Tag Archives: dates

Cinnamon Raspberry Cheesecake (Raw Vegan)

raw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecake

Happy Holidays! This year for Christmas, my mom put in a special request for me to bring a dessert over to the house. I asked her if she had anything special in mind, and she said she was hoping for one of my cheesecakes (she knows they are raw vegan and tries to avoid dairy and refined sugars). I asked if there was any particular flavor she wanted, and she said raspberry. My family members all seem to be crazy about raspberries. It must be genetic. 😉

raw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecakeraw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecake

This was my first real dessert project since finishing my raw cuisine courses with Matthew Kenney Culinary, so I thought it would be a fun way to put my skills to work. I was feeling pretty confident with my recently acquired knowledge about flavor balancing, food styling, and creating textures with good and authentic mouthfeel, so I set to work! I was able to put this recipe together surprisingly quick, and very please with the sampling of the different components along the way.

raw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecake

This raw vegan cheesecake is comprised of three parts: a crust, a cheesecake base recipe, and a raspberry sauce that I swirled in. The crust is a blend of dried fruit, nuts, coconut, and a pinch of cinnamon. It was dough-y and stuck together just like a good crust should. The main batter is cashew based and has a perfectly creamy texture with just the right balance of sweet and tangy, and a hit of vanilla. It really tasted like an actual cheesecake batter. The raspberry sauce was sweet and fruity. I added a pinch of cinnamon to that too, to tie it all together. The raspberry sauce was then swirled into the batter. Oh, it was so divine!

raw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecake

Dried date and pecan crust pressed into the bottom of the spring form pan.

This went over really well with my omnivorous relatives and received really good reviews. I was informed that my parents were keeping the remaining half of the cheesecake after dessert. I hope you enjoy this as much as they did. 🙂

Cinnamon Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake - Raw Vegan
A smooth and creamy raw vegan cheesecake with a cinnamon nut crust and an infusion of sweet and tangy raspberry sauce.
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Equipment
  1. 6 inch springform pan
  2. blender
  3. food processor (optional)
Crust Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup pecans
  2. 1/2 cup dates
  3. 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  5. pinch of cinnamon
Base Cheesecake Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight
  2. 1/2 cup agave syrup
  3. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup water or nut milk
  5. 2 TB coconut oil
  6. 1 TB vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
Raspberry Sauce Ingredients
  1. 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  2. 1/4 cup agave syrup
  3. 1 tsp lemon juice
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Combine crust ingredients in either a blender or food small processor until well combined and the consistency of a sticky dough.
  2. Spread crust mixture in the bottom of a 6" springform pan and pat down evenly and firmly. You can get it very flat and even with the smooth bottom of a drinking glass.
  3. Blend all base cheesecake ingredients until perfectly smooth and creamy. It should look like a cake batter. You may need to use a tamper if your blender has one.
  4. Pour the batter into the springform pan.
  5. Blend the raspberry sauce ingredients together until smooth. You can either mix the sauce into the cheesecake batter or reserve it to spoon on top of the plain cheesecake after it has set.
  6. Put the cheesecake into the freezer to firm overnight. Remove it 1-2 hours before you'd like to serve it so it can thaw a bit.
  7. Plate with extra raspberries and a light dusting of cinnamon.
Notes
  1. It is very important to soak the cashews for 4-6 hours before using them. This reduces the phytic acid content to make them more digestible and contributes to the smooth and creamy texture of the finished cheesecake. I can't promise that the texture will be the same if you do not soak the nuts!
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Zucchini Pasta with Raw Vegan Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Zucchini Pasta with Raw Vegan Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

This is a light and easy zucchini pasta with raw vegan tomato basil marinara is a dish that I have enjoyed preparing in the past for its simplicity and the easy availability of seasonal ingredients. It is great when you would like something quick and healthy without having to think too hard about it. It is literally slicing the zucchini and blending the sauce.

Zucchini Pasta with Raw Vegan Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

Now that I have tomato plants which are producing a few newly ripened tomatoes for me every few days and a healthy basil plant that gives me a giant handful of leaves every few weeks, I have really enjoyed putting them to good use. It’s really rewarding to be able to make something with ingredients that I’ve grown myself, and perfectly ripened garden tomatoes are one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten. Truth be told, most of them don’t even make it into a tomato basil marinara sauce. I eat them as soon as I pick them. 😉

Now that I have tomato plants which are producing a few newly ripened tomatoes for me every few days and a healthy basil plant that gives me a giant handful of leaves every few weeks, I have really enjoyed putting them to good use.

Below is a breakdown of the health benefits for each of the main ingredients.

