No-Bake Vegan Mini “Cheesecake”

IMG_0726I’m generally not a fan of vegan things because, in my opinion, the vegan diet is unsustainable health wise. I think it’s an awesome reset diet, but not something that should be practiced long-term, and certainly not something you should be doing while pregnant. But that’s just my opinion. The reason I made these this Christmas is there are people in my family who have a hard time with dairy and eggs. I wanted to make a cheesecake, but I wanted everyone to be able to eat it. I had made a cashew-based “cheesecake” before with decent results, so I found a different recipe and modified it a bit.

These desserts are pretty amazing, because even vegan food can be amazing if you know what you’re doing. To top that off, they’re also really easy to make. All you need is a food processor and a little time.

Vegan Mini Cheesecake

  • Servings: 12-18
  • Difficulty: easy
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Crust:
1 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained
1 cup soaked and dried almonds
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
Filling:
1 1/2 cups “raw” cashew pieces
Juice of 1 medium-sized lemon
Generous 1/2 cup coconut cream
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
Ganache:
Equal parts coconut cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

  1. Soak almonds in salt water overnight. Drain and dry in a 170 °F oven until crispy (about 8 hours).
  2. Pour boiling water over the cashew pieces and let soak for 1 hour.
  3. Process almonds and cinnamon in food processor until you have a very coarse meal and add the drained dates. Process until a loose dough forms. Add dates or almonds as needed to adjust the consistency. As a general rule, start with more almonds/less dates and add dates if the dough is too dry.
  4. Grease a muffin pan (and a half, there will be extra batter) or line with paper liners. The paper liners are easier to remove, but greasing works reasonably well, just make sure your muffin pans fit in your freezer.
  5. Pack about 1/2 tablespoon of the crust into the bottom of the muffin cups. A spoon works really well for this.
  6. Rinse the food processor bowl and add the drained cashew pieces. Process until they start to form a dough.
  7. Add the lemon juice and process until smooth. Repeat with each ingredient, one at a time. This helps the texture of the final product. If you add everything at once you have a greater chance that the cheesecakes will be mealy rather than smooth.
  8. Pour into muffin cups, leaving some room on top.
  9. In a small saucepan add the coconut cream and heat until barely hot. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Using a small spoon (I used a sugar spoon, or a baby food spoon works as well) portion the ganache onto the cakes. Swirl with a toothpick.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 4 hours in the freezer (8 in the fridge, overnight is even better). If you just greased your muffin tins (no paper liners) you need to freeze these for removal. To remove the frozen cakes, just slide a butter knife in the edge and pop them out. If some of the crust stays behind, scrape it out and re-squish it to the bottom of the cake.
  11. Enjoy!

I used what was left of my coconut cream from the can I bought for the ganache: the solid contents of the can were slightly more than what I needed for the filling. I just weighed it on my kitchen scale. If I remember correctly I had about 1.6 ounces of cream. That was the perfect amount for all of the cakes and a little extra for me to enjoy after I was finished making them.

For this recipe, do not mix the coconut cream with the water in the can. Only use the solid part. If you shake your can and it sounds like the entire thing is liquid, pop it in the fridge while the almonds are soaking/drying (at least overnight) and it will separate nicely.

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This recipe is adapted from here.

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Happy Halloween!

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I am a fan of blackstrap molasses right now, particularly in baked goods. So when I found a recipe for ginger cookies that used molasses I was super excited. The first time I made them it occurred to me that the dough was perfect for cut cookies, so I tried it out the second time and I was very happy with the results. There was a slight bit of tweaking needed, but nothing too difficult.

I’ve made these several times now and, I have to say, they’re going on my list of favorite cookies. They’re also a big hit when I take them places to share.

Anyway, happy Halloween! I hope you all have a safe and fun time filling buckets with sugar tonight!

Molasses Ginger Snaps (GF)

  • Servings: about 12
  • Difficulty: medium
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1/2 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup sucanat
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour/starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Combine with the sugar/butter mixture and mix until smooth.
  2. Turn out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and cover with another piece of parchment. Roll to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness, depending on how crispy you want your cookies to be. Chill for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F when the dough is finished chilling.
  4. Cut your shapes out and transfer them to a cookie sheet lined with parchment. A metal spatula works best for this. Re-roll scraps to preferred thickness and repeat.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating halfway. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

You can also make these as drop cookies rolled in extra sucanat. If you prefer to make them this way, be sure to use the underside of a measuring cup to squish them so that they bake evenly.

Probiotic Deviled Eggs.

deviled.eggs.blog It’s getting to be barbeque season and, for some reason, I associate barbeques with deviled eggs. These are my go-to appetizer to bring to any function and I make a batch every time we host. The secret to awesome deviled eggs is mayonnaise. You can’t make stellar eggs without good quality mayo, it’s just not possible. I make my own mayo using an awesome recipe by my friend Melissa at Dyno-Mom. I make the second recipe in that post and it is always amazing!

I usually hate mayonnaise, so when I tell you that homemade mayo is the best, I’m not joking around. Not only is it delicious, but the fermented mayo is good for your gut bugs too, which is an added bonus.

The things next to the eggs in the above picture are bacon-beef meatballs which deserve their own post. I was a little stunned to discover that the only picture I have of deviled eggs is from our little one’s first birthday party. I make them so often I just assumed there would be a larger selection, but there ya go. So pardon the quality.

Deviled EggsIMG_0653

6 hard-cooked eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon vinegar
Paprika for garnish

  1. Peel your eggs and cut them in half, putting the yolks into a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the paprika and mix well. You can use a fork or a hand mixer.
  3. Pipe or spoon the filling into the egg halves. Sprinkle paprika on top and serve.

If you need to make this ahead (I usually do) just do the first two steps, cover the bowl -or choose a mixing bowl that has its own lid- and stick it in the fridge. Load the egg halves onto the deviled egg plate and cover them tightly with plastic wrap. I’ve tried tossing them into a bowl before and I ended up with misshapen eggs at party time, which was no fun.

A variation you can do with these is use horseradish mustard, or any other flavor mustard, instead of dijon or yellow.

These are always a hit. This recipe is, by far, my favorite recipe for deviled eggs. But it doesn’t work without the mayo.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, nerd style!

Happy Easter, nerd style!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope it is a wonderful day for you and your family and friends.

In the meantime, enjoy this chocolate recipe from WellnessMama. I know we are 😉