Spicy! Pink Pistachio Chocolate Fudge

Ok, so….this blog is about clean eating. And these aren’t exactly clean…. Ok they’re not at all. BUT. They are good!! And dannnngggggg… they are pretty.

When I started testing this recipe, I had in mind that I would make a  crunchy bark. Then I channeled my inner fat kid and said “YOLO, I’m going for it, this is now fudge”. Best. Decision. Ever.

Look please.

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Prettiest dessert yet? Could be.

Do you like spice? Ok then we’re good here. Do you also like sweet? Covered here as well. Lastly, do you like PISTACHIOS? I feel like that’s not really even a question…

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Let’s be clear here. These are an exception to what this blog is all about. These are not clean and they aren’t healthy. They should be considered a treat. The good thing is, they are so flavorful you really only need a couple of bites to be more than satisfied.

The photos speak for themselves here, so let’s just get down to it, shall we?

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Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 18 ounces white melting candies
    • Note: seperate out about 12 ounces of the 18 ounces of melted chocolate and mix with red food coloring to make pink chocoate!
  • 1/2 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup of unshelled and crushed pistachios

How to:

  • Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper
  • Melt dark chocolate in the microwave, microwaving for 15 seconds, stirring, and then returning to the microwave until completely melted
  • Once melted, mix in chipotle powder – you may want to do a taste test to see exactly how much spice feels right
  • Pour into the lined baking sheet and put in the fridge to set
  • In new and seperate bowls, melt white and pink chocolate the same way as the dark chocolate
  • Pour white chocolate over pink. Using a knife, swirl together the pink & white chocolate
  • Set back in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours
  • Sprinkle with pistachios before serving

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I should warn you that a little spice goes a long way here. Also, I found that it’s kind of necessary to tell people these are spicy before they bite in, otherwise you’ll see their face go into complete shock when chewing. Or maybe watching that that can be part of the fun 🙂

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Eat one and then HIDE these from yourself!!!

Blueberry + Chocolate Coconut Bites (Clean, Vegan, no-bake)

It’s been hot. Really really hot. Like, “feels like 100” hot here in Chicago. When it’s that hot, who can stand to be in the kitchen with a hot oven? Not moi. Time for a no-bake, chilled sweet treat!

These take about 10 minutes to put together. Another SUPER easy one! You really can’t mess this up even if you try!

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I have to say… one thing I have never been great at is layering on the chocolate drizzle. It’s a mess. I totally intended to have the chocolate drizzled nicely & evenly across the cookie in straight lines.. Ha! Not even close.

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But really…aren’t they more fun this way?

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One of the things I love about these is that they are actually better frozen. They’re like a little frozen blueberry coconut meltaway puff. (What a mouthful!) I’m planning on keeping these in the freezer until about 2-3 minutes before I am ready to eat them. Totally not necessary to keep them frozen, as they’ll maintain their shape even if room temperature. I am just using them to provide a little relief from the heat wave!

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Ingredients:

  • One pint of organic blueberries (you could also use frozen – I just happened to have some fresh organic blueberries laying around…because…who doesn’t? :))
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (if you don’t have any, just put some gluten free oats in your vitamix and pulse until ground)
  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 1 full frozen ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • Optional: Dark chocolate for melting

How to: (Um, the easiest ever…)

  • Pulse all ingredients except for chocolate together in a Vitamix – I like to leave a few blueberry chunks in there
  • Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, create balls of the mixture and lay on a piece of parchment paper or on a cookie sheet. Freeze for at least 1 full hour.
  • Melt dark chocolate in a cup or bowl and drizzle (hopefully, more beautifully than I was able to!)

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I chose to use blueberries in this recipe because I just happened to have some. If you’re a cheery person, I can imagine they would turn out INCREDIBLY. Omg, maybe I need to try that too…

Also, you could use strawberries, blackberries, or really any berry! Give them a try with some different fruits and let me know what you think!

Stay COOL! Woof.

Blueberry Quinoa + Oat Muffins (Vegan, clean)

So we all know the saying “when the cats away, the mouse will play”, right? Well, that happened to me yesterday. My husband was out at a music festival all day and I went a little baking-overboard. I baked 5 different recipes. This is one of the creations that came out of the day.

As you can probably tell, I love breakfast foods. Especially on the weekend. During the week, breakfast is always a green smoothie or some oatmeal. But on the weekends, I vary my selections much more. I found some really delicious looking blueberries at the market and couldn’t resist baking with them right away.

I haven’t posted in a while because some of my original creations have been total busts. I had some matcha muffins backfire on me, a few bland “granola” recipes, and even a few bars (which are my normal go-to!) turn out boring. However, I think these turned out well.

