Lemon Cheesecakes with Raspberry Compote (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, No-Bake, Refined Sugar-free)

By contributor Alexandra Courts

I made these treats with a pal but didn’t photograph them until after we’d already gobbled up all the sauce. Oops! We’re on a raw dessert recipe rampage lately, so just go with it.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust…

  • 2 cups dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

For the filling…

  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 2 cups soaked cashews
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup \For the compote…
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp organic maple syrup

    DIRECTIONS:

    1) Blend almonds and coconut together until finely processed. Add dates and continue blending.

    2) Line a standard muffin pan with plastic wrap and press the mixture into each cup firmly and evenly to form individual crusts. Set aside.

    3) Blend all filling ingredients until smooth. If desired, add more lemon juice to taste.

    4) Pour filling on top of each crust, then place tray in freezer immediately for 1 hour to set.

    5) Blend raspberries, water and syrup together into a liquid. Set aside in fridge until serving.

    6) Thaw cheesecakes at room temperature for 30 minutes. Top each with a dollop of raspberry compote (or simply frozen raspberries, as pictured above).

    Makes 12 cupcake-sized desserts.

    WANT TO MODIFY IT?

    Feel free to change up the recipe a bit! We remade them and added 1-2 cups of frozen blueberries to the mix, seen below:2015/01/img_2353.jpg 2015/01/img_2349.jpg

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Peanut Butter and Jam Mousse Tarts (Gluten-free, vegan, no-bake, raw option)

By contributor Alexandra Courts 

I’m not a huge fan of gluten-free bread, but sometimes I do miss being able to snack on peanut butter and jam sandwiches! These mousse tarts incorporate nothing but healthy and natural ingredients, making them equally appropriate for both dessert and breakfast.

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Ingredients:

Crust…

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Filling…

  • 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (alternatively can use raw almond or raw cashew butter, if preferred)
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Topping…

  • 1 cup strawberry or raspberry jam (organic if possible)

Directions…

  1. Combine crust ingredients (dates, almonds, coconut) in a high-speed blender until incorporated.
  2. Line 1 standard cupcake pan with plastic wrap and press the mixture tightly into bottom of each cup.
  3. Blend filling ingredients (cashews, nut butter, coconut milk and maple syrup) in blender until very smooth.
  4. Pour filling mixture into cups, equally coating each mini crust.
  5. Place tray in freezer for 1 hour to allow filling to set.
  6. Remove cups from pan and allow to thaw for 30 minutes.
  7. Top each tart with dollop of jam. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 cupcake-sized tarts.

(5)00 Kales of Summer: Creamy Dill Pickle Kale Chips

By Aine Davis

Whenever I go grocery shopping I can’t help but sneak a peek at the snack aisle and drool for a minute or two. It would be so easy to simply devour a bag of store-bought BBQ potato chips, but I know from experience that the consequences are heinous. Instead, I make a healthier version at home whenever possible! 

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What you’ll need:

  • Blender
  • Dehydrator (Alternatively, you can use this guide for oven-baked kale chips)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of kale
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions:

  1. Soak cashews in water for 1-4 hours. Drain. 
  2. Rinse kale and dry as thoroughly as possible.  
  3. Devein kale. Not sure what we’re talking about? Use this method. 
  4. Roughly chop kale into bite-size pieces. 
  5. Blend cashews, vinegar, dill, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt and pepper until liquid in consistency. 
  6. Toss kale in dressing, coating as evenly as possible. 
  7. Line dehydrator with wax paper and spread kale pieces out. Be sure to avoid any overlap. 
  8. Dehydrate for roughly 6 hours at 115 degrees, or following your dehydrator’s specifications. The longer you dehydrate for, the crisper your chips will be. 

Makes 2 servings. Extra dressing can be used as a raw veggie dip. 

 

Avocado Pesto Linguine

By contributor Alexandra Courts

I am absolutely obsessed with avocado. Avocados contain ‘good’ fats, are a source of dietary fibre, reduce cholesterol, and help the body absorb nutrients. They’re incredibly versatile too, so I thought it’d be fun to incorporate avocado directly into a recipe instead of as a garnish! IMG_6152   Ingredients…

  • 8oz box brown rice linguine (or any gluten-free pasta of your choice) 
  • 2 medium avocados, ripe
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions….

