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I enjoyed mine over some warm buckwheat porridge with a bunch of spices added to it (cardamom, cinnamon and fresh grated ginger). Had a cup of chai tea with it, the perfect warming rainy day fall breakfast 🙂

Persimmon Pudding

Thick, creamy, silky, rich and unctuous, this little pudding got our tastebuds dancing!! I made this for our in house date night treat. When we feel like it’s been too long since we’ve gone on a date, we satisfy our need for connection with a little in house intentional time. It always includes a home made treat 🙂

It’s persimmon central at my house. I just can’t seem to ever buy enough at the farmers market, and just like bananas, when they start becoming too ripe to eat as is, there are so many fun recipes to create with them!!

This pudding was so easy and quick to make. A few ingredients, a blast of the blender and some spoonfuls later you are on your way to gastronomy heaven. And then, to really bring this dessert over the top, I added a square of some divinely tasty and healing chocolate. A Purified Life makes beautiful artisanal chocolates infused with healing and medicinal mushrooms. If you need an extra reason to eat chocolate other than the fact that it’s amazing, has numerous health benefits and lots of nutrients (antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, to name a few), eat A Purified Life’s chocolates, because she brings it over the top with her masterfully blended ingredients in order to provide us with the most satisfying cacao experience while healing our bodies at the same time.

http://www.apurifiedlife.com/superfood-chocolate/

While you wait for your chocolate order to ship, you should still whip up this pudding, add your own chocolate or eat it without.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe persimmons (hachiya or fuyu)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (or nut milk)
  • 2 medjool dates (optional but oh so delicious!)
  • 2 frozen bananas (not frozen is fine but I really love the texture that frozen bananas give)
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (the thick stuff in the can; or if you are up for it and have it on hand, replace that with fresh young coconut meat)

 

Steps:

  • put first 4 ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth
  • add coconut cream and keep blending until smooth
  • pour in a glass or bowl, top it with fresh persimmon and chocolate if you like
  • give a kiss to who ever you sharing this with and enjoy!!

 

Persimmon Apple Muffins

The smell filling the house this morning is autumnally divine 🙂 The combination of the sweet persimmon puree, mixed with the subtle spice flavor from the cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander create a wonderful home for the soft chunks of apples that easily melts in your mouth. Add to that the occasional date bite surprise and you got yourself a beautiful fall muffin treat, healthy enough for breakfast, sweet enough for dessert.

I just thawed my last bag of muffins this week, so I had been pondering what muffin flavor I was going to start with to work on filling up my freezer again. While I had a few other flavors in mind, when I looked at my fruit rack this morning and saw the abundance of ripe persimmons, there was no doubt that was going to be the flavor of the week 🙂

For this recipe, either persimmons will work, but I used the fuyu, the small squatty ones that can be eaten hard. I had some soft ones so I used those. If you have some super ripe hachiya, those will work great as well, but just make sure they are super ripe. These are the tear drop larger ones. Those are pretty much inedible unless they are fully soft to the point of almost falling appart in your hand. I learned this the very hands on way. 

While I am typing this, it is quiet in the house as the kids are busy eating all the muffins that are barely cool enough to grab, but I made sure to put a large batch in a box out of reach. It makes me happy that my kids love my cooking this much, yet at the same time, it’s hard to not have them eat all the baked goods in one day!

 

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour (I mixed spelt, rice and teff. Don’t use spelt if gluten free)
  • 1 cup small oats (regular works fine)\
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 4 large dates chopped really small (I used medjool because I love how juicy and thick they are)
  • 2 ripe persimmons, pureed
  • 1 small apple, chopped small
  • 1 cup water (or more if you find your dough too dry depending on what flour you use)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water

 

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 350*F
  • grind your flax seeds and put them in a small bowl in water, set aside
  • mix first 9 ingredients in a large bowl
  • blend the persimmons in order to make a puree
  • add all the remaining (wet) ingredients in another bowl and mix well
  • combine wet and dry ingredients
  • grease muffin tins
  • pour dough in tins and bake for about 10-12 minutes for mini muffins, probably around 18 minutes for larger ones, or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks
  • eat at will or store out of sight so you are not tempted to eat at will!!

 

Note this made about 56 mini muffins. I like to make mini muffins because it’s easier for the kids to handle and good to transport. Also, I make this many because I like to freeze some for later use so I can have an easy snack to grab, or a quick breakfast on the go.

 

 

Homemade Vegan Coconut Yogurt made into Parfaits

Thick, rich and creamy, not only is this yogurt delicious but it is good for the body with it’s probiotics and healthy fats. I have been seeing homemade yogurts for a while now. First at Nouveau Raw, if you have never checked this woman’s blog yet and you are in to raw foods, you MUST go now!!! She is incredible. Her creativity paired with her skill, knowledge and presentation leave me speechless. She is like the Martha Stewart of raw food.

Then I’ve seen this yogurt done several more times. But the one that finally got me doing it is Larice over at Feeding Your Beauty. Larice and I don’t know each other but reading her feels like we have been friends for a while because we seem to feel the same way about raising nutritionally conscientious children and have the same taste in food 🙂  She just made it all look and sounds so simple that I decided it was time for me to give it a go. And I am SO glad I did!!! And so are my kids!

Other than breaking open the coconuts, the yogurt in itself was so quick and simple and came out great the first time!

Will be making this often 🙂

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Here I am showing you the yogurt turned into a delicious morning treat, by layering fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey and some homemade raw grawnola. 

