{Recipe} Blueberry Cheesecake (no-bake, gluten-free)

bcheesecake

This lilac-coloured dessert is adored by 7-year old Tiny Vegan. He requested it for his recent birthday. I was happy to comply. It was simpler to make than last year’s birthday cake: Pikachu (of Pokemon fame). 🙂

Blueberry cheesecake consists of a base and a filling.

The base contains almonds, medjool dates and raw cacao powder. These ingredients are processed in a food processor until well combined, then the mixture is pressed into a lined springform cake tin, and placed in the fridge while the filling is prepared.

The filling ingredients – organic blueberries, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts, maple syrup, lemon juice, water, and pure vanilla extract- are blended together in a high-speed blender (or food processor).

Although the base and filling are simple and quick to prepare, there are a couple of ‘inactive’ tasks that take considerable time- namely, the soaking of nuts and the cake ‘setting’ in the freezer.

The day before I require this cake, I soak the nuts for at least 4 hours. Then I make the base and filling in the early evening, and place the finished product in the freezer. The next day (after about 12 hours in the freezer), I remove the cake from the freezer, remove it from the cake tin, and refrigerate it until it is required. This ensures that we are not eating a frozen cake. We all prefer the taste and texture of the cake in its defrosted state.

However, if you want to eat a frozen cake, go for it. It is very refreshing on a hot day.

bcheesecake2

Ingredients

the base:

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup medjool dates

2 tsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder

the filling:

4 cups macadamia nuts or cashew nuts (or a combination), soaked for at least 4 hours in water

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen organic blueberries

1 cup water

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method

1. The base: Process the almonds in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add the medjool dates and cacao powder, and process until well combined. The mixture should stick together when you press it between your fingers. It should not be dry and crumbly.

2. Line the bottom (not the sides) of a springform cake tin with baking paper. Press the base mixture into the cake tin, using a large spoon or your fingers. Smooth the top of the mixture. Put the cake tin in the fridge.

3. The filling: To a high-speed blender (or food processor), add -in this order- the water, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, nuts, and berries. Process until smooth. I use the extra large smoothie setting on my Blendtec (4 or 5 times) to reach the desired consistency. Taste the mixture. If you prefer it sweeter, add an additional tablespoon or two of maple syrup.

4. Remove the cake tin from the fridge. Pour the filling into the base, and smooth the top with a spatula. Cover the cake tin (with foil, or a large lid), and put it in the freezer until frozen.

5. Once the cake is frozen, remove it from the freezer. Remove the cover, and the springform section of the cake tin. Place a large plate over the top of the cake, and turn the cake upside down. Remove the base of the cake tin and the baking paper. Place another large plate (or a cake stand) on the base of the cake, then turn the cake over, and remove the first plate. Place the cake in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

6. Decorate with blueberries (fresh or frozen) prior to serving.

7. Store leftover cake in the fridge.

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts
All of the tiny vegans enjoy this cake, including Little Baker (who enjoyed licking the spatula).

Every Monday, I feature a delicious recipe that is enjoyed by my own family- I hope your family enjoys it too.
Ally

{Vegan MoFo} Freaky Friday: A hearty soup, pumpkin coffee, and chocolate for breakfast

Today, on Freaky Friday, I highlight recipes from three bloggers who are participating in Vegan MoFo.

First cab off the rank…

Homestyle Split Pea Soup by Vegan Flavorista.

When cooler weather and strong winds descended this week, this simple and tasty soup brought much comfort.

The recipe consists of carrot, celery, onion, vegetable stock, garlic, and green split peas. My pantry was a little low on green split peas, so I made up the difference with yellow split peas and red lentils.

soup1

The recipe requires 1 pound of green split peas (approx. 450g). I used 250g green, 170g yellow, and 30g red lentils. I also increased the garlic content from 1 clove to 3, and the liquid content from 6 cups to 7.

This soup cooks in a slow-cooker (crockpot), but could easily be adapted to stove-top cooking. My slow-cooker had not made an appearance during winter, so it was a novelty to bring it out of captivity. The delicious smells of soup wafted through the house.

