Monday, December 17, 2012

How to make a dairy free vegan cheesecake

First off, I would like to say my inspiration for this cheesecake came from
Fragrant vanilla cake is a fantastic blog, and I recommend you all check it out!

I made this for a holiday party, everyone thought it was fantastic, and no one believed it was vegan! So why torture the cow?

Ingredients you'll need;


  • 3/4 cup/approx 5 natural vegan oreos , then crush or chop (I used trader joe's brand. For those with a milk allergy {lauren} I think they are made in a facility with milk. so read carefully).
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped (make sure they are pitted and chopped before the food processor! because I didn't realize!)
  • a pinch of cocao powder
cheesecake filling:
  • 3 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight and drained)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup raw agave nectar or honey
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a dash (about 1/2 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (or a little more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
  • about 10 chopped/crushed natural vegan oreos
  • (optional) 1/2 tsp cocoa powder or   (OPTIONAL)one handful organic spinach leaves (enough to tint the filling green)
ganache topping:
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (if you cannot find this try using a thick almond or coconut milk)
  • 4.5 ounces of vegan dark chocolate, chopped

1. grease a large (about 12 inches or so) spring form pan with coconut oil. 

2. Put oreos, cocoa powder, salt, and  almond meal in a food processor. pulse until it becomes a fine powder.

3. Add chopped pitted dates, and pulse until thick. it should hold together when you squeeze it with your fingers.
4. Firmly pack crust mixture onto the bottom of the greased pan.

5. In a food processor add drained soaked raw cashews, salt, coconut water, agave, vanilla and mint extract and coconut oil. Blend until it is a thick puree with no lumps. If you are using spinach or cocoa powder you can puree that into it now. 
6. Scrape contents out into a large bowl using a rubber spatula. Add crushed oreos and mix until evenly distributed.

7. scoop contents into your spring form pan. Place in freezer to set for 4-6 hours.

8. To make your ganache, heat coconut cream on the stove until hot. Pour over chocolate and mix until all chocolate is melted. If all the chocolate doesn't melt, place back on the stove on very low heat, stirring constantly. Once chocolate is completely melted and mixed, let cool.
9. After cheecake is set, remove spring form sides, and drizzle ganache over top. The cake I made was saturated in ganache, it was a little much.

In these pictures above, mine was not completely set, and a little soft, but delicious none the less! Plus no one thought it was vegan!

Thank you fragrant vanilla cake for this great idea!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to make vegan flavored chia pudding / yogurt

So, what's chia!? It's an amazing little seed packed with protein, omega3 and omega6, as well as other vitamins! PLUS, IT EXPANDS! MAKING YOU FEEL FULL AND SATISFIED!

places you can buy chia:

  • costco
  • health food store
  • trader joe's
  • vitamin store
  • whole foods
  • online
Your best bet is buying it in bulk (2 lbs or more) or else it's a little pricey.

Ok, so first things first, gather your ingredients, you'll need;

  1. chia seeds
  2. coconut milk, or light coconut milk (almond milk would probably work fine)
  3. raw agave syrup, maple syrup, raw honey or organic powdered sugar, I use raw agave, I would not recommend processed agave or processed non organic sugar  If you use honey, be careful, some brands of honey harden when cold.
  4. pick a flavor- vanilla extract, natural oreos, coco powder, applesauce, blueberries, pureed peach, strawberry, banana or other fruit, mint extract... possibilities are endless.

1.I usually make a double batch, but for a small batch, pour 1/4 
cup of chia seeds into a medium bowl.              
  (If you have an issue with certain consistencies,
 try pulverizing the chia to a powder in a grinder. 
this will eliminate the lumpiness, but it should still thicken like the whole seed)

2. Pour in 1 cup of non dairy milk. I usually use light canned coconut, or regular coconut milk

3.Add 1/4 raw organic agave (or another sweetener)
mix well.

4. If you are using blueberries you can toss them in now and gently whisk around.
I used pesticide free frozen blueberries. Do not use conventional berries.
before it sets

*******refrigerate and let set for at least 2 -3 hours

after it sets

If you would like it to be thicker you can add more chia, or almond meal, flax meal, garbanzo bean flour...
If you want more calcium you can steam/boil empty egg shells and pulverize them into a powder and add that, or buy calcium powder. You could also add probiotic powder.

And there is my son's breakfast; vanilla blueberry chia "yogurt"
with raw agave, coconut milk, a dash of vanilla, and a handful of wild blueberries.

**If you are using oreos, or cocoa almond spread,
put it in a bowl, smash it as best as you can, whisk in coconut milk until evenly distributed, then add sweetener and chia.

For my pudding, I use trader joe's natural "oreos"
I get about 4, and smash them with a dash of coco

Then I mix in the chia, agave, and coconut milk

wah lah! perfection in your mouth!!

I got this basic chia pudding recipe from trader joe's.   :)
The flavored recipes are my own. If you re post them, please give my blog credit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

how to take dairy out of your diet, without sacrificing flavor

So, why should we stop drinking milk? cow's milk for one, is for.. cows.. not humans. It is fatty and really not at all good for us.
>>This is a great youtube video, watch it.
Back in the day, there used to be nice farms, with cows, who would graze, and be milked daily. These cows were treated much better than today's cows...

                                                 what we picture.....

The sad truth.

hundreds of cows crammed together in factory farms, 
many are not allowed to ever go outside. And most are hooked up
to semi permanent milk pumps, that they wear 24/7.
And cows do not produce milk forever you know, back in the day,
people had a male cow, and a female cow. But now, in the industry, 
the basically "rape" the cows by artificially inseminating them 
with bull sperm. Once the cow gives birth, the baby is taken from the mother,
causing emotional stress to the baby , and the mother.
The baby is put in a small crate, where it can not move for weeks.
Then it is slaughtered and sold as veal. so by purchasing milk products,
you are supporting the veal industry.

How will I get calcium if I avoid milk?

  • dark leafy greens like- collard greens, kale, spinach, turnip greens, bok choi, swiss chard
  • organic tofu, organic tempeh
  • calcium fortified orange juice, rice milk, and almond milk
  • organic soybeans
  • almonds
  • broccoli
  • tahini/ sesame seeds
  • great northern beans
  • okra
  • oranges
  • kelp, algae
  • black strap molasses
  • brazil nuts
  • celery
  • papaya
  • flax seeds
  • vegan yogurt
  • chia seeds

Now I'm not vegan, or vegetarian. I realized if you go to someone's house and they made chicken.. Yes that tortured chicken  lived a terrible life, but that chicken is dead and on the plate, what happened, happened, there's nothing you can do. Unless you are disgusted by the thought of eating any animal products, I don't see an issue with occasionally eating meat, eggs, and dairy (especially free-range!!!).

so finally, how to take dairy out of your diet!!!:

  1. So the easiest thing to do first is to cut out milk and butter. the best "butter" I've found is earth balance (do not use salt when baking with this). When baking, I usually use organic coconut oil instead of butter. As for milk, I use organic rice milk (for cereal and baking) and vanilla sweetened almond milk for drinking. I also buy coconut milk- for puddings and baking. There are many non dairy beverages; rice, almond, coconut, hemp, wheat.. to name a few. Find some you like and stick to it. I would not recommend soy all the time, because too much soy is no good, see article>>>
  2. After you got used to your non dairy milk take out something else... like icecream. There are delicious coconut milk icecreams and also soy ice cream. But you can also make it yourself! Find a cheap ice cream machine, and have fun! I have made many icecreams with coconut milk, banana, and soaked raw cashews (pureed).
  3. Almost there! yogurt. You either love it or hate it. If you love it, try almond milk yogurt, it's very good, and cruelty free! You can also try coconut milk yogurt, or soy yogurt. Or you can make your own flavored no-bake chia seed puddings, or buy a yogurt maker and use non dairy milk.
  4. cheese. Probably the hardest thing to swap out. The only thing I haven't found a good replacement for is mozzarella cheese sticks. For cheesey casseroles I use galaxy vegan rice milk cheese. For pizza I use vegan mozzarella teese , for mac & cheese I use vegan rice milk cheddar, and daiya pepperjack shreds. Instead of Parmesan cheese I use sea salt or vegan Parmesan cheese, you can also try nutritional yeast.. Some things that were not so good: soy mozzarella, soy ricotta, soy cream cheese.
I have heard this is very good:   cashew vegan ricotta  {update-- I have made vegan ricotta, search my blog for ricotta to find the recipe}

And I am getting better and better of making dairy free products. My son absolutely loved yogurt, every single day. But I explained to him how much the cows suffer. And non dairy yogurts get very pricey, if you are having one daily. So, I am now making him chia seed pudding "yogurt"
I eat it too, it's absolutely delicious, and packed with protein!!!
next post will be those recipes: stay tuned!

Oh no my recipe calls for buttermilk!!?
-I use rice milk or almond milk, with a tad of apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. works fine.

other dairy free recipes that sound good:

For more great tips and recipes follow me on pinterest!!!