Zucchini

  • High in fiber, which helps to maintain blood sugar and lower cholesterol. It also helps to keep the colon clean, which puts you at a lower risk for cancer.
  • Good source of vitamins A & C, which prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood vessels. This stops hardening of the arteries and heart disease. 
  • Vitamins A & C, along with the folate in zucchini, act as antioxidants, which additionally help to prevent certain types of cancers and reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Men! The phytonutrients in zucchini can improve prostate problems. 😉
  • Ladies! Zucchini is high in magnesium, which helps to stave off chocolate cravings (which are often a sign of magnesium deficiency).
  • Source: http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-zucchini.html

Tomatoes

  • Tomatoes are good for your heart! They have been shown to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, and to prevent your blood platelets from clumping together. Tomatoes are one of the best foods for accomplishing the latter of those. 
  • Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and lycopene (an antioxidant). When tomatoes are cooked, you absorb more lycopene, but the vitamin C is destroyed. As humans cannot synthesize their own vitamin C, eat your tomatoes raw, and with a little fat, you can still boost lycopene absorption! If you eat the yellow and orange tomatoes instead of the red ones, you can actually absorb the lycopene better too. 
  • 1 cup of tomatoes also contains 24% of the DRI (daily recommended intake) of biotin – they are good for your hair!
  • Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=44

Basil

  • You might not always think of health benefits with regard to fresh herbs (admittedly, flavor is usually first on my mind), but basil has some great ones. 
  • Basil contains high amounts of compounts which may be useful in treating arthritis and IBS (inflammatory bowel disease). 
  • Likewise, it has also been shown to be beneficial with other types of inflammation and swelling. 
  • It has anti-aging properties, protecting against free radical damage in the liver, brain, and heart. 
  • It’s a great source of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium (as all leafy greens are).
  • Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php
Raw Vegan Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Basil Marinara
Serves 2
A light and healthy pasta alternative made with seasonal summer ingredients. Unlike its grain-laden counterpart, these ingredients work together to reduce inflammation, provide you with useful fiber to keep your intestines clean, and give you a boost of vitamin C, which would otherwise be destroyed by cooking.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Noodle Ingredients
  1. 2 zucchinis, sliced or spiral cut into noodles
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
Marinara Ingredients
  1. 1 cup fresh tomatoes
  2. 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  3. 3/4 cups water (for soaking - do not discard)
  4. 1 cup fresh basil leaves (pack loosely or tightly, depending how much you like basil)
  5. 1 TB first cold press extra virgin olive oil
  6. 2 dates
  7. 1 tsp garlic (probiotic upgrade: 1 pickled/fermented garlic clove)
  8. 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  9. 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  10. 1/8 tsp sea salt
Optional Garnish Ingredients
  1. 2 TB hemp seed
  2. 2 TB nutritional yeast (not raw, but non raw family members will find this vegan ingredient pleasant, as it has a cheesy flavor)
  3. Sprig of fresh basil
Preparation Directions
  1. Add the 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, 2 dates, and 3/4 cups water to a bowl and let them sit for about an hour (longer is fine if that is more convenient for you) so that they become soft and plump. Do not discard the water. It goes into the blender with the tomatoes and dates.
Noodle Directions
  1. Cut the zucchini into noodles (I use this tool: Spiralizer Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer. You can also use a julienne peeler.)
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the zucchini noodles and massage it in for a minute or two. Let it sit about 5 minutes or until they become pliable and more noodle like.
  3. Rinse zucchini noodles.
Sauce Directions
  1. Add all the tomato sauce ingredients to the blender. The sun dried tomatoes and their soaking water both go in. Blend until everything is smooth.
Assembly Directions
  1. Split the zucchini noodles in half and add to two plates.
  2. Top with the marinara.
  3. Add optional garnishes if you desire.
Notes
  1. A high speed blender works best for this recipes. If you have a Vitamix, you can even warm the sauce in the blender, which is a nice treat.
  2. I like the sauce because it is raw, but if you have someone in your house that is not ready for a raw marinara yet, you could serve them a cooked marinara over the zucchini noodles and it would still be a healthier alternative.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Sesame Ginger Asian Lettuce Wraps (Raw Vegan)

Asian Inspired Raw Vegan Lettuce Wraps

This Asian lettuce wraps recipe is one that I have made before, but not officially documented measurements for or taken good pictures of until now. When there is a good meal sitting in my kitchen, it’s a little like torture waiting until the photographs are taken before I can eat it. Oh, the life of a food blogger… =P

I’ve really been wanting some Asian foods lately, so over the next week, I’ll be posting not just this one, but THREE total Asian-inspired raw vegan recipes, and all of them filling enough to be a main course! Making dishes with some ingredient and flavor overlaps is also a great way to use up leftovers and be efficient with your prep time. I only had to shred my carrots and scallions once and I can still toss extras into a salad for lunch!

Raw Vegan Sesame Ginger Lettuce Wraps

I’ve also been trying to come up with some more recipes for this blog that will make the omnivores and cooked food lovers in your life happy, mostly because I enjoy feeding my husband and it makes me happy when I can sneak an enzyme and vitamin-rich raw vegan meal in front of it him and he says it tastes great. 😉

This one has had good reviews both times that I’ve attempted to feed it to my husband, and one of my friends made it as a dish to share with her coworkers, so I feel confident that you will love it too. It you are new to raw foods, it’s not too difficult to make, and you will find the flavors and textures to be familiar, so it would be a great transition meal. It is also very filling, and will not leave you hungry if your body is still adjusting to a plant-based diet. 

