I really jumped into work, literally the day after I got back from Europe. It was a bit much to be honest. It's been almost 2 months of working long hours and, quite frankly, my buns off. I relied on a lot of work leftovers to get my hubby and I through (don't worry, he helped out a bunch). I was on a momentum of just using what was in my fridge or going out for dinner.
The first couple of days off were quite jarring. I had kind of wanted to keep on going out to eat but as soon as I checked in with how my bawdayyy was feelin' it was time to eat some tasty homemade foods.
I’ve been really focusing on the quality and sustainability of what groceries I’m getting. I may spend just as much on organic vegetables & local pastured meat from small farmers as I do going out to eat but I know it's the highest quality food possible. It helps that I already know how to cook but, I'm telling you, take advantage of this harvest time if you live in a temperate climate! The local food you can find in most grocery stores, but especially farmers markets, are very tasty.
I tend to not buy too much fruit at a time at farmers markets, especially now that I'm avoiding a high carb load, but I couldn't resist getting blueberries at Orleans Fruit Farm. DAYUM. They're good.
I would eat about 1/4-1/2 cup per day to make sure my carb load was on point but as soon as I could see that my bucket was looking less than fresh, I needed to find a way to 'preserve' them.
I thought I would make a cashew based raw vegan cheesecake and experiment with making the whole thing low carb. My father gives this cheesecake his blessing. After a couple of hours after eating a slice my dad called to let me know this didn't impact his blood sugar (he's recently diagnosed diabetic) so eat this with pleasure! He's also brutally honest when he doesn't like something, so if he says it's good, it's good, k?
Blueberry Cashew Cheesecake
keto, vegan, inspired by Bakerita
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 dried dates, pitted
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup coconut milk (no additives, ingredients on the can should just say coconut and maybe water)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup low sugar maple syrup (I'm in Canada and the Ed Smith brand makes one)
4 tbsp lemon juice, divided
1/2 zest of a lemon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 fresh blueberries, washed, divided
1 tbsp chia seeds or 2 tbsp dried blueberries
high speed blender
1 6" or 7" springform pan, greased with coconut oil and lined (bottom and sides) lined with parchment paper. Any wider and you'll have a dissapointing crust to 'cheesecake' layer ratio.
In a food processor, add pecans, ground almonds, dates, 2 tbsp coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, cloves & salt. Turn on high speed for 3-5 minutes until you get a slightly tacky uniform crumb mixture. Press this into the bottom of your lined springform pan evenly.
Drain and rinse cashews well. (Soaking is important to achieve a smooth texture. Don't skip this step or you'll waste all those tasty expensive cashews, ok? It also helps to neutralize lectins that are present in cashews that may cause bloating and other issues in some people.) Add them to a high speed blender along with 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, maple syrup substitute, 3 tbsp lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract. Blend this mixture at high speed for 2-3 minutes or unitl completely smooth.
To achieve a two-tone affect, pour 2/3 of the mixture on top of the pecan base layer. Tap the entire springform pan to even out the layer.
Return the blender to its stand and add 1/4 cup of blueberries. Blend again on high speed for 1 min until the blueberries are well combined into the 'cheesecake' mixture. Pour this carefully on top of the paler cheesecake layer evenly. If you don't get it completely even, run a toothpick in a swirling fashion to create a marbelling effect.
For the top layer, quickly rinse out your blender. Add 1 cup of the remaining blueberries, 1 tbsp of the remaining lemon juice and chia seeds (or dried blueberries if you're worried about lectins). Pour this carefully over the top of your cheesecake and spread.
Put the entire cake in the freezer for a minimum of 6 hours. I know, it’ll be hard to wait! To serve, remove the outside of the springform pan and the parchment. Allow to thaw outside the fridge for 10-15min before attempting to slice.
It can be refrozen for future slices for a week in a sealed container or wrapped in plastic.