The recipe directs readers to cook the soup on low for 4 – 4.5 hours. We cooked our soup on low for 5 hours, then turned the slow cooker onto the high-setting for 3 additional hours (a total of 8 hours cooking time).

Tiny Vegan, 6 years old, inspected his soup, and announced enthusiastically: ‘This looks like it tastes nice’. And it did! It was tasty and satisfying.

The recipe is available here.

***

Pumpkin Spiced Cappuccino by Two Cups of Love.

pumpkincoffee

Pumpkin and coffee?! It sounds strange to me.

As someone who uses pumpkin in soups and curries, or roasts them with other vegetables, I was intrigued when I saw this recipe at Two Cups of Love. 

You could call this drink a pumpkin-spiced espresso smoothie.

To a high-speed blender, I added: organic soy milk; a shot of freshly brewed coffee; mashed, cooked pumpkin; ice cubes; a combination of spices: ginger, allspice, cardamon, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

I poured the drink into a tall glass, added a couple of ice cubes, and sprinkled some freshly grated nutmeg across the top.

Unexpectedly delicious! And refreshing. The combination of coffee and spices is delightful.

The recipe is available here.

***

Chocolate Overnight Oats by Carrie On Vegan

overnightoats

Today, my daughter and I enjoyed chocolate overnight oats for breakfast.

A friend met me at my house early this morning, and we drove to a nearby beach side town for a morning of ocean kayaking.*

Last night, as I was preparing my gear for the kayaking trip, it occurred to me I would need a decent, filling breakfast that was simple and quick to prepare. A green smoothie was not an option, as I didn’t want to risk waking the rest of the family with a noisy, whizzing Blendtec.  I recalled Carrie’s chocolate overnight oats recipe, and it seemed like a perfect occasion to try overnight oats for the first time.

The recipe consists of: goji berries, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, cocoa, cinnamon, blueberries, soy milk and oats (I used ‘gluten-free’ oats).

I doubled the soy milk, added frozen organic raspberries, reduced the quantities of blueberries and goji berries, added rice protein powder, and used raw cacao powder (doubled) rather than cocoa.

The oats were satisfying, decadent and scrumptious. The perfect fuel for a morning of kayaking.

The recipe is available here.

***

* Before our kayak adventure commenced, an instructor told the group there was a 90% chance of spotting dolphins. Approximately 400 dolphins live in the area. He also told us there was a really good chance we would see a humpback whale (or whales), as it is peak whale watching season.

Well, we didn’t see any dolphins. Not one. Not a fin.

We did see a whale from the shore during our ‘tea break’, but he or she decided to vacate the area when the crazy bunch of paddling humans entered the water again. Someone may have seen a green turtle’s bobbing head.

We saw a butterfly. Who knew they flew so far out from the shore?

The kayaking tour company offers a ‘wildlife-spotting guarantee’. So, my friend and I are able to book in on another occasion – at no cost. 🙂

{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Blueberry Cake

blueberry cake

This gluten-free cake is loaded with fruit and flavour. It is delicious and moreish, and contains millet flour and sorghum flour.

I discovered this Laurie Sadowski recipe at Uberdish.

The original recipe uses 2 cups of blueberries. The first time I made this recipe, I used 1.5 cups of frozen organic blueberries. I didn’t allow the blueberries to defrost. After I added them (as the last step, thankfully!), the batter began to solidify! I had to work quickly to spread the batter evenly in the cake tin.  I am assuming this is unique to these particular gluten-free flours, as I have added frozen blueberries to spelt and wheat flours, and never had a problem with the batter solidifying.

So, I recommend using fresh blueberries, or allowing frozen ones to defrost adequately. 🙂 Despite this ‘error’, the cake turned out beautifully and I was keen to make it again.

blueberry2I made a couple of minor changes: I used coconut cream rather than coconut milk (as this is what I usually have in my pantry) and raw sugar (rather than an unrefined sugar, like coconut). Also, I used millet flour instead of quinoa flour (thanks for the tip Angela!). My cake took 55 minutes to cook.

I do not own a stand mixer, and using a basic hand mixer for this recipe was a little bit challenging, as the batter kept climbing up the beaters! It is not impossible though, and I did not want the absence of a stand mixer to prevent me from making this scrumptious cake.