These raw vegan Asian inspired lettuce wraps are delicious and filling.

Raw Vegan Sesame Ginger Asian Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4
These Asian inspired raw vegan lettuce wraps contain a textural variety of nutritious vegetables, walnuts for good fats, and of course, leafy greens!
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Sauce Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cups water
  2. 1/2 cup coconut aminos (I like these: Coconut Secret Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos. You can also find them at Whole Foods.)
  3. 1/4 cup unrefined expeller or cold pressed sesame seed oil (I like this one: Spectrum Naturals Organic Sesame Oil)
  4. 8 pitted dates
  5. 2 tsp powdered ginger
  6. 2 tsp powdered garlic (PROBIOTIC UPGRADE: use 2 cloves of ACV fermented garlic instead)
  7. 1 TB raw apple cider vinegar (I used the garlic infused ACV from my ferment)
Filling Ingredients
  1. 2.5 cups chopped fresh mushrooms of your choice (I used button mushrooms and baby bellas, but have also used rehydrated shiitake and oyster mushrooms, and it is still great)
  2. 2.5 cups chopped walnuts
  3. 1 cup shredded carrots
  4. 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
  5. 1/2 cup chopped celery (you won't even miss water chestnuts with the crunch that celery provides)
  6. 1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper
Wrap Ingredients
  1. 12 large romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves leaves
Sauce Directions
  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix). This will ensure the dates are thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
Filling Directions
  1. Chop vegetables as listed in ingredients section.
  2. Pour sauce over vegetables and mix thoroughly until well-combined.
  3. Marinade for 15 minutes (longer is ok too, but this is a minimum to help soften the ingredients and allow the sauce to soak in).
Assembly Instructions
  1. Spoon the filling/sauce mixture on the romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  2. Pick them up and eat them. 🙂
Notes
  1. This is a very rich and filling recipe. My husband and I only used half of the filling mixture and we had 3 each as our dinner. We were both very satisfied. This recipe will feed 4 people as a meal, or you could turn it into an appetizer for a large crowd.
  2. If you are sensitive to mold spores (I am), but still want to enjoy some mushrooms, you can soak them in a dilute mixture of water and white vinegar for 20-30 minutes and then rinse before you chop them up for the filling.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

 

Juice Pulp Breakfast Bread (Raw Vegan)

carrot-juice-pulp-bread-raw-vegan

Ever wondered what to do with the juice pulp after you’ve made a beautiful batch of juice? Do you feel bad tossing it in the trash or composting it? Never fear! We can put all that nutritious fiber to good use and make a healthy breakfast flat bread from it! It’s not too sweet either, so you can add a fruit spread or a nut-based cream spread to the top if you’d like. I like to eat it with a nice glass of kombucha. 🙂

Raw vegan fruit, nut, and juice pulp flat bread for breakfast, served with a side of kombucha.

Root vegetable pulp mixed with a little fruit pulp is the perfect combination for this recipe. I used the leftover pulp from my pineapple, yellow beet, and carrot juice. When you make that juice recipe, you can also use this recipe to get the maximum benefit from that pulp and keep from throwing it away!

Pineapple-Carrot-Beet juice and bread made from the pulp.

Juice Pulp Breakfast Bread (Raw Vegan)
A not-too-sweet breakfast flatbread that is made from leftover juice pulp, fruit, and nuts.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
24 hr
Total Time
24 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
24 hr
Total Time
24 hr 15 min
Pulp from Juicing
  1. 3 cups chopped pineapple
  2. 8 medium organic carrots
  3. 2 yellow beets
Other Flatbread Ingredients
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1 cup flaxmeal
  3. 1/2 cup raw liquid sweetener of your choice (date syrup, raw agave, raw honey [honey is not vegan])
  4. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  5. 1 cup chopped pecans
  6. 1 cup chopped dates
  7. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  8. 1 tsp cinnamon (optional, but delicious)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. When well combined, split the "dough" into two portions and spread each portion out onto a dehydrator tray lined with a non-stick sheet. It should be about 1/4" thick.
  3. Dehydrate about 18 hours (at 115 F), then carefully flip the bread over and transfer to a tray without a non-stick sheet for another 6 hours.
  4. It is done when it feels dry to the touch in the middle and can be picked up completely by the edges.
  5. Cut into pieces which are a shape and size that you would find enjoyable to snack on.
Notes
  1. I made my juice with an Omega juicer. Your pulp may be drier or wetter than mine. If you use a centrifugal juicer, your pulp will likely be wetter, and you will need to use less water. The "dough" should be moist and stick together when scooped up. It should not be runny.
  2. If you have a really fancy juicer like a Norwalk that presses every last drop of juice from your fiber, you can try the recipe with more water, but please note, that I have not had experience working with pulp in this state, and cannot guarantee the outcome.
  3. This bread is not very sweet. It reminds me a little of toast. It is perfect for adding your own fruit spread or nut based cream sauce to the top. If you prefer a sweeter bread, you can increase the amount of sweetener that is used. The bread may turn out more soft and chewy and less firm if you do this.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/