Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake

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Today is our blogs 3rd Birthday! 3 whole years since we started on this crazy journey of sharing recipes with you!  We did not start our blog with any intention of being where we are today – meeting all of the amazing and incredible people we have, working with brands we have been fans of for years, signing a book deal with the biggest publishing house in the world (still blows our mind), getting to travel to dream destinations or running our own cooking workshops and have people turn up! None of that ever crossed our minds but we are so happy it has and feel greatful every single day to be able to do what we do! So thank you for coming along on this ride with us.

To celebrate our 3rd Birthday I decided that I would share one of my favorite cake recipes on the blog.  When I made this cake yesterday I wanted it to be super special and a little bit different from how I normally make it, so for me that was adding on chocolate, of course.  After the cake had set and I had a bite the first thing that came to my mind was “wow, this tastes like a Jelly Tip“.  An ice cream like layer, berries and chocolate. So delicious, yet so guilt free.  As it is not Summer yet I have used frozen berries and all the nuts I use are bulk purchased from Alisons Pantry (cost saving method!).

If you are vegan, dairy free, refined sugar free, gluten free or LCHF this recipe will fit in with your dietary requirements.  This cake truly is delicious and very filling, please try and let me know what you think.

Enjoy! Jx

Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake
 
Prep time
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Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • Base
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water
  • Filling
  • 3 cups cashews, soaked in water overnight
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, melted
  • Berry/Chocolate Topping
  • 1.5 cups frozen blackberries (or raspberries)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 50 grams 70% dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup coconut cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. To make the base, drain medjools, place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combined and ingredients are sticking together.
  2. Press base mixture into a lined 20cm spring form cake tin and set aside.
  3. To make the filling drain cashews, process all ingredients in a food processor except coconut oil, and process until well combined. Keep the food processor on and slowly pour in coconut oil - process until smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour cheesecake filling over base and place into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  5. To make the berry topping, add the berries and maple syrup into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over the cheesecake filling and use a chopstick or knife to swirl through the first cheesecake layer. Set aside
  6. Melt the chocolate gently in a pot on the stove top and drizzle over the top of the berry sauce. Sprinkle over coconut cacao nibs.
  7. Place cheesecake into the fridge for at least 4 hours to set.

 

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Creamy Chocolate Mousse

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Lib and I first made this recipe a few years ago with the inclusion of peanut butter.  It’s hard to believe that the main ingredient is avocado! The mousse is a perfect substitute for traditional dairy mousse, it is so creamy, thick and rich in chocolate flavour.  A great topping for cakes instead of frosting, spoon onto slices of banana or have by itself after dinner.

This recipe we have not used a lot of cacao as it can be quite biter and everyone has a different taste preference, so adjust with extra rice malt (any liquid sweeter will do) or add extra cacao if you like its strong taste.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
½ cup coconut cream
¼ cup cacao powder
¼ cup rice malt syrup
1 pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Serve straight away or store in a refrigerator for an hour before serving if you want it extra thick. Store mousse in an airtight container in the fridge.

Jx

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Vegan Mud Cake with Cashew Icing

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Everyone loves a good chocolate cake recipe so I thought I would experiment and make a chocolate cake that is vegan, therefore free of egg and dairy.  This cake is so beautifully moist, gooey and decadent.

I have used the cashew icing recipe in a few of my previous desserts but I wanted to make a vibrant pink icing for Valentines Day. I initially tried using raspberries but the icing was lumpy and didn’t have a good consistency, I tried again using beetroot and it blended so well and the colour came out so beautiful.

This delectable mud cake is the perfect dessert and it is unbelievably easy to make. I made this for Valentines Day but it would be a hit for any celebration.

Cake Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose gluten free flour
1 cup of coconut oil, melted.
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
1.5 tsp of baking powder
2.5 tsp of baking soda
1 1/4 cup of raw cacao or cocoa powder
1/3 cup of melted dark chocolate. (I used Whittakers 70% Dark Ghana)
2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups of coconut sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsp of cinnamon

Icing Ingredients:

1 small beetroot – slice into small cubes (skin off)
1.5 cups of raw cashews
2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil
1.5 Tbsp of vanilla essence

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C and lightly grease 2x 8 inch baking trays.
2. Mix the coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and vanilla essence in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and stir well.  The mixture should be think and creamy with no lumps. If the mixture is too thick, add more melted coconut oil and if the mixture is too wet add more flour or cocoa.
4. Divide the batter and add evenly to the 2 baking trays. Place the trays in the oven.
5. Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before icing.
6. To prepare the icing, blend the cashews, coconut oil and vanilla essence in a blender or food processor.  Slowly add the beetroot until the mixture turns into a vibrant pink colour. If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of water so it turns into a smooth and fluffy consistency.
7. Once the cake has cooled down, frost the first layer of cake with pink icing. Add the top layer and ice generously. I sprinkled desiccated coconut over mine, alternatively dust with icing sugar or cocoa.

