Tropical Berry Cheesecake

Who doesn’t LOVE cheesecake?  Somehow the motto as “American as apple pie” just never seemed fitting to me – but cheesecake – lush, rich, overindulgent, semi sweet – has America written all over it doesn’t it? While standard cheesecake is a pure, creamy,  fat indulgence, the same can be said of its raw counterpart, until now that is.  Introducing my Raw Vegan Cheesecake “Light”.  By adding a few “extra’s” the typical nut heavy cake has taken on a lighter form – never sacrificing for creaminess or flavor.  A definite must. Feel free to play with the ratios – I literally concocted this off the top of my head as I was preparing it and it still came out DIVINE.

I like to begin with cultured cashews – soaking is a must and taking it one step further will lend a true cheescake flavor. To culture cashews soak them first for about 4 hrs.  Then blend with 1-2 capsules probiotics and allow to sit loosely covered overnight.  This is one of the few recipes where I don’t have exact measurements – the reason being is that most everyone has different size springform pans (recommended) and being the ingredients come together sooo nicely – you really can’t go wrong. Just be sure to make enough crust to fit the bottom of the pan and enough “batter” to fill.

Crust:

  • dried apricots
  • pecans
  • coconut oil (2 tbs max)
  • cinnamon
  • mesquite powder (optional but adds a graham crackery flavor)

Blend crust ingredients in food processor and press into greased springform pan.

To make the cake:

Using a high speed blender or food processor add the following:

  • cultured cashews
  • coconut oil – 1/2 cup
  • cacao butter – 1/4-1/2 cup (the more, the firmer the resulting cake will be)
  • irish moss paste – 1/2 cup
  • chopped zucchini (1 large, peeled)
  • mango (peeled & chopped)
  • water or coconut water if really thick

Pour 1/2 of the batter onto the crust, freeze 1 hour until firm.  Top with 3/4 of the Strawberry filling. Back to freezer – 45mins.  Top with remainder of batter.  Chill to firm.

 

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Strawberry Layer & Swirls

  • fresh strawberries
  • thai coconut meat (about 1.5 cups)
  • coconut oil (2tbs)

Blend all of the above in a blender

Probiotic Parfait – aka “Flatten Your Belly Dessert”

How many foods can actually make the claim that not only do they taste sinfully rich and delicious but they will also flatten your tummy? I thought soo….but this really does it – additionally it will add luster to your hair, help digestion, clear toxins, support your thryoid and stop aging…too good to be true? Not at all….

Take:

  • meat from 5-6 young thai coconuts
  • 6 probiotic capsules (be sure they include l-plantarum
  • bit of coconut sugar (optional)

Add the above to a high speed blender with 4-6 oz of the coconut water (the texture should be thick and creamy – think heavier than yogurt but not as thick as greek yogurt).  Pour into glass mason jar, secure lid and leave in warm place (ideally 70-75 degrees) for 8-12 hrs (the longer will product a tartier mix {yes, tartier is a word – it means extra tart!})  Layer in parfait glasses with berries….and Enjoy (ummm, how could you NOT?)Image

3 Steps to Zap Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is the root cause of many diseases and health issues, everything from heart disease and Alzheimer’s, to fibromyalgia and even obesity!  

While many doctors are finally jumping on the bandwagon, offering anti-inflammatory diets and supplements, there are many practices you can do at home that will help in the fight.  
Here’s a quick primer on my 3-prong approach to an inflammation-free body!  
Start to integrate a few of these strategies today to see a difference within a few days. The more you do, the better you’ll feel!
 
1. Eat a healthy diet. 
Anyone dealing with chronic issues needs to choose organic as much as possible. While some doctors recommend eliminating carbs in general, I feel there is an easier and more sustainable way to quell inflammation while enjoying life! 
  • Aim to eat 80% unprocessed foods. Shoot for only 20% of your food coming from processed items – this would include pastas, breads, snack foods etc.
  • Give gluten the heave-ho! Even people who aren’t gluten intolerance see marked changes once they eliminate this toxic grain! 
  • High veggie diets are the way to go. Be sure to limit the infamous nightshades that increase inflammation – such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes. (Limit to 2 times a week.)
  • Choose sprouted grains and legumes. Many health food stores and even Whole Foods carry a wide array of sprouted products, from pastas to breads and even legumes. While sprouting doesn’t change the flavor of these products, it does enhance the body’s ability to digest them and unlocks the nutrients that wouldn’t be available in the un-sprouted form!

2. Be sensible about supplementation. 

There’s no need for a giant supplement arsenal here. All you need are a few key products: 

  • Whole foods multi vitamin. This should be part of everyone’s regime, it will pick up where a less than stellar diet drops off. Even those uber-healthy eaters should include a good multi from time to time.
  • Whole food Stress B formula. This is generally a broad spectrum B that helps the body defend against stress. Extras such as Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamins D & E can also be helpful. 
  • Omega 3’s. They’re THE inflammation busters when it comes to supplements. I like to include more than one and rotate every month or so. Ideally the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 should be 3:1 or better yet 2:1. Some great choices besides the standard fish oils are seeds such as flax, chia and hemp.
  • Spice it up! Spices as supplements? You betcha. Two great ones that are in the forefront as anti inflammatories are ginger and turmeric – use these as often as possible! Fresh or dried, in foods or desserts. 
3. Take some “Me time.” 
Stress is a big contributor of chronic inflammation. One of the easiest ways to combat added stress is to get in touch with yourself and really take care of your body. 
Taking a few minutes out of each day to meditate is a great start as is taking up yoga. Striking a pose not only helps with physical symptoms of inflammation like sore, tight muscles but pranayama (yoga breathing) increases oxygen and lowers stress.  
Finishing up your day by soaking in a tub also helps the body release stress and by adding a few everyday items you can increase the power of the bath tenfold – try some Epsom Salt & Hydrogen Peroxide.
While this list isn’t exhaustive and seems simple, it’s a step in the right direction and shows you that fighting inflammation can be achieved cheaply and easily at home!  
And to start out on your anti inflammatory quest try out my delicious  Anti Inflammatory “Cure All” drink that I recommend to all my clients to quell their inflammation (also kills candida!)
 
Enjoy this Anti-Inflammatory Cure-All
  • 1 cup non dairy milk alternative (coconut, almond or other nut/seed milk)
  • 1 tbs Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger or 1 tsp dried
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • Stevia to sweeten
Simply drop 1tbs Coconut oil in small saucepan on the stove. When melted, add grated ginger and turmeric. 
Stir to combine and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add non-dairy alternative, stir to combine, and finally whisk in other ingredients.  
Simmer to warm and enjoy!