Ingredients for the yogurt:

  • 5 young thai coconuts
  • 2/3 cup of coconut water
  • 2 capsules of probiotics

Steps:

  • open all the coconuts and sac the water aside. Larice shows her step by step system, in her post. Which is slightly different than mine but since hers is photographed you might as well check hers 😉
  • put the young coconut meat in the blender with the water. Blend on high until a rich and creamy consistency is achieved. Add water if you want a slightly thinner yogurt.
  • pour in a bowl, open the probiotic capsules and dump them in. Mix with a wooden spoon.
  • put a towel over it and let it sit somewhere dark and warm for 12-24 hours. I left mine in my unopened, turned off stove.
  • Taste it and if it’s to your liking, eat right away or store int he fridge where it will become a little more tangy.
  • I have no idea how long this will last as we ate the whole batch in one sitting, my little family of 5.

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Luxurious Chocolate Chai Latte

Just as the title states, luxurious, hint of chocolate, creamy and decadent, this beverage is a weekend treat. After making my Black Tea Mocha a few months back, I knew I was on to something with replacing coffee for tea in all the specialty coffee drinks. I like coffee, but I prefer tea. My warm beverage drinking world has opened up even wider!

This is a perfect fall beverage. While I enjoy chai tea at any time of the year, I feel more drawn to it during the fall and winter months because of all the warming spices. And if you’ve been following me for a while now, you have surely caught on to what a chocoholic I am, so naturally finding ways to sneak that delicious superfood in where ever I can has become quite a skill 😉

And lastly let’s not forget about what makes this drink so luscious: coconut butter. That’s right. I’ve been using coconut butter in drinks for a while now to add healthy fats and decadence. A winner every single time.

While I would love to say I get to enjoy this beverage quietly in a cozy chair while reading a book, the truth is, I generally have 3 minutes to myself before I have to brace the cup and raise it high above my head while I get jumped on by one of my children, or shoved off my seat by another or even just have the cup grabbed out of my hand because “Can I have some?”. In any case, how ever you get to enjoy this Latte, it is well worth it and will put a smile on your face 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups steeped and strained chai tea (I buy mine in bulk and prefer the slightly spicy kind)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or any other milk), for this drink I used almond coconut milk that I had just made, and it was such a divine choice 🙂
  • 1.5 TBS coconut butter OR 3TBS coconut cream (the rich stuff from a can)
  • 2-3 dates
  • 1-2 tsp cacao powder (Depending on how chocolatey you want it)

Steps:

  • Put everything in blender and blend on high until you get a little foam at the top
  • pour and enjoy!

Creamy Pumpkin Coconut Sauce

I love the fall for all the cooking/food making inspiration!!! It’s my favorite season when it comes to kitchen time 🙂 My very first seasonal recipe was this Salted Caramel Chai tea infused concoction I made. The kids and I have been devouring that one with sliced apples, soooo tasty!!!

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And now I am looking forward to all the pumpkin and squash recipes I will be coming up with and getting inspired by!! This was another semi-accident. It was late and I needed to get dinner ready fast. I had this leftover baked pumpkin and it only took a few moments for me to realize that the fastest way to eat that (other than straight out of the skin with a fork), was to throw it in the blender with a few other ingredients to create a soup. No wait! I’ll make it a sauce so we can have it over pasta 🙂 And there it was, minutes later, our tasty family dinner.

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I topped my bowl off with some homemade spicy seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh raw pumpkin seeds, not dried or cooked (I just keep the seeds after taking them out of the raw pumpkin)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin or squash
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (from a can, organic toxic free if possible)
  • 1/4 tsp real salt
  • 2 TBS fresh parsley minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage

Steps:

  • if you dont have left over squash, then bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes
  • put first 3 ingredients in blender and blend on high until nice and smooth
  • add other ingredients and blend until the herbs are nicely incorporated but not fully blended
  • serve how ever you like!
  • we did it over zucchini pasta for a light yet satisfying dinner

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Check out my other zucchini pasta recipes here:

With tomato sauce

With sesame peanut sauce

With rawlfredo sauce

Salted Caramel Infused with Chai Tea

Delicious caramel free of refined sugars, butter and health concerning ingredients? Ummm yes please! Creamy and sweet, with a hint of saltiness paired with the subtle chai tea flavors make this caramel sauce a winner in my sweet indulgences lately. Not only that, but it is (almost) raw, vegan and super quick to make!

I’ve had this caramel in some almond milk for a sweet drink, on top of homemade ice cream, with strawberries dipped in it, but mostly just out of the jar with a spoon.

This sauce was an accident. I had set out to make some chocolate creation. After putting the dates, mesquite and coconut oil in the blender, I realized that I was out of cacao powder (gasp!!!) How did I let that happen?? AND I was out of almond milk. I was sipping on some chai while I was making this, so I figured I would use that to get the blender going. After tasting it I quickly recovered form my chocolateless upset. It was delicious. Salt came to mind very quickly and in a matter of seconds the blender was going again to create this beautiful concoction that I have made a few times already.

While I am proud of my creation, I must admit, it’s hard to screw up when using such wholesome and delicious ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil
  • 10 soft Medjool Dates (approx 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp mesquite
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chai tea (more or less depending on the consistency you like)

Steps:

  • boil some water and pour over chai tea, let steep for 5 minutes and strain
  • add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until a nice and smooth texture is acheived
  • store in an airtight container int he fridge for at leaf a week (maybe more?)

Note: Depending on the ingredients and how things got mixed, the caramel may or may not harden while in the fridge. The first time I made it it got hard in the fridge but quickly soften when put in some warm water. The second time it kept it’s creamy texture but I needed to put it in some walt water to be able to pour it over ice cream. No matter the texture though, it will become liquid again when warm and it will always taste delicious 🙂