Tag Archives: no bake

Raw Vegan Blackberry Bars

What’s more exciting than the gorgeous weather we’ve been having this summer?

BERRY season!

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British Columbia has had a robust season of berries this summer, which calls for making some delicious raw vegan blackberry cheesecake bars!¬† After Ricelessasian blogged about the raw vanilla cheesecake recipe in our previous post, I was interested in highlighting another guilt-free recipe on our blog before the incredible blackberry season comes to an end ūüė¶

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I lost count after eating 3 bars myself. Being home in Vancouver, I was able to give away the rest to my family and friends or else I would probably gain a lot of weight. Too bad I also couldn’t mail them to Ricelessasian who lives in Toronto (stay tuned for more bi-coastal postings…hehe). Even though these bars are considered “healthy” because they contain healthier fats like nuts (walnuts and cashews) instead of animal fats, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily much lower in calories. I still enjoyed these more than the traditional New York Cheesecake because they weren’t too rich and I had the flexibility of eating more than one bar without feeling guilty!

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I noticed that the bars I made were less smooth and were grainier than the one in this recipe. Though the texture wasn’t too unpleasant, many blackberry seeds ended up being stuck in my teeth! Next time, I will use a stronger blender like a Vitamix to blend all the ingredients together instead of a food processor. I would also recommend refrigerating the blackberry bars overnight or a day before eating them so that the texture is just right! I think even freezing them would be an amazing frozen treat in the summer.

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Hope you’re enjoying a fruitful summer as well,

-Matchachoco

Not Your Typical “Cheesecake”

Guess¬†what’s the main ingredient we used for this “cheesecake” dessert?

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Nope, there’s no¬†cream cheese or any type of cheese used for this recipe at all. This recipe is nuts…literally. It’s mainly made of cashews and walnuts!¬†I’ve been seeing this¬†vegan cheesecake recipe online for a while now, so¬†I finally decided to do my own take on it. While UCL is not a vegan blog, we’re pretty open minded to¬†trying a variety of different recipes. After all, it’s always exciting to try something new!

Technically, this isn’t even a real cheesecake. While¬†this recipe¬†does try to mimic the flavour of cheesecake,¬†¬†I wouldn’t say that it tastes exactly like cheesecake. But to be honest, I personally like the taste of it ūüėõ

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The “cheesecake” layer was made with¬†cashews, lemon juice, honey, and vanilla bean paste, all blended together until a smooth consistency was achieved. Of course the honey can be substituted for maple syrup or agave nectar for a strictly vegan version. I added a bit of chopped fresh cherries to the “cheesecake” to fill more space. The crust was made with crushed walnuts, dates, and a little bit of salt.

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Most recipes call for coconut oil to help stabilize the “cheesecake”, but I find that the recipe still works even if you don’t use it; just don’t thaw the “cheesecake”¬†for too long. ¬†I think what really ‘makes’ this recipe is the vanilla bean paste (and nope, it’s just not¬†the¬†same taste as vanilla extract!) and the smooth consistency of the blended cashews. You have to blend the cashews really well. There’s also the lemon juice which provides a tangy component to this dessert, reminiscent of cheesecake. While this isn’t a low-fat recipe, the good part about this recipe is that you’re getting the ‘good fats’ from the nuts. I wouldn’t recommend eating it all in one sitting, though! Portion is key, or share with a friend ūüėõ

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I finished the “cheesecake” with some pureed strawberries. Another option would be to blend the fresh strawberries with the cashews instead to make a strawberry version. You can also use a combination of different fruits or make a chocolate version. Go nuts with it!

– Ricelessasian

Update: I realized it’s a lot easier to blend the ingredients when I doubled the recipe, so I doubled the amount of ingredients in the updated recipe.

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Basic Vanilla Cashew Based “Cheesecake” *updated*¬†(makes¬†4 servings)

Adapted from¬†every other raw vegan “cheesecake” recipe I’ve seen on the Internet

Ingredients

“Cheesecake” layer:
1 cup raw cashews
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Juice of half to one whole lemon (depends on how sour you want it to be)
2-3 tbsp. honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup)
Water
8-10 fresh cherries, chopped (optional)

Crust:
1/2 cup raw walnuts
4 medjool dates
Pinch of salt

Sauce:
Pureed strawberries (can be sweetened with a little bit of honey or dates if you want it to be sweeter)

Directions

  1. Before blending the cashews, soak cashews in water for at least 1 hour. This step will help ease with the blending process. Drain the cashews from water before blending.
  2. Using a food processor, process walnuts, dates, and salt, just until you get a coarse crumb consistency. Press this mixture to the bottom of two dessert rings or four cupcake liners on a baking tray.
  3. Blend cashews, vanilla bean paste, lemon juice, and honey using the Magic Bullet or a strong powered food blender. Blend until you get a smooth consistency. TIP: If you have difficulty with blending, add some water, but add as little as you can. Pour the mixture on top of the crust. Add chopped cherries while pouring the mixture.
  4. Freeze ‚Äúcheesecake‚ÄĚ overnight. To remove from dessert ring, wipe sides of dessert ring with a warm wet towel. You should be able to remove the ‚Äúcheesecake‚ÄĚ easily by slowly pushing it downwards along the ring. If you used cupcake liners, you can just peel the cupcake liners off. Let the ‚Äúcheesecake‚ÄĚ thaw for about 1-2 minutes before eating.¬†Ideally, the ‚Äúcheesecake‚ÄĚ should still be frozen when you serve it, but not rock solid frozen. Finish with a drizzle of pureed strawberries.

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