**The recipe is available here.**

Strawberry Cake

On the next occasion, I replaced the blueberries with 1 cup of fresh, chopped strawberries. I scooped the batter into a loaf tin, and the cake was ready in 45 mins.

strawberrycake2

Strawberry cake

In winter, strawberries are grown in sub-tropical areas of Australia. I think of strawberries as a ‘winter fruit’ because they are abundant and cheap in my region in the colder months of the year. Summer-grown strawberries travel further to reach my part of the country, so they are generally more pricey (and less abundant).

strawberrycake3

Strawberry cake

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

The tiny vegans enjoyed the strawberry cake. The school-aged kids were fortunate to be treated to a couple of small slices in their lunchboxes.

What did they think of the blueberry cake?

Well…they didn’t know about it! [shh, don’t tell them]. I made it while they were at school and pre-school. Little Baker, who was at home, may have had a small slice – I can’t remember. Mat and I polished it off over a couple of days – all in the name of recipe research, of course. 😉

Which do you prefer – blueberries or strawberries?

Ally

{Recipe} Sensational Smoothies

Our new, shiny, RED Blendtec blender arrived last week!

blender

***

Lately, our Powermill blender has been acting up, demonstrating to us that it is ready for early retirement. It has served us well for 5 years. I had always been happy with the texture achieved by the Powermill, but the Blendtec makes the silkiest, smoothest green smoothies. It leaves the Powermill for dead.

When the Blendtec arrived, we eagerly opened the box and began excitedly discussing possible smoothie combinations.

Mat decided on an orange, carrot, rockmelon, banana and baby spinach blend. Yes, a whole carrot. The Blendtec took it in her stride. I was enraptured from that moment.

Blenders get heavy use in our house, but the excitement of a new blender (that is so easy to clean) has resulted in an escalation of smoothie making. It’s so easy to clean! Did I mention that? Moreover, the jug and motor are much lighter than the Powermill’s.

I am posting a sample of the smoothies that my family enjoyed last week. I don’t usually measure ingredients when making smoothies, but I did last week in order to provide you with adequate instructions.

First up, my favourite. Green smoothies!

***

1. Green Smoothies

Mango Citrus Berry

 Mango Citrus Berry Smoothie is a standard green smoothie at our house.  All of my green smoothies contain bananas as a base, the riper the better, and usually frozen. Frozen bananas provide a beautiful, creamy texture. I also add oranges and frozen blueberries. Mangoes are cheap and abundant at the moment, so they have been featuring regularly in our smoothies.

Mat and I prefer to use coconut water, but are happy to use filtered water if coconut water is not available. I always add ground flax seeds (linseeds) and chia seeds to my smoothies. Mat likes Maca powder so I usually add that too. The greens don’t vary considerably. I always add baby spinach leaves. If we have kale, I add 2 leaves. Otherwise, I add baby cos or cos lettuce.

You will need:

(Serves 2)

500ml coconut water or filtered water, cold

flesh of 1 mango

2 bananas (frozen is preferable, for a creamy texture)

1 orange, peeled and cut in half (remove visible seeds)

1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

4 cups baby spinach leaves, washed

6 baby cos lettuce leaves, washed

1 heaped tsp of ground flaxseed or chia seed (or use a combination, as I do)

1 heaped tsp Maca powder

Method

1. Pour coconut water (or water) in jug;

2. Add maca powder, flax seeds/chia seeds, orange, bananas (if unfrozen), mango, and all of the leaves;

3. Lastly, add blueberries and banana (if frozen).

4. Blend until smooth (obviously, the time it takes to achieve a smooth blend will depend on the power of your blender).

***

Summerrain1

This blend reminds me of summer. It is the perfect summer drink, containing mango, nectarine and pineapple. I was going to name it Summer Smoothie, but it began to rain as I took the photos, so a new name was bestowed upon it. 

You will need:

(Serves 2)

5ooml coconut water or filtered water, cold

2 bananas (preferably frozen)

flesh of 1 mango

1 nectarine, seed removed

1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple

20 (approximately) fresh mint leaves

5 cups of baby spinach leaves

1 heaped tsp of ground flax seeds or chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour coconut water or water in jug;

2. Add the flax seeds/chia seeds, mango, nectarine, pineapple, and all of the leaves;

3. Add banana (frozen or unfrozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

Just to set the record straight, I don’t drink green smoothies out of wine glasses. I use this….

