Friday, May 3, 2013

Wild Blueberry-Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Eat it and weep.

I'm cruel. I've been torturing my Facebook followers with this photo since January, while withholding the recipe (in hopes that they would buy my book Raw & Simple). Well, squeaky wheel gets the grease. They insisted I finally give it up, so here it is. A raw, vegan cheesecake so good, you'll weep. Well, maybe not. Maybe your family will weep when you eat it all before they get home. One of my recipe testers emailed me three times in a row to tell me over and over how much she loved it. I thought she was exaggerating until other people started messaging me how outrageously good it is. 

Oh, and don’t fret if you can’t find wild blueberries or Meyer lemons. I just wanted to give this a fancy name. Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter than regular lemons but either one works just as well here. As for blueberries, I actually prefer using the frozen ones because of the juice that results from thawing them out. Wild blueberries are smaller in size but taste very much like cultivated blueberries so use whatever you can find or afford at your local market.

Wild Blueberry-Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares
Makes 16 servings

Plan Ahead: soak ½ cup cashews in water for 2 hours

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Chill Time: 1 to 2 hours

2 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries, thawed

2 cups walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1. Combine ingredients in a food processor for 20-25 seconds. Press mixture between your fingers and see if it sticks together. If not, process a few seconds longer. Be careful not to go too long, otherwise it will release too much oil.
2. Press firmly and evenly into an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap.

1 cup walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup Medjool dates
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup rolled oats (optional)

1.     In same food processor that you just made the crust, add nuts, raisins, dates and sea salt and process until mixture begins to clump and stick together. Process longer than you did the crust but be careful not to overdo it.
2.     Transfer to a bowl and stir in oats. Set aside while you make the cheesecake layer.

1 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/2 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup xylitol or agave
¼ cup water
½ tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lecithin powder (use 2 tablespoons if using agave)

1. Blend all ingredients except lecithin until very smooth.
2. Add lecithin and blend again.
3. Pour over crust.
4. Top cheesecake mixture evenly with blueberries.
5. Press berries gently into the cheesecake and evenly spread the topping mixture over the berries.
6. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer for 1-2 hours or until firm.

Will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer.

Chef Tip. You can use other berries or fruits in place of blueberries such as cherries, peaches or mango as well as tone down the lemon flavor to your liking.  

Copyright 2013 Quarry Books

Here is a modified version of it I made for a wedding. I used a 9"springform pan, doubled the filling and added an extra 50% to the crust.  It was a hot day and I was scared it would melt before guests could enjoy it so I added extra lecithin. That's what is giving it the rough texture. I kinda like the brittleness of it, but in the future I'll just stick with less lecithin. Nevertheless, everyone loved it!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Raw & Simple Chocolate Haystacks

These chewy, chocolate treats are super simple to make, yet, tastes like a gourmet treat. I use longer coconut threads to give it that haystack look (Sprout's grocery stores carry them) but you can use the finely shredded coconut with the same great results. Jazz it up with some chopped nuts or hemp seeds for a little nutrition boost.

Chocolate Haystacks
Makes 12 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

2/3 cup cacao powder
½ cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
½ vanilla bean, scraped or small pinch of vanilla powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
2 cups shredded coconut

Blend cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.

In a bowl, hand mix shredded coconut with chocolate mixture.

Line a plate with parchment paper. Use a spoon or melon scoop to form 12-14 individual haystacks on the parchment paper.

Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.


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