VEGAN RHUBARB CHEESECAKE

YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT!  it’s vegan, gluten free, healthier cheesecake and let me tell you, it’s bomb! i made it to celebrate our anniversary.  because nothing says “i love you” like a pretty homemade dessert, right?  or maybe it says “i love sweeeeeeeeets and i’ll take any excuse i can to make them!!”  either way, my fellow dessertaholics, make this- it’s easy, healthier, and freezable (yes, i have eaten it just short of completely frozen and it’s SO good!)  you’re going to love it!  and make haste because we all know rhubarb season will be gone in a flash!  xx-sarah  {more after the jump}

INGREDIENTS:

 

// rhubarb topping //

5 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 lemons, juiced

5 tablespoons honey (sub agave for true vegan)

 

// crust //

3/4 cup almond flour

3/4 cup pecans

3/4 cup dates

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 

// cheesecake //

3 cups cashews, soaked overnight

1/4- 1/2 cup lemon juice (start with 1/4 add more to taste)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

 

// coconut milk whipped cream //

1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste

 

METHOD:

- soak cashews overnight or for at least 5 hours

- in a medium saucepan combine all of the ingredients for the rhubarb topping, and heat over low/medium until the rhubarb dissolves (you may need to help it along by smashing chunks with your spoon).  when completely cooked down scoop rhubarb topping into a bowl and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of cake

- to prepare the crust, combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined.  i used fresh almond flour (leftover from making almond milk) so it had moisture in it.  if using a drier almond flour you may need to add a tiny bit of water.  mixture should be slightly sticky.  

- evenly spread mixture into a 9.5″ removable bottom tart pan (or a traditional pie pan will work as well).

- place crust in refrigerator while you prepare the cheesecake mixture

- to make the cheesecake, combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and combine (you may be able to get away with using a food processor as well).  start on low and increase speed to high until mixture is creamy.  adjust lemon juice amount to taste

- add cheesecake mixture to the crust and refrigerate to set (give it a couple hours to really solidify.  when ready to serve, spread the rhubarb mixture over top.

- to prepare coconut milk whipped cream scoop out just the hardened coconut milk (you will break through it and reach the water at some point, set that aside for your next smoothie).  in a mixing bowl combine hardened coconut milk with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and beat with a hand blender on high until light and fluffy.  add more syrup if you prefer a sweeter whipped cream.   

- serve cake chilled, or freeze and serve slightly defrosted, it’s such a treat.  enjoy!

chocolate {avocado, WHAT?!} pudding

chocolate and i are like bella and edward- meant to be, but constantly facing obstacles in our love affair. and yes, that was  a twilight reference for the three of you that have been strong enough to resist the series (HOW?!).  the obstacle is this: chocolate is always teaming up with my frenemies dairy and sugar. but not here my pals, here it teams up with my BFF’S avocado and coconut milk to make a completely healthy and amazingly rich dessert!  i bow down in reverence to this sweet treat, after i’ve devoured it like i’m on day 38 of survivor, of course.  please, please make this.  it’s easy.  it’s healthy. it’s amazing.  DO IT!   recipe and more after the jump.

 

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe avocados

3 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened and get the good stuff!)

2 oz of 70% dark chocolate (again, splurge on the good stuff it’s totally worth it!)

1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated over night

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons raw honey

chopped peanuts to garnish (or go wild with sprinkles, get sophisticated with a sprig on mint, etc)

 

PREPARATION 

for the pudding:

- place the flesh of three rip avocados in your food processor and blend until completely smooth

-  in a double boiler or homemade double boiler (one sauce pan placed in another that has a couple of inches of water in it) melt the chocolate

- add melted chocolate, cocoa powder, maple syrup,  sea salt, one tablespoon of raw honey and 3 tablespoons of the cream at the top of your can of coconut milk (the solid goodness, not the liquid below it!) to your avocado and blend.  

- taste and adjust to your liking with more honey to sweeten it or a little more salt

- scoop into 3 jelly jars and refrigerate while you make the coconut whipped cream

 

for the coconut whipped cream:

- in a small mixing bowl combine the remaining cream from the can (again, just the solid part!) with 1 tablespoon of raw honey. 

- use a hand mixer to beat until it takes on the consistency of whipped cream (it happens fast!)

- scoop into the tops of the jelly jars and garnish with the chopped peanuts

 - enjoy!  

salted banana peanut butter ice cream with chocolate caramel sauce

confession: i high fived myself when the above happened in the kitchen this weekend.  do you know how awkward that is, a grown woman high fiving HERSELF?  terrible.  but do you know what the complete polar opposite of terrible is?  THIS ICE CREAM.  which, as is stands, contains neither ice nor cream.  but instead is a mixture of unicorn love, bananas, peanut butter and salt.  {ok, one of those ingredients is the best thing ever totally made up}  

i should mention that i high fived myself not because i invented this banana peanut butter faux cream, but because i bettered it!  i’ve seen the recipe floating around a bunch, first on a friend’s instagram and then pinterest, tumblr…everywhere i turned it was calling my name.  but when i made it as i’d seen the recipe call for- frozen banana, peanut butter, mix, serve.  it was just sort of meh.  at least, meh in my book. because in my opinion it was missing TWO VERY IMPORTANT THINGS…. salt, and unicorn love chocolate caramel.  so, proceed below for more about this why this is my new favorite dessert and the recipe after the jump!

