3 Layer stRAWberry Chesse Cake {dairy-free, gluten-free, raw)

StRAWberry Cheese Cake (or fruit of choice!) by Holistic Lacey

This cheesecake is the result of an afternoon in my test kitchen! I played around with a variety of recipes to create the perfect, dairy free cheesecake. This recipe is a nutrient dense powerhouse thanks to the collection of so many amazing ingredients :

Brazil nuts – Just 5 offers your daily dose of selenium, an important mineral.

Walnuts, nut butter and coconut oil – rich sources of healthy fats.

Cashews – very high in the amino acid L-Tryptophan which is made into serotonin in the body. Two handfuls of cashew is the therapeutic equivalent to a dose of anti depressant prescription drugs. 

Maple syrup – high in antioxidants and minerals like zinc and manganese.

3 layer StRAWberry Chesse Cake 

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What you’ll need… Shopping list

Walnuts & pecans (or nuts of choice), shredded coconut, nut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, pink himalayan salt, cashews, coconut or nut milk, pure vanilla extract, pitted dates, lemon, fresh strawberries.

Holistic Tip: Use organic ingredients when possible for optimal taste and nutrition!

Ingredients

CocoNUT Crust

1/2 cup walnuts or Brazil nuts

1/2 cup pecans

1 cup shredded coconut

2 tbsp almond or nut/seed butter

2 tbsp  unrefined virgin coconut oil

1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt

Optional to double ingredients for a thicker crust

Lemon Vanilla Filling

2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours, drained and rinsed

6 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil

1 cup homemade banana coconut milk (get the recipe here!) or nut milk of choice.

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Strawberry Filling

1/2 the lemon vanilla filling

3/4 cups fresh strawberries

Strawberry Glaze

1.5 cups fresh strawberries

1 cup dates, soaked, pits removed

1 lemon with zest

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

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Line a 9inch circular spring form pan with parchment paper.

To prepare crust, place all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix and pulse until a sticky, crumble crust mixture is achieved. If processed too long, the mixture can turn into a nut butter! Press crust firmly into pan with fingers, and place in freezer to set.

To prepare the lemon vanilla filling, drain and rinse cashews. Blend cashews, oil, milk, lemon, maple syrup and vanilla until a smooth creamy texture is formed. Use the damper stick or stop the blender to scrape down the sides with a spatula.

When desired consistency is reached, remove half of the filling lemon vanilla filling and place aside.

Add the strawberries (3/4 cup) to the filling in the blender and blend until well combined.

Remove the pan from the freezer and add the strawberry mix from the blender. Spread evenly with a spoon or spatula. Use a large soup spoon to add the lemon vanilla layer on top into small dollops. Use the back of the spoon to spread the lemon vanilla layer evenly without mixing the two layers.

Or, if you like you can swirl the layers together by placing dollops of the white cream around the pan and then use a tooth pick or butter knife and get creative with your swirling. Set in the freezer for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.

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Remove cake from freezer, top with strawberry glaze and set for 5 hours, or overnight.

The next morning, I like to remove the size of the pan, let the cake sit for 5 minutes and then slice it evenly into slices which I then keep in a tupperware container in the freezer for easy access!

When serving, for a soft-creamy cheesecake, remove from freezer and let sit 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

Enjoy and be sure to comment below or add pictures of your own creations!

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Sunny Pecan Dill Dip {Raw}

This is a new staple in my kitchen. I love the versatility of this and how I can use it as a cheezy spread on homemade raw crackers, a dip for fresh veggie sticks, added to a sandwich or kale wrap, and even a scoop as a salad topping.

Sunflower seeds are the gift of the beautiful sunflower that has rays of petals emanating from its bright yellow, seed-studded centre. They are an excellent source of Vitamin E, and a rich source of copper and B Vitamins. Read more about the benefits of sunflower seeds below.

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Ingredients:

1 cup sunflower seeds

2/3 cups pecans

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp water

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tsp salt

Makes 2 1/3 cups

Instructions

Soak sunflower seeds and pecans overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Rinse and discard water.

Add sunflower seeds and pecans to food processor and puree until a puree.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixture is smooth and cream.

Recipe Inspired by Raw Essence Cookbook

Nutrition content of sunflower seeds

The seeds contain Vitamin E.

This can help protect cells against the effects of free radicals and substances that oxidize and harm protein structure, the cell membranes, including DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). This nutrient also helps in the maintenance of blood circulation and production of red blood cells (RBCs). One ounce of sunflower seeds has a total of 10 mg of vitamin E in it. Fact sheets for dietary supplements indicate this is already 35 percent of a person’s recommended daily requirement of Vitamin E.

Other health benefits are attributed to the seeds’ content of Thiamine, a B-vitamin.

This nutrient functions to stimulate cell catalysts or enzymes to stimulate chemical reactions that cells require in order to work efficiently. When a person has adequate levels of thiamine in the body, this assists in obtaining energy from food and generates the basic units or nucleic acids that comprise human DNA. An average human male requires 1.2 mg of Vitamin B1 daily while a female requires 1.1 mg. Every ounce of sunflower seedscontains 0.4 mg of thiamin or Vitamin B1.

Sunflower seeds also contain copper. 

This mineral is excellent for maintaining the skin and hair. One ounce of the seeds contains 512 mg of copper or more than fifty percent of the recommended daily intake of this nutrient. The body utilizes copper to produce melanin responsible for giving the hair and skin their nice healthy colors. The minute particles of this protein pigment can take in the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. In this way, people are protected from damaged tissues due to overexposure to sunlight. Copper also supports the mechanism of the body’s metabolic processes to assist body cells in producing energy.

Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/041388_sunflower_seeds_healthy_food_nutritional_health.html#ixzz45S0W7Tl5

 

Savoury Flax Muffins {grain-free}

I am really enjoying experimenting with grain free recipes, and when they turn out delicious, I love to share!
These savoury muffins are perfect to add to breakfast, to enjoy on their own as a snack with ghee or to serve with your favourite soup or stew as a biscuit. You can also create a sweet version too, by switching up some of the ingredients, which I have also included below.

Flax seeds, which have been around for 6,000 years, are an easy way to include healthy omega-3 fats into the diet. They are also an incredible source of fibre which help to improve digestion due to its mucilingenic properties which aid in cleaning out the intestinal tract. Plus, only 3 Tbsp of flaxseeds contain 6 grams of protein and a variety of important minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium.

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Savoury {or sweet} flax muffins
Makes 24 muffins
Ingredients

4 cups ground flax seed

2 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoon green onions or chives (2 tbsp dried cranberries or dates for sweet variation)

1 tbsp fresh parsley or basil (1 tbsp maple syrup for sweet variation)

1 teaspoon sea salt

10 large eggs

1 cup water

2/3 cup olive oil

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Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 12 cup muffin tins with coconut oil.
  2. Combine flax seed with baking powder, herb mix and sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine fully and set aside.
  3. Add eggs, water and oil to the jug of your blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds, until foamy.
  4. Transfer liquid mixture to the bowl with the flaxseed mixture. Stir with a spatula, just until incorporated. The mixture will be very fluffy. Once incorporated, allow to sit for 3 minutes.
  5. Drop mixture into prepared muffin tins and transfer the pan to the preheated oven.
  6. Bake muffins for 20 minutes, until top is golden. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 1 hour.
  7. Keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.

 

Thank you to Leanna Vogel at Healthful Pursuit for inspiring me to create this recipe based on her flaxseed focaccia.

Delicious whole grain bread (it’s steamed!) {gluten-free}

It is so important for me to know exactly what’s in my food. I have began to make as much as I can from scratch… including bread. Although I love my grandmas homemade bread recipe,  I could see this being more of a staple in my kitchen. If you like to make home made bread, I suggest giving this one a try. It is made with gluten free whole grains , brown rice and rolled oats. It is not grain free, but if you like, check out my paleo bread recipe. I had never even heard about steaming bread before this recipe, but I must admit it was delicious and so moist. I’m sure you could play around with flavors adding either fresh herbs for a more savory taste, or seeds and dried fruit for a sweeter breakfast bread.  I definitely recommend a bamboo basket steamer for this recipe!

 

Steamed Gluten Free Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1.5 cups cooked squash (or sweet potato)
1.5 cups brown rice flour (best to make your own by grinding brown rice in a vitamix)
1 cup oat flour (purchased, or again, make your own from rolled oats)
1/4 cup ground flax
3 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2.5 t salt
2.5 t active yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 T honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil or olive oil for coating bread
Cube squash and boil until tender.
Meanwhile, grind brown rice and oats to make a flour.
Combine flours, flax, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a measuring cup, combine warm water, sugar and yeast and let is sit for 5 minutes or until it gets foamy.
Once squash is cooked, drain and pulse with honey in a food processor. Add yeast and water.
Add squash mixture to flour mixture and mix into a ball (best to use your hands here!) Oil hands to shape the bread into a big round ball.
Use a bamboo basket steamer for the next step and place over a pot of boiling water.
Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the steamer and add bread dough.
*Preheat oven to 375*
Steam for 30 minutes. Remove bread from steamer, add more oil to the exterior and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until the exterior gets firm.
Best enjoyed as fresh bread with a delicious soup!

Banana-Date muffins {gluten-free}

This is the first gluten free muffin I’ve made that I actually enjoyed. It had a nice crumbly lightness to it, without falling apart. It comes from an Ayurvedic cookbook filled with excellent recipes for balancing the 3 doshas: kapha, pitta, vata.

I made ghee for the first time this week, which also comes from Ayurveda and it taste sooo good with the muffin! I don’t eat muffins often but they are great for a quick snack!

Makes 12 muffins
4 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup sunflower seed oil (or substitute for coconut oil )
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 t nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
12 dates, 6 chopped +6 halved, set aside for topping the muffin
2 1/2 cups Bob’s red mill all purpose gluten free flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 t sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas in a medium mixing bowl and stir in the oil and syrup. Mix in the spices and the dry ingredients. Spoon into well-oiled muffin tin. Top each muffin with half a date, sliced lengthwise, for decoration. Bake 25 minutes or until done. Enjoy warm with ghee, nut butter or your favorite jam

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Cookies (w/ oat pulp)

Oatmeal chocolate chip and cranberry cookies… (Made from steel cut oat pulp after making delicious banana oat milk for granola and smoothies)

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If it’s up to me, nothing goes to waste..especially in the kitchen! I love to make homemade almond and hempseed milk, and was feeling inspired to make banana oat milk which I had tried at Hridaya Yoga Center in Mazunte,  Mexico.

I found an easy and delicious recipe from Oh She Glows and then added a banana for creaminess and sweetness (I add banana to anything if I can get away with it!)

When I noticed I had all this leftover steel cut oat pulp, I wondered how I could get creative with it. The recipe I came up with is so tasty and satisfying for dessert, pre-workout or breakfast.

Oatmeal chocolate chip and cranberry cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup oat pulp (leftover from oat milk)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp vanilla

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2 tbsp hot water)

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

 

1 1/4 cup light spelt flour or gluten free baking flour (look for a buckwheat base)

1/2 cup  vegan chocolate chips

1/3 cup cranberries or raisins

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine ground flaxseed and warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine oat pulp, oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, flax egg, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Add flour, cranberries, and chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 10 cookies.