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These took a bit more prep work than my normal recipes. That said, they took about 20 minutes in total – much more normal prep time for a baked good. 🙂

Also, the thing I love about these is that they are packed with quinoa & flax seed and you can’t even tell they’re super healthy. You could even throw some chia seeds in there if you wanted the extra fiber & protein!

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup cooked & cooled quinoa
  • 1/4 cup organic flax seeds, or flax seed powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup mashed bananas – the more ripe, the sweeter they’ll be
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pint of fresh blueberries – bonus points if they come from a farmer’s market!

How to:

  • Cook quinoa over the stove per the directions on the box, let it cool
  • In a medium bowl, combine quinoa & dry ingredients – mix together; set aside

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  • In a seperate bowl, mash bananas. Once mashed, add in vanilla, applesauce and cashew or almond butter.

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  • Beat until well mixed

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  • Add dry ingredients to bowl with the mashed banana mixture; beat until combined

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  • Wash blueberries and hand mix in

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  • Scoop mixture into a muffin tin

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  • You can add an extra oatmeal crumble if you’d like. This is optional, but all I did to create the crumble was mix together a bit of almond milk + oats, tossed with a bit of agave. Sprinkle the crumble on top, if you choose to use it.

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  • Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until edges start to brown

IMG_6163.jpgTotally up to you, but I like to eat these piping hot (but that’s how I eat everything!)

IMG_6161.jpgThese would be great to prep on a Sunday for the family and eat all week long! Or, freeze them and warn them a bit before grabbing on the go.

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These would be great with strawberries, cherries, blackberries…the list is endless!

Give them a shot with some different fruit and let me know what you think! Happy breakfasting!

 

Lime + Pistachio Cheesecake Bites (Clean, Raw, Vegan)

Should I just let this photo speak for itself? cheesecake1.jpg

Or maybe this one?!

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I have been eying some vegan cheesecake recipes for a while now, but the hard part is that the base is made from cashews that need to be soaked over night. Finally, I remembered to buy some cashews on a Saturday and soak them in preparation for Sunday Baking. Win for me.

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Ingredients

  • Base layer:
    • 1 cup dates
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
    • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup slivered unsalted almonds
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • pinch of salt
    • 3/4 cup of pistachios (unshelled, roasted, but not salted)
  • Cheesecake layer:
    • 2 1/2 cups of cashews soaked overnight until mushy
    • 2 tablespoons of room temperature coconut oil (or avocado oil)
    • 2 cups unsweetened coconut
    • 1/2 cup coconut cream
    • Juice of two limes – plus another full lime for decoration
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

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How to:

  • Line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper and set aside
  • Like many of my other recipes, you’ll simply combine all ingredients in the “base” layer in a Vitamix until pieces are chopped well
  • Once combined, press mixture into the pan and pop in freezer while you prepare the cheesecake
  • Wash the Vitamix and combine all filling ingredients. Blend until chunks are gone.
  • Pour mixture over the nut base and freeze for 2-3 hours
  • Once solid, garnish with crushed pistachios and/or lime pieces
  • Keep these in the fridge or freezer to help them maintain their shape, otherwise they may spread and melt a bit

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Reminder: Just becuase something is vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. These are clean (which is GOOD) but they should be treated as a treat because they are packed with sugar. But, of all the treats in the world, there could be much worse options 🙂

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These can stay frozen for a couple of days, if they last that long. Such a good, refreshing summer treat!

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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies (Clean!)

Hi!

When I was younger, pretty much the only fruit I would eat was apples. Other than that, no thanks! Now, I have at least an apple a day (my doctor would be so proud!) so I thought it might be fun to bake them into some healthy cookies.

These are clean and could almost pass for breakfast cookies, since they’re packed with nuts, oatmeal and fruit!

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Like my other recipes, these are pretty simple and come together in about 15 minutes. The toughest part is chopping the apples. After that, it’s smooth sailing.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oatmeal (gluten-free works fine!)
  • 3/4 cup of almond flour or coconut flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (you can do more or less depending on your preference, but I LOVE cinnamon so the more the better!)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts (I used pecans)
  • Dash of Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup agave or honey (I used honey)
  • 2 cups diced red crisp apple

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How to:

  • Prepare a piece of parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together all dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Separately, beat egg in a small bowl. Add in vanilla & honey and mix well.
  • Dice red apple into small chunks.
  • Add wet ingredients to bowl with dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add apple pieces of mixture and combine well.
  • Scoop into 1 inch balls and bake for 12-15 minutes.

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Let cool for a minute or two after you take them out of the oven, but I liked these best warm! These are not the most beautiful, I admit, but they taste good!

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These can totally pass as breakfast cookies, right!?

Clean Walnut + Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Umm.. YUM. Seriously, what is be better than a warm, gooey, homemade oatmeal cookie? I don’t know if there’s anything better – except for maybe when the recipe is a clean one!