I served mine with a dollop of coconut yogurt but it would also be delicious with dairy free ice-cream. Store in an airtight container in the pantry. Cake should keep for 4-5 days.

Enjoy! L x

 

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Coconut Dream Pie

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You don’t need to be a trend spotter to know coconuts are so hot right now.  We love using coconuts, whether it is Coconut Water or cooking with Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

Our appetite for nut and plant milks is on the up and we have a new “nut” on the block.  Move over almond milk! Vitasoy is one of the first major companies to bring Coconut Milk to Australian & New Zealand food lovers keen to try out new flavours.  This excites me as I love coconut anything so now that I have the option of using Vitasoy’s Coconut Milk in smoothies, chia seed puddings and in vegan treat making this my new pantry staple.

Why coconut milk?  Vitasoy’s Coconut Milk is made from real coconut cream.  It is low in sugar and has at least 1/3 less calories than lite milk*, contains the goodness of calcium and it’s naturally lactose and dairy free with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives

Oh yes, we also love banana, so what better treat to make with my new find than a Banana Coconut Dream Pie.  This recipe was given to me from a friend and she swaps the banana for mango, when they are in season so a few variations of this could be made, keeping coconut as the base.

This pie is naturally gluten free, dairy free, vegan and cane sugar free. The walnuts in the crust provide plenty of good fats and protein for a delicious dessert.

Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
10 medjool dates.  Remove pips and cut into pieces.

In a powerful blender or food processor blend the walnuts and shredded coconut until the walnuts nuts crumbly. Add the dates and process a little more until the mixture begins to stick together. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9″spring form pan and set aside.

Filling:
1 1/2 cup cashews (soak overnight to make them easier to blend)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
5 medjool dates.  Remove pips and cut into pieces.
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 bananas.  Use one for filling mixture and one to be sliced.
1 cup Vitasoy Coconut Milk Unsweetened
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Blend, everything except 1 of the bananas until smooth in the blender. Spread the sliced banana on the bottom of the crust.  Pour the pie filling into the pie crust until it is filled. Place into the fridge and allow to set overnight.

Whipped cream topping:
2 cups of coconut cream
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp Rice Malt Syrup (any liquid sweetener will work)
Juice of ½ squeezed lemon

Blend until smooth. Allow to set up in the refrigerator until it has the consistency of whipped cream.  Spoon on to the top of the pie before serving.  Sprinkle with desiccated coconut.

Jx

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Coconut Ice

 

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With the silly season just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to share a recipe that is delicious, easy to make, and can be taken to upcoming summer BBQ’s and parties.  I wanted to make a healthier version of the classic coconut ice recipe by replacing the original recipes refined sugar with coconut sugar and red food colouring with beetroot juice. The beetroot juice gives the slice a beautiful, vibrant pink colour.
This is a chewy treat that is quick to make and super moreish. It is perfect for a sweet afternoon treat served with a herbal tea or wrapped up as a Christmas gift.

* Vegan
* Raw
* Gluten Free
* Dairy Free

Ingredients

4 cups of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
1 small beetroot or 1 tsp of beetroot powder
400 grams of coconut milk
3/4 cup of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

Method

1. In a sauce pan, mix the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut sugar on a low heat. Combine ingredients until the coconut oil has melted. Take off heat and mix in the desiccated coconut.

2. Line a shallow baking tray or baking tin with baking paper. Halve the mixture, and press half of it into the baking tray. Place in freezer.

3. Prepare your juicer and juice the beetroot. Add 2 tablespoons of the juice to the remainder of the mixture, combine well.

Note: If you do not have a juicer, slice up the beetroot and boil in a pot for 5 minutes.  Add 3 tablespoons of the water to the remainder of the mixture.  The water would have turned red from the beetroot, making the mixture a pink colour.

4. Add the pink mixture to the base and press it in well. Place the coconut ice into the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.

5. Cut the coconut ice into squares and store in the fridge. It will melt if it is kept in room temperature for too long.

Enjoy! L x


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Black Chicken Remedies

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Five weeks ago on Instagram I posted about a natural deodorant I was trailing from a brand called Black Chicken.  A brand by Chey Birch that was dreamt up in 1989 in Bondi, Australia.  Chey’s main concern and reason for creating these beautiful products is that we apply so many products containing damaging chemicals and synthetic fragrances to our skin.  She wanted to find a way to reduce the chances of developing chronic health conditions, to assist the body in a natural way and harness the therapeutic power of natural oils to enhance wellbeing, physically and spiritually.  Something Libby and I are very passionate about, so naturally Black Chicken was a brand I wanted to know a bit more about.