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring water to a boil. Following the box’s instructions, cook pasta until tender. Drain and set aside. 
  3. On a lined baking sheet, spread pine nuts out evenly. Bake in oven for 5 minutes. 
  4. Cut avocado in half and scoop its “meat” out. Blend avocado, handful of toasted pine nuts, garlic, basil, lemon juice, and salt until combined thoroughly. 
  5. Toss pasta in freshly blended sauce. Sprinkle remaining pine nuts and nutritional yeast on top. 

Serve immediately. Makes 2 large portions. 

Alexandra’s Favourite Summer Smoothie Recipes

By contributor Alexandra Courts

Smoothies are a healthy and refreshing way to start your day. The right combination of fruits (and sometimes vegetables) will give your body the fuel it needs to push through that dreadfully long morning.

Here are some of my favourite smoothie combinations! Just pop all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend away until a desired consistency is reached.

STRAWBERRY WATERMELON LEMONADE SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 8 cups watermelon chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

MIXED BERRY SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 2-3 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and blackberries)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen dark cherries

ORANGE MANGO SMOOTHIE

IMG_3243

Ingredients…

  • 3-4 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup fresh orange segments
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup orange juice

CHOCOLATE BANANA SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 4-5 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder

TROPICAL GREEN SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 3-4 frozen bananas
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup orange juice

GF Vegan S’mores Breakfast Pastries

By Alexandra Courts

Trips to the grocery store make me miss some of the token junk foods that you just can’t find gluten-free vegan versions of, no matter how hard you try. Twizzlers? Dunkaroos?! DORITOS?! Pop-Tarts top that list. They made early mornings so much easier.

Well, whatever. If you can’t beat ’em, make your own.

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S’MORES BREAKFAST PASTRIES

(Note: This recipe has been adapted from www.momables.com)

Dough Ingredients…

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan “butter”
  • 6 tbsp cold water
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp flax meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients…

  • 1/2 bag Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup gluten-free vegan marshmallows (I used Sweet and Sara brand)
  • 1/2 cup Artisana raw chocolate coconut butter

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk all dry dough ingredients together. Add vanilla extract, vegan “butter”, applesauce and water. Combine. Use hands to work dough and ensure all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Roll dough into large ball. Add more water if necessary. Place dough ball in fridge to chill for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. Roll out chilled dough into thin layer. Cut into rectangles with large knife. Rework and repeat for rest of dough.
  5. Place half the cut rectangles on parchment paper for bottom layer of pastries.
  6. Combine filling ingredients in bowl, then add dollop to centre of each rectangle.
  7. Wet a finger in cold water, then run finger along edges of pastries. Top each pastry with remaining rectangles.
  8. Press seams together with fork. Poke small hole in top to allow for steam to escape.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are slightly golden.
  10. Let cool and enjoy!

Makes 12 servings.

No-Bake Mocha Brownies

By Alexandra Courts

We’ve done it! We’ve figured out a delectable and healthy way to satisfy your chocolate cryings!

These no-bake babies are free of any oils, artificial sugars, gluten or animal products. We replaced all of these nasty ingredients with dates, which provide the body with a variety of vitamins and minerals. They’re killer sources of energy, natural sugar and fibre.

Behold:

IMG_3695 IMG_3717

(Recipe has been adapted from The Minimalist Baker)

Ingredients…

  •  2 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 cup chopped raw walnuts, pecans, or nut of your choice
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp finely ground organic direct-trade coffee
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract

Directions…

  1. Pulse almonds in food processor until finely ground. 
  2. Add raw cacao powder and ground coffee to mixture and continue to combine with food processor. Set mixture aside in separate bowl. 
  3. Process dates separately, then add mixture back to food processor and pulse until a dough-like texture is reached. Stir additional nuts, coconut and vanilla extract into batter.
  4. Pour batter into a lined square cake pan. Spread evenly.
  5. Chill brownies in fridge for 2 hours or freezer for 1 hour. Serve cold.

Enjoy! Makes about 12 brownies.