No butter. No oil. YES.

 

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Obviously, this is a cookie so should be consumed as a treat. Just because it’s clean doesn’t mean it’s a diet food!

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These cookies, though…they will be hard to resist. So good my husband took one bite of one and said “you have to take these to work with you tomorrow or they’ll be gone when you get home”. I guess that’s a good sign 😉

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These are pretty basic. You really can’t mess them up. Also, I put chocolate chips and walnuts in mine but you really could put whatever you wanted in here. I thought about doing pistachios, but decided to just go more basic. And…yum.

Ingredients:

  • Dry ingredients:
    • 1 cup of oats
    • 3/4 cup of almond flour or oat flour
    • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Wet ingredients:
    • 1 egg white
    • 1/4 cup of almond butter (any or any kind of nut butter)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Any “mix-ins”you desire – chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, dried fruit…etc!

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 365 degrees and prepare parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Set aside.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together (minus the mix-ins) and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together all wet ingredients until well combined & almond butter is no longer chunky.
  • While stirring, add the wet mixture to the dry. Combine well.
  • Stir in mix-ins!
  • Scoop large balls of dough onto the parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes, until you start to notice the cookies becoming golden brown.
  • EAT!!!

Lemon + Turmeric Breakfast Bars (Clean, Paleo, Gluten-free)

Hi – Happy “spring!” It’s almost June and it’s still COLD in Chicago. I wore a huge chunky scarf to work today. That’s a bit depressing!

However, I thought I would bring a little spring to my recipes by incorporating something light & fruity, so I went with lemon. I’m not a huge lemon-flavored-dessert-loving person myself, but I think it’s fun to bake lemon-flavored foods.

Like most of my recipes, these were simple to throw together. The hardest part is waiting for them to set. I ended up freezing these becuase they didn’t harden up as much as I was expecting them to. I would recommend freezing them completely and taking them out of the freezer 5-8 minutes before you want to eat them to let them warm up just a bit.

I just noticed I have been on a bar kick lately – definitely going to mix it up next week. As always, I love recommendations/challenges! Send them my way if you have requests!

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Ingredients:

Bars:

  • 1 cup unsalted (completely plain) cashews
  • 1 1/4 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Fresh squeezed juice from 3 lemons
  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 1 1/4 cups of gluten free oats

“Frosting”

  • 2 scoops of Vegan protein powder (My fav!)
  • 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure organic maple syrup
  • Fresh juice from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon organic turmeric powder

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4.jpgHow to: (Embarrassingly easy!)

  • Mix all “bar” ingredients in a Vitamix until well blended. I left a few chunks so you can crunch into the nuts, but you could mix to a finer consistency if you’d like.
  • Press dough into 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Mix together all “frosting” ingredients. Add more lemon to taste, if you’d like!
  • Pour frosting over the bars and let set in refrigerator for at least an hour.
  • Slice & eat! Easy! 3.jpg

Breakfast Bars with Hazelnut Butter (Clean, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, healthy!)

Guys, summer may actually be coming! I know this because my kitchen was HOT while I was baking. To be clear, I am no where near complaining, espeically since we only get a small handful of warm days in Chicago each spring. However, if this keeps up next week may be a no-bake week 🙂

One of my summer addictions is iced coffee with hazelnut flavored syrup. Not the cleanest of treats, I realize, but I just LOVE me some hazelnut.

I decided to combine a few of my favorite things so I could have an excuse to bake with something Hazelnut flavored. The recipe itself is pretty basic and forward, and if you don’t like hazelnut you can easily swap out regular peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, or anything else! However, Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter really is the jam. I would even say it makes the recipe worth it.

This recipe is suitable for almost anyone – no flour, no eggs, no butter, and no dairy! Not too shabby.

Let’s do it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of gluten free oats ground into flour, or almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
  • 3 extra ripe bananas (PS If you don’t have ripe bananas, did you know you can actually ripen fresh bananas in the oven?? Genius)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Agave
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 packet of Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter 

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 8×8 pan with EVOO spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda + salt) and set aside.
  • In a Vitamix or food processor, blend together bananas, agave, vanilla and applesauce.

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  • Combine wet + dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.

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  • Spread batter into pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

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  • Make chocolate drizzle by combining coconut oil with cocoa and drizzle over the pan. (This part is optional, but I feel like the bitterness of the chocolate is actually a nice compliment to the sweetness of the hazelnut butter.)

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  • Also optional (but definitely worth it!) cut the corner of the Hazelnut Butter packet and spread across the bars.

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  • Final step: DEVOUR these 🙂 YUM!

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Protein Packed Nutty Breakfast Bars (Gluten-free, refined sugar free)

Have you missed me?