Since my Instagram picture I have used the deodorant every day and am so impressed I have dedicated a whole blog post to some of their favourite products I since have gone on to use.

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This new deodorant paste is a remedial and chemical free deodorant formulated to neutralise underarm odour instantly and keep you fresh without inhibiting your sweat glands ability to dispel toxins often found in unwanted fat.  The Axila paste ticks all boxes and the tub is small enough to carry around in your handbag.  I hear time and time again that natural deodorants do not work.  I can promise you that this does, it exceeded every expectation I had and will be a staple in my house from now on.

Why is the Axila deodorant paste so good?

• Contains only natural and certified organic ingredients

• Neutralises odour fast

• Lasts all day whether in the office or working out (yup, I have been to bikram, brisk walks and been stuck in a hot stuffy office – no smell)

• A deodorant paste that is invisible after application (rub a pea size amount under your arm pits and it disappears, no stained clothes)

• Aluminium free, alcohol free, paraben free

• Blended with pure essential oils

• Vegan and not tested on animals

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Another Black Chicken product I have tried is their Complexion Polish, It’s a powder exfoliant made with rice powder, argan shell and clay, which you mix with a little warm water to create a slightly coarse paste. Rub into dampened skin for a minute and voila…dull build-up removed to reveala smoother, renewed complexion.

Again, no additives, fillers, preservatives and NO plastic micro beads – they are a cause for concern! Not just for ladies, this scrub is fantastic for men pre face shave and helps to reduce ingrown hairs.

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Their last product I have absolutely fallen in love with is their Love Your Face Serum.  Having dry skin I am serum obsessed.  My skin laps the goodness up and when applied at night I wake up with the smoothest skin.  This serum is anti ageing, super hydrating and plumps the skin.  You can use this morning and night, I like to use this before I put on make up as it hydrates my skin and foundation glides on and stays looking fresh all day.

There are 11 therapeutic oils in this serum, 98% certified organic ingredients, no parabens, petrochemicals and no artificial ingredients.

Vitamin E Oils, Apricot Kernel Oil, Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Argan Oil, Rosehip Oil, Neroli Essentil Oil, Palma Rosa Essential Oil, Rose Maroc Absolute Oil, Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood Essential Oil.

Thanks to Planet Botanic we have some Black Chicken products to giveaway and some other goodies from their website.  Planet Botanic are the online stockists of Black Chicken and also Blissoma Solutions, another natural skincare brand you can be in the running to win.  For details on how to win 1 of 2 skin care packs check out our Facebook page.

Julia x

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Peanut Butter Fudge

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Since I can remember I have loved fudge, usually the kind with half a kilo of white or brown sugar in it, usually caramel flavoured (condensed milk, yum) and more often than not I am unable to just have one piece.  Fudge is my vice.  In my ongoing quest to create clean vegan sweets it has lead me to what I would say is my favourite recipe to date.  Just 3 ingredients, how simple can you get? While this fudge contains no dairy, gluten, refined sugar or additives and a whole lot of good fats,  please don’t eat it all at once.

Recently I was gifted 5 jars of peanut butter, it was a good day when that delivery arrived.  Lib and I are huge fans of PB, we have used it here and here and here.  If you are allergic, do not worry, you can replace the PB in this recipe with any other nut butter.  The taste won’t be the same, but that doesn’t matter as one of the best things about this recipe is the chewiness of it.  Tonight I cut some of the  fudge up and mixed it in with frozen banana and cinnamon…  Try it and thank me later.

All you will need to prepare the fudge is a food processor or blender, a baking dish and baking paper.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1/3 cup rice syrup (or any other liquid sweetener)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil 

METHOD: 

Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend on low until everything is combined.
Mixture should be quite runny so add more melted coconut oil if need be.
Transfer mixture into a lined baking dish and pop into the fridge.
Fudge should be set in a few hours.  Take out of dish and cut into small pieces.
Store the fudge in the freezer (this keeps it nice and chewy).
Jx
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Raspberry Raw Cheesecake

IMG_1490Fan of traditional cheesecake but want to steer clear of all the empty calories, refined sugar and dairy?  If you are a raw food skeptic and have been avoiding raw desserts as you do not think they will have any flavour then I can promise you that this will be the cake to change your mind.  A friend of mine passed this recipe on and since then I have made the cake for a dinner party, birthday and with my 8 year old niece who said “Aunty Juls this cake is yummy are you sure it’s healthy?”.

As this cake is raw there will be no oven needed! All you will need is a food processor/blender and some measuring spoons and cups.  Raw cakes tend to be more expensive due to the ingredients used so save this for a special occasion OR put what you don’t eat in the freezer.  I don’t think you will have that problem though, this lasted 6 days in my house…

If you cannot find cheap raspberries use any other berry, if you cannot find macadamias then use almonds and to keep the cake filling white don’t use berries in the filling.

