A low-glycemic, raw, vegan dessert just in time for summer solstice.
In anticipation for summer solstice I made these summery vegan cheesecakes which are low-glycemic, raw, vegan and gluten-free. Both lemons and lavender scream summer to me. Lemons are known for boosting our immune systems and improving digestion. They may also improve insulin and liver function. Lavender is commonly used in aromatherapy for its relaxation properties, however, the scientific evidence is limited. This herb can also be eaten and is a small source of calcium and iron.
Maple syrup and dates are two of my favourite natural sweeteners when trying to make healthier desserts. They are both low on the glycemic index which means they help manage blood sugar levels better than other sweeteners (ex. sugar, honey). This is especially important for women with PCOS who are predisposed to developing metabolic syndrome.
Ingredients (makes 12):
1 cup nuts (I used a mix of walnuts, almonds and cashews)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup dates
2 cups cashews, pre-soaked in water for 4 hrs
1/2 cup lemon juice (I used 3 small organic lemons)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tspns dried culinary lavender
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
Use parchment paper to oil muffin pan with coconut oil (prevents sticking).
Place long strips of parchment paper in each muffin mold for easier removal (I saw the Minimalist Baker do this and I think it is genius).
Process dates, nuts and chia seeds together in a food processor until you get a rough, sticky mixture.
Transfer spoonfuls of the mixture into the muffin pan and push down firmly and evenly. Set in freezer.
Blend all filling ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. You may need to add liquid to help out (ex. almond milk).
Take muffin pan out of freezer and scoop filling on top of each crust, smoothing out to pop air bubbles. I used a 1/4 measuring cup to distribute the filling to each mold and then went back over with a spoon to even them out.
Decorate if desired (I decorated half with lavender before freezing and the other half with lemons after freezing).
Set in the freezer for at least 5 hours.
Gently pull each cake out holding the wax paper. The wax paper will make indents which I smoothed out easily.
Serve or store in freezer or fridge.
low-glycemic = helps maintain blood sugar levels
lemon juice = contains vitamin C which boosts immune system, helps improve digestion, may improve insulin function, boosts liver function
tree nuts = no cholesterol, high in unsaturated fats which help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, help prevent cardiovascular disease
chia seeds = high in omega-3s which can help decrease high testosterone and improve egg quality
Happy Solstice! I would love to see how you recreate this vegan cheesecake! Please share your photos with me on Instagram: @phruitfuldish
Call me a rebel but I like eating salad for breakfast. Spinach is the featured ingredient in this smoothie bowl because it is a champion at providing many vitamins and minerals including the following inflammation-fighters: vitamins K, A, C and B6. It’s also an excellent source of folate, magnesium, and calcium. I included vitamin C-rich strawberries to help with iron absorption (if you are trying to boost your iron intake, greens like kale and swiss chard may be more beneficial than spinach). Most uniquely, spinach contains various plant compounds including kaempferol, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, and nitrates, which have been shown to decrease blood pressure.
Avocado is the other green superfood featured in this breakfast bowl. A meta-analysis published earlier this year concluded that including avocado in our diets can assist in lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Also, its omega-3 content can help lower inflammation.
P.S. This smoothie bowl is banana-free! Previously, frozen bananas were my not-so-secret ingredient for achieving a thick consistency, however, in an effort to decrease my banana consumption I have discovered dairy-free yogurt makes a great alternative. Do you have other ideas for replacing frozen bananas? Let me know in the comments below!
The full recipe can be found in my vegan eBook: Cooking with Compassion – 30 Vegan, Gluten-Free Recipes to Nourish Ourselves, Our Families & Our Planet
spinach = anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, anti-cancer effects, excellent source of magnesium & calcium, avoid large amounts if prone to kidney stones or taking blood thinners
avocado = anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, high in fiber, may help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintain normal serum total cholesterol levels, contains glutathione which has anti-carcinogenic properties and may boost immunity
An anti-inflammatory snack for dipping or spreading.
I designed this high-protein hummus specifically for fighting inflammation and disease. Garlic has been shown to help lower inflammation, boost immune functioning and kill cancer cells (it is most potent when eaten raw!). Turmeric, a well-researched spice, is responsible for the bright yellow color. It has been shown to help prevent diabetes and treat depression (one study demonstrated turmeric is as effective as Prozac). Leave a comment letting me know how you cook with garlic or turmeric!
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
10-15 peeled garlic cloves, roasted or raw
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper
Optional: Roast whole garlic bulbs in oven for 30 min at 400°F (see directions). Alternatively, if your garlic is already peeled then throw the peeled cloves in the oven. This method will only take 15-20 min.
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth (add water to help with blending and scrape down sides when food processor gets stuck).
Sprinkle with herb of choice and serve.
garlic = helps lower cholesterol, an antibiotic, & blood cleanser which relaxes blood vessels for easier blood flow
extra virgin olive oil = anti-inflammatory, studies show 1-2 tbsp a day can lower risk of certain types of cancers
rosemary = anti-inflammatory, has been shown to inhibit the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells