Mini Raw Cheesecakes

I’ve always resisted making nut-based raw desserts, because I firmly believe they defeat the purpose of eating healthy, since nuts are extremely heavy and it takes a lot to make just one slice of cake. Just because something has a raw or vegan label does not mean it’s going to do your body good. I mean, sugar is vegan and uncooked meat is raw. In fact, you’re probably better off eating the real deal rather than a supposed “healthier” alternative if it’s really just a massive bag of nuts, albeit presented quite nicely, you’ll have consumed. So, yes, it’s important to pick and choose under the umbrella of a raw or vegan diet, and it helps to look at things in terms of density rather than labels. The denser the food is, the more difficult it will be to digest.

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However, raw nut-based desserts are absolutely rich and yummy, and if few bites are all you’re having, then you can rest assured it’s a wholesome option – much like snacking on a handful of almonds (rather than pouring an entire bag of cashews into your mouth in one sitting). Instead of making a traditional-sized cheesecake, I’ve made mini cakes that keep the portion guessing at bay.

Mini Raw Cheesecakes

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Keywords: no-cook no-bake vegan raw cashew walnuts raisins cheesecake

Ingredients (Makes 1 pie)

For the Crust

  • 1.5 cups walnuts
  • 1 ½ cups raisins
  • Dash of sea salt

For the Filling

  • 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or agave nectar)
  • Dash of sea salt

Instructions

For the crust, food process the raisins and walnuts until the mixture resembles chunky crumbs.

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Press the crust against the bottom and sides of small glass ramekins (or any size base you desire).

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For the filling, use cashews that have soaked overnight in room temperature water. Rinse before use.

This is an important step. Soaking helps to remove the enzyme inhibitors that the cashew carries around to prevent it from sprouting in nature. Birds are too small to deal with the effects of live enzymes in their tiny bellies, so the inhibitors are ideal for them, but not so much for humans. Getting rid of the enzyme inhibitors through soaking helps us to more easily digest nuts! All nuts have to be soaked to get rid of these enzyme inhibitors, save for pistachios and walnuts.

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Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. This may take a few minutes. Be patient – it’ll come together.

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Fill each walnut crusted ramekin with a generous tablespoon.

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Set in the refrigerator to help firm. Or, eat them right away. Garnish with strawberries before serving.

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Enjoy! I sure did…

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Vegan Sugar-Free Brownies

Sometimes the best things in life are (sugar-) free, like these brownies. Maple syrup sweetens this classic dessert just perfectly, and I promise you that the eggs, milk, and butter simply won’t be missed, except for maybe by your love handles. Trust me on this one. You can’t get much better than this.

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Why do these babies glow? Well, per the title of this post, you can guess why they don’t not glow, and that’s justification enough. But if you need more reason, let’s talk about the (wal)nuts and bolts of this recipe.

Walnuts: contain healthy omega-3s, which protect arteries, improve brain function, prevent gallstones, are a rich source of melatonin, which helps you sleep, protect bone health, stop weight gain, and help diabetes.

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Vegan Sugar-Free Fudge Brownies

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 15)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Combine the dry ingredients (but only 1/2 cup of the chopped walnuts) in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir until evenly combined. The mixture will be thick and fudge-like.

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Spread into an ungreased 8×8 glass pan, top with the remaining 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20-25 minutes. To check if it’s ready, push down on the center with your index finger. If you sense resistance, it’s done.

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Serve and enjoy without an ounce of guilt!

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They are light, but rich and decadent. Score!

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I wanted to share these. I really did.

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Snow Top Ballz

I’m always looking for a little sweet, dessert-like snack to have on hand, something that doesn’t leave me guessing, “Is this too much?”  Well, by creating portion-sized pieces, my problem has been solved.

Snow Top Balls

Ingredients:

– 1 cup walnuts
– 1/4 cup raisins
– 1/3 cup almonds
– 4 pitted dates
– 1 tsp almond butter
– 1/4 cup dried coconut
– 3 tsp maple syrup
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 1 bar dark chocolate, melted
– dried coconut for dipping

Directions:

This recipe couldn’t be easier. Simply food process all the the ingredients, save for the last two.

Pulse until it clumps up and forms a bar. This tells you its ready to be shaped.

Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and set on a cookie sheet.

Take your favorite dark chocolate bar and melt on a double broiler.

Dip one end of each ball into the chocolate mixture and while still wet, dab in dried coconut.

VOILA! Let them set on the sheet to allow the chocolate to harden. You can freeze or refrigerate them to hasten this process.

With the remaining chocolate, I created a chocolate cookie. Simply pour the melted chocolate on a cookie sheet, drop any nuts or dried fruit you have on the chocolate to dry into the cookie.

Not sure which one to eat first…
xoxo