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

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.

Raw Key Lime Pie

By contributor Alexandra Courts 

This key lime pie recipe of mine is raw, gluten-free and vegan! And since it’s no bake, it’s a snap to make! What’s not to like?

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Ingredients:

Crust…

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

Filling…

  • 2 1/2 cups cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (from 4-5 limes)
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup

Directions:

  1. In a high-speed blender, blend the raw almonds. Add the remaining crust ingredients and blend until combined.
  2. Line an 8 inch round cake pan with plastic wrap. Press the mixture into the pan to form the crust.
  3. Blend all of the filling ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  4. Pour filling into crust. Level the mixture with a spatula and place pie in freezer for about an hour or until it has set.
  5. Let the pie thaw before slicing. Serve and enjoy! Keep leftovers in fridge.

Makes 1 pie (about 6 servings)

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

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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.

Easter Weekend Dessert Series: Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

By Contributor: Alexandra Courts

The first in our Easter food series! Why spend time decorating eggs when you can bake treats instead?

Buy a doughnut pan. Seriously. It will change your life…or at least the way you think about homemade doughnuts. Ditch the deep fryer and opt for a light and cakey version that is both vegan and gluten-free!

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This plain doughnut recipe that I’ve adapted from bonappetit.com is so simple, yummy, and healthy that you will ditch that love affair you might have had with your local bakery.

The recipe is as follows for these little cinnamon sugar babies:

Ingredients…

Doughnut Batter

  • 1 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (Melt a little extra to coat the trays with to prevent sticking)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions…

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush doughnut tray with coconut oil and set aside.

2) To make a “flax egg” (egg replacement) mix 1 part ground flax (1/2 tsp) with three parts (1 1/2 tsp) hot water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Once combined, add flax egg, melted coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla extract and remaining hot water.

4) Spoon about 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into each doughnut mold.

5) Bake for 8 minutes, flip, then continue baking for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Let the doughnuts sit for 10 minutes before removing from tray.

6) Whisk together coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut lightly into the sugary coating before serving.

Yields 12-15 doughnuts. Enjoy!

Raw Energy Balls

Post by Alex Courts

It’s the middle of the day. Too late for lunch and too early for dinner.

You’re hungry and you’re faced with the decision of what you should have without spoiling your dinner.

Chips? Cookies? Candy? No!

Opt for something natural, nutritious, and filling! These little babies are vegan, gluten-free, and raw!

Good news is that these are quick to make and can be stored and enjoyed later on!

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Yield: approx. 2 dozen snack balls

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried mango
  • 1/2 raisins
  • 1 cup sliced raw almonds

Directions:

  1. Run the first four ingredients through a food processor for a full minute (or until well-combined).
  2. Add the almonds and process for another full minute.
  3. Place mixture in bowl and start forming (squeeze and roll) and form 1 tablespoon into a ball.
  4. Repeat process until all the mixture is used.
  5. Suggested: Roll the balls into any remaining shredded coconut.

Store any uneaten balls in the freezer for up to a month.