IMG_0909

….which gives you an idea of the portion size of my smoothies. No small glasses for me!

***

2. Coconut water/water-based smoothie (not green):

Mat's smoothieA

Mat usually has a green smoothie each day. Depending on the particular workout he has endured, he may also make this smoothie.

I usually have some too because it is scrumptious! Or he shares it with the kids.

You will need:

(serves 2)

15 raw almonds, soaked overnight

5 dates, soaked overnight

15g goji berries, soaked overnight

1 cup frozen blueberries

3 bananas (preferably frozen)

500ml coconut water or filtered water, cold

1 heaped tsp maca powder

3 heaped dessertspoons of protein powder (we use Vital or Sun Warrior)

Method

1. Pour coconut water or water in jug;

2. Add maca powder, protein powder, dates, goji berries, bananas (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, bananas (if frozen) and almonds;

4. Blend until smooth.

***

3. Non-dairy Milk-based Smoothies

Mango Berry

Mango Berry is one of my daughter’s favourite smoothie concoctions. She’s not too keen on green smoothies, unfortunately. She will drink a tiny amount because she understands that they are healthy but she doesn’t request them. She prefers rice or soy milk-based smoothies.

Our 3 year old will drink any type of smoothie. Our 6 year old went off green smoothies a couple of years ago (after enjoying them as a toddler), but in recent days (yay!) he is enjoying them again -it must be the new blender! 

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

1 cup organic soy milk or protein-enriched rice milk

flesh of 1 mango

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup frozen raspberries

1 banana (preferably frozen)

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

5 ice cubes

Method:

1. Pour non-dairy milk in jug;

2. Add ground flax seeds/chia seeds, mango and banana (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, raspberries, bananas (if frozen) and ice cubes;

4. Blend until smooth.

***

Chocberry1

Raw cacao powder is delicious in smoothies. Bananas and frozen blueberries complement the rich chocolaty flavour. I don’t use cacao powder in my green smoothies (maybe I should!), but I do like using it to make hot chocolate (in winter) and raw desserts.  My kids enjoy it in their milk-based smoothies. I really enjoyed this smoothie, and will probably indulge in it again soon.

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

1 cup organic soy milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

2 bananas (preferably frozen)

1 heaped tbsp avocado

1 heaped tbsp cacao powder

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour soy milk in jug;

2. Add flax seeds/chia seeds, avocado, cacao powder, bananas (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, and bananas (if frozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

***

Peanut Butter Chocolate

My sons are enamoured with peanut butter and bananas sandwiches, so I suggested that they may like a peanut butter and banana smoothie. Of course, they thought it was a brilliant idea! The addition of raw cacao powder gives this smoothie a richer flavour.

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

2 cups protein-enriched rice milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

2 bananas (Yep, you guessed it!…preferably frozen)

1 tbsp cacao powder

1tbsp natural peanut butter (sugar-free, salt-free);

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour rice milk in jug;

2. Add ground flax seeds/chia seeds, cacao powder, peanut butter.

3. Add bananas (frozen or unfrozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

***

What is your favourite smoothie recipe? Please share it with all of us!

If you recently posted a smoothie recipe on your blog, I am happy for you to share the link in the comments section if you would like to. 

I know that a few of you are trying to establish a regular green smoothie habit. If you would like some tips or ideas, please use the comments section too. I am sure that the seasoned green smoothie drinkers among us would be happy to help! I am all too happy to spread the green smoothie joy. 🙂

Every Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my family – I hope your family enjoys it too!

RP

Thank you to eveyone who has been voting for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan and Vegetarian Moms 2013. I really appreciate your support. 

If you enjoy my blog, I would be thrilled if you voted for me. You can find my entry here. Also, there is an icon on my home page, and you can click on that too.

You can vote more than once! You can vote for me once every 24 hours. You are not required to register, or provide your email address. You just click. It’s really quick!

The competition ends on 7 February. Thank you. 🙂

 

Ally 

%d bloggers like this: