Tag Archives: pecans

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/

Raw Food Level 1: Day 17-18

raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce

Raw Food Level 1 is almost complete! Just 2 more days of class to go! Over the course of days 17-18, I worked on a lemon tart as part of the process for learning how to use Irish moss. Irish moss is a seaweed that can be used to thicken puddings, tart fillings, etc. 

Here is a photo of the seaweed soaking in preparation to use it.

irish moss soaking

There were some other essential skills that we learned here too. We made tart crusts that firmed up in the refrigerator, a frozen meringue formed into a quenelle, and some dehydrated citrus slices. It was fun learning how to make the quenelle, a classic French technique. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that. All my frozen treats will be fancier from now on. I also didn’t know that you could dehydrate and eat citrus slices. I always found the peels to be bitter when blended or juiced, but after painting on a little agave and dehydrating, they are a delicious tart treat!

I shared this tart with my husband and visiting relatives, and they all gave it a big thumbs up.

raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart raw vegan lemon meringue tart

Both of the dishes that I’m working on for my final project are of my own creation. We were tasked to come up with a three course menu, and then to execute two of the dishes. I chose the starter and the dessert. 

My starter is a cucumber tzatziki roll. The herbs are on the inside and the cucumber is on the outside! It is topped with a sweet pepper relish and paired with a root vegetable with a cumin vinaigrette. Which of my practice plating arrangements do you like best? 

raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad raw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable saladraw vegan cucumber tzatziki rolls with root vegetable salad

 My dessert is a mango lassi panna cotta infused with with cardamom and dusted with cinnamon. It is paired with a peppery black cherry sauce to create a spice blend reminiscent of chai. The panna cotta is topped off with a pecan tuile. Below are the photos of my practice plating before my big final presentation on day 19!

raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce raw vegan mango lassi panna cotta with black cherry sauce

Raw Food Fundamentals: Day 15

raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate

Day 15 is Raw Food Fundamentals at Matthew Kenney Academy is completed! Today was an exciting day because I got to make some tasty breakfast items, and a fancy cheese plate! It just so happened that I finished the cheese plate on the weekend, so my husband and I were able to snack on it in the afternoon while we busied ourselves with bottling his home brewed beer. 😉

The first task of the day was to flavor our coconut yogurt. Mine was very tangy from the strong probiotics that I used in it and the extra time that I let it ferment. I added a little honey, vanilla, and some ripe bananas to make a delicious banana flavored yogurt. With this, I layered in some fresh mango along with my finished tropical buckwheat granola. I topped it all off with a pinch of cinnamon and a drizzle of raw honey. It was tangy and sweet and delicious!

raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait raw vegan yogurt and granola parfait

The extra granola that was left was also amazing eaten as cereal with some homemade hemp milk and a little roasted dandelion tea (a reasonable facsimile for coffee if you want something that is caffeine-free, acid free, and good for your liver!).

raw vegan sprouted buckwheat granola with hemp milk

…And now the moment of truth. CHEESE PLATE TIME! With a little coaching about mixing flavors and textures together and the subtleties of plating something like this, I went to work. I actually own a cheese board too. I bought it for my sister’s baby shower last year, but I mostly use it for plating flax crackers and sauces or other snacks. Who doesn’t love food served up on a fancy piece of slate?

I did a little extra credit work on my cheeses since I’m on the slow track for this class. In addition to the 3 cashew cheeses that I made (rosemary crusted, orange/rose, and red wine/pepper), I wanted to try some with macadamia nuts as well, so I made 2 additional cheeses – one which I stuffed  with green olive, and another which contains layers of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Yup, it’s Simon & Garfunkle cheese. 😉 As my cheeses were all of the savory and salty variety, I paired them with sweeter elements and included some crunchy items on the plate as well. There are dried apricots, figs, and cantaloupe, fresh cherries, almonds, pecans dipped in raw honey and topped with the leftover homemade chocolate chops, and my trio of chia crackers that went into the dehydrator yesterday.

raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate raw vegan fermented nut cheese plate

Following my nut cheese extravaganza, we made some more nut milks to prepare for tomorrow’s recipes and got to spend some quality time cleaning up our final project recipes, as well as making our grocery lists and daily schedules for testing out our final recipes and plating. I’m so excited!!!

Raw Food Fundamentals: Day 11

raw vegan chocolate truffles

Day 11 of learning raw food fundamentals has been completed!

I started the day with some lessons about how to make raw vegan versions of cheese. This was very insightful. I have seen other recipes in the raw food community about fermented nut cheeses, and this course has allowed me to do some fun experiments with that, as well as learn some great techniques. I can now re-create comfort foods and as an added bonus, get some extra probiotics in my diet. I will never complain about that. 😉

Here is some “swiss cheese” spread out on the dehydrator sheet ready to go in. We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.

raw vegan swiss cheese

After this, I started the process of soaking and sprouting some buckwheat for use in a later recipe. After the soaking is done, it still has to be dehydrated back to a crispy state. I am excited to see what it will be used for. 

Next came the assignment I was most eager to work on. CHOCOLATE! That’s right, we learned how to make chocolate truffles, and we got to select our own toppings. The texture and flavor of these is amazing. They aren’t overly sweet either, like the truffles you might purchase in a chocolate shop. I think they had just the right amount of sweetness. 

The recipe for the batter to make the truffles is in Matthew Kenney’s book, Raw Chocolate

In the photo with the truffles on the big round plate, the center truffle has pecans on it, and the flavors on the rest, starting clockwise from 12 o’clock position, are:

  1. cacao nib/chili powder/applewood smoked sea salt
  2. bee pollen
  3. pistachio
  4. maple candied pineapple
  5. lime zest, dried coconut, coconut sugar
  6. cinnamon, ginger, orange and lemon zests
  7. cinnamon
  8. cacao nib / Pirate’s Bite spice blend from Spice & Tea Exchange in Winter Park, FL

I sampled a few to make sure they were safe to eat. I have some other taste testers coming to visit tomorrow. 😉

raw vegan chocolate truffle toppingsraw vegan chocolate trufflesraw vegan chocolate trufflesraw vegan chocolate trufflesraw vegan chocolate truffles

 After my fun afternoon of truffle rolling (which may or may not have been accompanied by a lemon honey margarita), we made pancake batter. They’re all ready to go into the dehydrator! I was really excited to see this. I haven’t had pancakes in a long time. I can’t wait to see what they taste like!

raw vegan pancake batter

I’m all set for big day #12! I can’t wait to have more fun with the fermented cheeses and see how these pancakes turn out!

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/