Its been a few weeks since I posted my last recipe. I have been traveling for work and for fun, and with summer approaching in Chicago I’ve been taking full advantage of any nice days that we have. Also, I can’t lie… I had a few bombs. I tried to get a little too fancy with some recipes and ended up trashing them. Hey, not everything I make is going to be perfect the first time!

Since I normally bake on Sundays, I have been slipping with the blog. But, I am making this a priority and hope to post at LEAST every other week, though every week would be even better. 🙂

This week, I decided to make two recipes to get back on track. The first is an easy homemade breakfast bar. Originally, I was going for a granola-type bar, but I always tend to like chewy bars over crunchy granola, so mid-way through this recipe I started to fluff these up a bit. I gotta say, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 heaping teaspoons of Cashew butter, or any kind of nut butter
  • 1/8 cup of organic honey
  • 1 single serve packet or one heaping scoop of VegaOne Vegan protein powder (Vanilla flavored)
  • 2 cups of nuts (I used a mixture of walnuts, almond slivers and hazelnuts)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 half cup of flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of Cashew milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Vanilla

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix together cashew butter and honey.

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  • Melt nut butter and honey in the microwave for 20 seconds so they are easy to mix together; mix well.
  • Add vanilla and milk and mix well.
  • Blend all other ingredients (Protein, flax seeds, nuts, and coconut) in a Vitamix, until nuts are well chopped but so you can still see some small chunks.

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  • Slowly add the dry mixed ingredients to the wet mixture. Mix well until a thick dough forms. It will look like the below.

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  • Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Scoop dough into the pan and push it down with your hands to compact it.

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  • Bake for 14-16 minutes or until edges become golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.
  • Cut into bite size pieces. I cut mine into really small bites so I could enjoy a couple, rather than one large one in the AM.

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If you plan to keep these for a few days, make sure to store in an air tight container, or even in the fridge to keep them fresh longer!

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You can always add some dried fruit to these, too. I think dried blueberries would be an excellent addition. What kind of dried fruit would you add?

 

 

Raw Vegan Blackberry Mini Cheesecakes

Cheesecake – ugh. The best thing in the world, but not for people like me who can’t really handle cheese. Wah wah. Finally, this recipe is something I can get on board with – vegan cheesecake bites, made with cashews. Can it really be true?!?

I stole this recipe (borrowed? 🙂 ) from Little Vegan Bear’s amazing Blueberry cheesecake bite recipe.  Why blackberries instead of blue? No reason – they just caught my eye at the market this morning. Plus – aren’t they beautiful ?

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These do take some time, so make sure you have an hour or so to spend in the kitchen. Not all of the time will be prep time. These require that you create a layer, then let them set for a while before adding on the next layer. All in all, these took me about 1.5 hours. And, I only photographed one of them becuase the others were still setting, but I wanted to get the good, natural light 🙂

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Ingredients:

Base Layer:
1 cup soaked or boiled dates
1/2 cup pecans or other nuts or seeds (anything but cashews!)
¼ cup almonds
pinch of pink Himalayan salt (Or whatever salt you have – I just prefer pink!)

Cheesecake layer:
1½ cups cashews, soaked at least 8 hours – overnight is even better
¼ cup agave
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons  vanilla
1 tablespoon lime juice

Blue layer:
1½ cups cashews, soaked
1½ cups blackberries
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup agave or maple syrup

Chia jam:
2 cups blackberries (I used frozen)
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons organic chia seeds

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How to:

  • Add the base layer ingredients to a Vitamix or blender. Mix well until still chunky, but mixed well and most of the larger pieces are chopped.
  • Spray a muffin pan then spoon mixture into the pan. The mixture should cover the bottom of the pan but not be too thick – think 1/4 of an inch or so.
  • Pop them in the freezer to set.
  • Clean out/wipe down the Vitamix. Next, blend together the cheesecake layer. Give it a taste before you you scoop layer on to the base – depending on your taste, you may want to add another little bit of agave.
  • Once you’re happy with the taste, spoon this mixture on top of the base and put them back in the freezer while you make the next layer.
  • Again, clean out the Vitamix and blend the next layer of ingredients. Mix together the fruit layer ingredients. Again, layer. Again, freeze.
  • Next, you’re going to create the jam that goes on top. Bring blackberries (or your choice of fruit), agave and lime juice in a sauce pan to a boil. Once boiling, smoosh the berries & let the mixture simmer.
  • Add in the chia seeds and let simmer; allow the seeds to soak up the remaining liquid. This should take 10-15 minutes. Once most of the liquid is gone, allow the jam to cool.
  • Once the cheesecakes are solid, scoop a bit of the jam on top. Layer with any of your favorite superfoods – I wish I would have had some crushed pistachios to layer on top of my jam!

Happy Easter! ❤