Creamy Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

I’ve started to purchase nuts and seeds in bulk in order to dial back our household expenses. I got 3kg of cashew pieces for $30 NZD. I also have a new, hardcore blender. With these powers combined I give you Raw Chocolate Cheesecake. This is simple and yummy!

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I’ve also included here  a photo of the cheesecake when frozen. Freezing it gives the best, creamy, slice-able, cafe-level texture. The photos above are of the cheesecake refrigerated. This wasn’t overly stylized, this is literally just a slice I cut in order to eat it. :D

texture

INGREDIENTS

3 cups cashews
1.5 cups sweet syrup and a little extra for the base and coconut cream – we used low-GI, brown rice syrup
4 tablespoons lemon
1 & 1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 handful pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dates
rice milk
vanilla
salt
thick coconut cream
berries

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak 3 cups of cashews. Soak these for four hours or overnight using cold water or for 1 hour using boiling water). Soak 1/2 cup dates for 10 minutes. Drain both. Measure 1 cup of soaked cashews and blend with 1/2 a cup of dates, 1 handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds (blended), a dash of vanilla, 1/2 a cup of cocoa and a pinch of salt. Press this into the base of a spring-form baking tin.

Next, blend the remaining cashews (around 3 cups after soaking), along with 1.5 cups of syrup, 1/2 a cup of coconut oil (softened), 3/4s of a cup of cocoa, vanilla, 4 tablespoons of lemon, a dash of rice milk and two pinches of salt. Blend until creamy. Adjust flavours to suit your taste preference! Pour this creamy mix onto the nut base and make the pan ‘tremor’ to smooth out the top. Set this in the freezer for around four hours before serving (you can set it in the fridge but personally I think the freezer delivers a superior result). Serve with thick coconut cream whipped with a dash of sweet syrup and a berry sauce (to make this berry sauce I just blended 1 cup of frozen strawberries with a dash of liquid).

<3

Chickpea Patties

I’ve been seeking a simple chickpea patty recipe for a while now, often I’m left unsatisfied! This is a modification of a random recipe found online and it is simple and yummy. <3 Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

1 carrot
1 tin chickpeas
1 teaspoon coriander
1 generous handful of sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of flour
salt
pepper
starch to bind (I used 1/4 teaspoon of xanathan gum with water, but you can use 1/2 teaspoon of tapioca starch, 1 teaspoon of cornflour, etc)
oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

Mash chickpeas. Add 1 grated carrot, sunflower seeds, coriander, flour, generous helpings of salt and pepper and your chosen starch and then fry in hot oil until crispy.

The Ultimate Most Perfect, Inexpensive, Quick Vegan Ice Cream Base Recipe; Scoops From The Freezer Like A Dream. Life Will Never Be The Same! Aah!

What a time to be alive.

This is my gift to the people. It feels like the pinnacle of my contribution to veganism. I take full credit for the modification of other vegan ice cream recipes into an incredibly simple, quick, cheap recipe – with no fancy ingredients – that scoops directly from the freezer with the perfect softness.

Right now I only recommend this one particular brand of coconut cream, but it’s the ubiquitous Woolworths Homebrand Coconut Cream found in Countdown supermarkets for $1.20 per tin.

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup sugar (I prefer coconut sugar)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I use the inexpensive imitation stuff)
2 tins Woolworths Homebrand Coconut Cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Ensure your ice cream maker bowl has been frozen for at least 24 hours.

Put all ingredients into a pan and stir over a low head until sugar has dissolved – no need to boil. Place mixture in freezer or fridge until very cold.

Once cold assemble ice cream maker and pour mixture into bowl. Churn until very thick. Return churned ice cream to freezer and freeze. You should be able to eat this as ice cream after it’s been frozen for around 1 and a half hours.

Makes 850ish mLs.

This is absolutely as delicious as the fancy brands that are around $8 for 400mLs.

This is the vanilla recipe and it operates as a base, flavour this any way you damn well please.

***

NOTE:  If you are a rebel and a troublemaker with no regard for potential waste you can trial other cheaper brands of coconut cream. You’re a braver kind than me. Let me know how you go. One of the most important thing to avoid is the formation of oil on top of your mixture. If oil forms it will destroy your batch. Watch out for that with other brands. If oil forms, remove as much as you can. You may also use coconut sugar and agave to make it low GI. Experiment with Stevia and Erythritol; the world is yours.

Epic vegan butter

toast

This is a recipe adapted from Mattie’s outstanding butter recipe at VeganBaking: http://www.veganbaking.net/recipes/fats/vegan-butters/vegan-butter.

First, please go read Mattie’s original recipe–it explains what the ingredients do, and why it’s important to be quite precise with the measurements and the ingredients. What I like about Mattie’s approach is that he replicates the fat/water/solids content of butter to give it butter-like qualities as well as buttery taste.

This is where I come in. I found the ratios in that recipe were not quite the same as butter, so I wondered how much closer I could get. After making a recipe with the exact ratios found in butter, I made a few adjustments for taste and found it was very close to a great quality butter. My recipe makes up the solids by  adding cashews to the soy milk in the original recipe. This increases the solids content without increasing the water ratio.

I mentioned precision above. The best thing you can do is have a good set of digital scales that can measure to 0.1 gram (TradeMe sellers often have ones that will do up to 2kg by 0.1g for $20). This gets you accuracy and repeatability. I’ll give the exact weights below, but also measurement approximations.

One last thing: this butter needs to live in the fridge. It’s more spreadable straight from the fridge than butter is, but it separates much more easily as it warms up, because it is less complex than butter. Butter has a hundred components that melt at different temperatures. Because of this, it gradually softens across a wide temperature range. This recipe has only three – water, coconut oil, and rice bran oil – and although it has an emulsifier and a stabiliser in it, it will still separate when not chilled for an hour or two.

KNIFE

Ingredients 

Exact weights Approximate measures
62 grams soy milk ¼ cup soy milk
14.5 grams, cashews, soaked 12 whole cashews, soaked
68 grams rice bran oil 1/3 cup rice bran oil
210 grams refined coconut oil 1 cup of refined coconut oil
2.8 grams coconut vinegar ½ tsp coconut vinegar
2.8 grams apple cider vinegar ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
3 grams salt ½ to ¾ tsp salt
9 grams liquid lecithin 2 tsp liquid lecithin
2.3 grams xanthan gum ½ tsp xanthan gum
Pinch of turmeric Pinch of turmeric

Method

1) Soak cashews for 3 hours. Dry off, and set aside.

2) Add soy milk and vinegars to a glass. Let it curdle.

3) Microwave or otherwise warm the coconut oil until just melted.

4) Add all of the remaining ingredients (except turmeric) to the coconut oil. If you have digital scales, just use ‘tare’ in between weighings and you can easily add all of your remaining ingredients accurately.

5) Pour the oil mixture in a blender and add the cashews and soy milk/vinegar mixture. Be sure to use a rubber spatula transfer everything.

6) Blend for several minutes on a high speed until everything is completely smooth, even and light.

7) If you want a yellow colour, progressively add tiny pinches of turmeric and blend until you hit your desired tint.

8) Pour into a container, and freeze until completely solid. Remove, and refrigerate.

Creamy Mushrooms with Kale and Sunflower Seeds

Yum, yum, yum!

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Really simple:

INGREDIENTS

Oil
300g chopped mushrooms
1-1.5 cups soy milk
Salt
70g sunflower seeds
A bunch of kale

INSTRUCTIONS

You know I’m one to throw things together so these instructions are a bit casual! Fry mushrooms in oil, add sunflower seeds and soy milk and simmer, you’ll want to simmer this until the sauce reduces and is creamy. By that time the sunflower seeds ought to have softened and fattened. Salt generously to taste. I don’t use cornflower to thicken – you might want to – but I prefer to reduce. When thick and almost done, stir through kale and keep on heat until light green, you don’t want to blast the heck out of the kale, it should just be cooked until it softens. Serve with pepper, salad and roast vegetables!

Don’t Underestimate This Basic Bowl; Hummus & Sauerkraut Become BFFs

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Hummus, sauerkraut, pumpkin seeds, carrot, green beans and cucumber.

Sauerkraut is epic with Hummus.

Sauerkraut is basically Hummus’ life partner; they were just meant to be together and even though they are both awesome alone neither of them are quite as awesome alone as they are together. Once you enjoy them together you’ll never want to eat ‘just hummus’ or ‘just sauerkraut’ alone again. I don’t know where I’m going with this but you should probably try this basic bowl because it’s clearly more delicious than you expect.

Blissful Bowl

I like making up little bowls of joy. This is paradise food. <3

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~ A base of ultra-firm tofu, cubed and fried, at the end add soy sauce to the pan and fry until this dries on the tofu.
~ Iceberg lettuce
~ Half an avocado
~ Alfalfa sprouts
~ Baby tomato
~ Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
~ Sauerkraut
~ Tahini sauce
~ Drizzle of balsamic

Raw Pesto ‘Pasta’ with a Side of Baby Tomatoes, Avocado and Alfalfa Sprouts

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This yumness  is pretty self explanatory, but those are spiralised zucchini/courgette ‘noodles’ with a heavy serving of raw pesto and a side of avocado, baby tomato and alfalfa.

To make pesto blend:

2 large handfuls dry basil leaves (must be dry)
1 generous dash of oil
60-75g cashews
generously salt to taste

:)  <3

It’s A Frisky Summer; Mango, Watermelon, Tofu Salad!

So, so simple and pretty!

This adorable salad is just fried, diced tofu, diced watermelon, diced mango, diced cucumber, on a bed of salad with a side of balsamic. Balsamic vinegar isn’t absolutely necessary as the juicy fruit acts as a lovely dressing. An alternative dressing is to blend tahini and mango with a dash of water and drizzle it atop. Salt if you please!

Yummy!
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Roast n’ Raw New Year’s Brunch

I have some treasured friends visiting from Ireland. They’re not vegan and I was going to take them out to my favourite raw cafe but I was running low on funds and I still wanted to impress them so I came up with this; it is inspired by delicious festival food. Serve with a balsamic vinegar and tahini sauce.

Roast: Oil, carrot, beetroot, green beans, broccoli, 2 vegan sausages (cubed), olives, falafel, mixed herbs, tamari roasted nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame blend). You can put this into the oven with falafel stacked on top of the vegetables and it only needs to be turned once, then roast until the vegetables still have a lil’ crunch to them.

Salad: Oiled kale, alfalfa sprouts, raisins, avocado, tomato.

Slaw: Grated cucumber and sauerkraut.

Dessert: Fresh cherries.

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