Prep time: 15-20 minutes.

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup dried coconut

Filling Ingredients:
3 cups raw cashews.  Soak overnight or for at least a few hours before using.  
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or stevia)
1/4 cup honey, melted
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
Pinch himalayan salt

Raspberry Sauce:
1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

1. Sprinkle dried coconut onto the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch springform pan.  If you are making mini cheesecakes use a pan with 12 muffin holes.

2. Place the walnuts, macadamia nuts and medjool dates in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Then press onto the coconut.

3. Now it’s time to make the filling.  Blend the cashews, raspberries, lemon juice, water, coconut sugar, honey, melted coconut oil, water, vanilla essence and salt.  Blend until smooth.  If you would like the filling a bit more tart add extra lemon juice, if you want it pinker add more raspberries.

4. Pour the mixture onto the crust and smooth out with a knife or spatula.

5. To set, place in the freezer. It will take a few hours for the cake to set.  When ready to serve unclip the spring pan and place a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to ensure that the cake does not stick to the sides.

6. When ready to serve make the raspberry sauce so it is fresh.  Blend the raspberries, medjoool dates and lemon juice and pour on top of the cake.  If you have more raspberries use to decorate like I have done.

Enjoy! Jx

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Organic Protein Powder

Organic Protein Powder by 180 Nutrition

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Finding a high quality protein powder can be hard.  The market is saturated with powders that are full of artificial flavourings and preservatives, processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, soy, gluten and not to mention fillers.  It is surprising to see how many people choose to eat optimally but use a poor quality protein powder that contradicts their healthy diet.

Beginning the day off with a breakfast rich in protein improves appetite control, regulates blood sugar levels and reduces unhealthy snacking throughout the day.  I usually begin my day off with a smoothie and I love adding protein powder to it.  A friend recommended 180 Nutrition, an Australian based brand that is new to the NZ market.
Guy Lawrence and Stuart Cooke are the founders of 180 Nutrition.  Guy, a fitness trainer created this brand after researching protein powders on the market that his chronically ill patients could use.  He was shocked to discover the amount of chemicals and fillers were in the protein powders that were on the market so he decided to create a formula using organic, raw and natural ingredients.

180 Nutrition make a pea protein and also organic whey (NZ sourced whey).  I have been using their products for the last few weeks and what I love about 180 Nutrition that makes it different from the rest is their ingredient formula.

The ingredients include:

Flaxseed
Almond Meal
Sunflowers kernels
Coconut flour
Shredded coconut
Cocoa
Peptia (Pumpkin seeds)
Sesame seeds
Chia seeds
Psyllium husks
Inactive brewers yeast
Stevia

In the morning, after a workout or if I want a snack I’ll blend up a smoothie using 180 Coconut flavored Pea protein powder (my favorite flavor), berries, coconut milk and a dollop of Greek yogurt.  There is no need to add any other ingredients as this protein powder already contains a super food blend.  There is also a chocolate flavored protein available.

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What I also love about this product is that it is vegan friendly, tastes great, mixes well and can be used in baking.  I always add a scoop when making my dairy free, yonana ice cream or protein muffins.

For more information on this product check out the 180 Nutrition website for recipes using this protein, including dairy free coconut ice-cream, paleo friendly raw cheesecake, quinoa chocolate loaf and carrot cake and cream cheese muffins. YUM! You can also read some of the testimonials, some of the athletes that use this protein, and browse the online store.  There are also superfood bars and kids snacks that are tasty and made with real ingredients.

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We have a discount code for anyone wanting to purchase 180 protein when you buy online.  Enter ‘JULLIB’ for 10% off all purchases at primal-life.co.nz.  Check out our Facebook page for a giveaway we are running for your chance to win a sample of this protein.

L x

 

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Cookie Dough Truffles

These cookie dough truffles are the perfect little snack to have when on the go.  I usually make a batch of these on a Sunday night to keep in the fridge to have for the following week. Whenever I feel like a sweet treat I will have one.

There are only 5 ingredients needed to make these and they take around 5 minutes to make.

* Raw
* Vegan
* Gluten free
* Refined sugar free

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Ingredients

1.5 cups of raw cashew nuts
1.5 cups of pitted dates
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon of coconut oil (melted)
1/3 cup cacao nibs

Directions

1. Place the cashews, dates, desiccated coconut, coconut oil and cacao nibs in a food processor and blend well.
2. Take mixture out of the food processor and place into a bowl.
3. Separate the mixture and roll into small balls. Repeat until all the mixture is used.

This recipe makes approximately 10 truffles.

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Enjoy. L x

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