here’s why this is my new favorite dessert:  1.) it’s easy  2.) it’s insanely delicious  3.) it’s so easy!  AND if those three reasons weren’t enough there’s also this: it’s dairy free, gluten free and has no refined sugar. plus you don’t need a fancy ice cream maker.  WHAT?!  so there you go my friends.  make it, love it, tell your friends about it.  xx- sarah

ingredients

for the ice cream:

3 bananas

2 tablespoons unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter

1/4 teaspoon sea salt (more if you’re like me and you like your sweets salty!)

 

for the chocolate caramel sauce:

4 tablespoons of brown rice syrup

2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (i used this brand)

chopped peanuts for garnish (and they don’t just make it look pretty, they add a nice and necessary crunch!)

 

preparation

- slice bananas as you would for cereal and freeze overnight in a sealed container (ziplock or i prefer glass tupperware)

- pull the bananas out of the freezer and defrost for a few minutes.

- while the bananas are defrosting heat put the brown rice syrup and cocoa powder in top of double boiler (if you don’t have one here is an alternative using what you most likely already have!)  heat on low while you’re blending the ice cream, checking on it to stir and make sure there’s not burning.

- in a good processor or high powered blender like a vitamix combine the bananas and peanut butter on low speed to avoid burning out the engine on your food processor or blender, take breaks and stir with a spoon!  when mostly mixed, add salt a little at a time and adjust to your taste (i prefer SALTY!)

- scoop ice cream into a small bowl, pour melted chocolate caramel sauce over top and sprinkle with chopped peanuts

- enjoy!  

*this recipe makes enough for two servings, plus a few extra bites of the ice cream for your pup

peanut butter brown rice crispy balls

these are designed to make your inner five year old bounce around the kitchen while simultaneously allowing the adult you to feel smug that you’re eating a healthy treat.  what could be better than that?  oh, that they are made with just three ingredients, one pot and one bowl.  yeah, there’s that.  i hope you love them as much as we do!  *oh, and this recipe is for a big batch, so make sure you’ve got friends at the ready!

more after the jump.

the what:

1 box brown rice crispy treats (10 oz box)

1 cup of all natural peanut butter 

2 cups brown rice syrup

the how:

in a small pot cook peanut butter and brown rice syrup over low until melted, stirring the entire time

in a large mixing bowl combine the rice crispies, peanut butter and rice syrup.  mix well.

let cool and then form into balls (you may need to wet hands while forming, it will help with the stickiness!) 

eat up!

date balls, get in my mouth

If the voice in your head didn’t scream THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID when you read this post title, well you must be one classy lady (or man). Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on to the date balls (hehe).  These suckers are so sweet and tasty, you may even trick yourself into thinking you’re eating some cookie ball or super dense donut. I swear, it happened to me. And to make matters better, they are so quick, easy and cheap to make that you’ll probably want to send me a thank you batch.  {please, resist- I’ve eaten too many this week already}

the what:

2 cups of dried merjool dates, de-seeded

1 tablespoon of almond butter (substitute peanut butter if you’d like)

2 tablespoons of water

shredded coconut 

the how:

slice each date in half and pull out the seeds. put dates, almond butter and water in food processor and pulse until it has become a thick, sticky paste.  wet fingers and scoop roughly one tablespoon of paste out of food processor.  form it into a little ball and roll in a plate of dried, shredded coconut. refrigerate to firm them up and then eat them as snacks, dessert or breakfast (my choice). enjoy! 

a fancy treat: blood oranges with rosemary infused honey

some winter days i just need a taste of summer, you know? this is the lightest, most simple and yummiest treat for those days when summer feels oh so far. you’ll forget for just a second that it’s cold outside. or serve it for dessert at your next dinner party, your friends will be impressed, it’s one of those dishes that tastes so sophisticated even though it’s incredibly simple.

the what:

{makes 4 servings}

6 blood oranges  

1/2 cup honey

3 tablespoons of water

3-4 rosemary sprigs plus extra for garnish

the how:

-use a small sharp knife to cut both ends off one orange. stand on board and run the knife from top to botton, cutting away the peel until just the juicy fruit is showing. place orange on side and slice into rounds. remove seeds and arrange oranges into little stacks, adding rosemary for garnish.

- pound rosemary with a rolling pin or the side of a large knife until the rosemary is bruised and extra aroma and flavor has been released

-combine water, honey and rosemary in a pot and heat on very low setting (avoid boiling).  let mixture cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. 

-remove honey mixture from heat and let sit for 10 minutes

-remove rosemary from honey mixture and drizzle onto orange stacks.

eat up!  or, you can refridgerate the orange stack sand set the honey drizzle aside, and bust it them out to impress your guests later

*recipe interpreted from My Favorite Ingredients by Sky Gyngell