2 Dec 2016

♡ MINI LEMON, CASHEW + BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKES ♡


*NEW FAVE RECIPE ALERT* (and it doesn't even contain chocolate!?)

I LOVE my blueberries. In winter when they aren't growing fresh in my home province of British Columbia - the biggest highbush blueberry-producing region in the world - or the bushes in our front yard, I am sad and miss them. BUT! I know I can still grab them frozen in the grocery store. And I do. Because I crave blueberries on the daily. In desserts, smoothies, on toast... basically everywhere in my life.

Blueberries are rich in fibre, energizing carbohydrates, anti-oxidants, and as we all know: they taste delicious. I personally think they're perfect for any meal or snack. Dry them and add to a trail mix, mash them with chia seeds for jam, blend them with frozen bananas for soft serve 'nice cream', decorate a cake with them, incorporate them into a marinade for tofu or veggies, sprinkle them on salad... the options are limitless.

Many - if not most - frozen blueberries you see in the supermarket will be from BC (eeeeyyy) and you can tell because they'll be labelled "Canadian" or "BC-grown". The BC Blueberry Council is to thank for this. They're an organization made up of over 800 local blueberry farmers and they make sure you can find their juicy fruits all year round: fresh in summer and frozen in winter. They provide over 100 blueberry recipes on their website, in case you're interested (note: not all the recipes are vegan, but they're fairly plant-based). They're one of my fave organizations to work with because I'm simply promoting locally grown berries, minimal packaging, farmers, and a food I literally do eat everyday.

This post is sponsored by The BC Blueberry Council,  all opinions are my own. :)


MINI LEMON + BLUEBERRY JAM CHEESECAKES
[ makes 6 cupcake-size cheesecakes ]

Crust:
1 cup walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup pitted dates 
1/2 cup ground flax seeds

Blueberry jam:
3 cups frozen blueberries
1/3 cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla powder

Cheesecake batter:
1 1/2 cups cashews
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup melted cacao butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 400ml can full fat coconut milk

To make the crust: grind the coconut, walnuts and flax into flour in a high speed blender, then add the dates and continue blending you have a thick, moist dough. It should be able to hold its shape when pressed between two fingers. Press into the bottom of cupcake molds (or whatever mold/shape you like). Leave in the fridge to harden up.

To make the blueberry jam: thaw the berries (or throw 'em in the microwave) until they're soft. Mash into a paste with a fork (or if you want it super smooth, use a blender) and add the rest of the ingredients. Leave this to sit for 10-15 minutes, the chia seeds will soak up the berry juice and the mixture will thicken up like jam.

To make the cheesecake batter: open the can of coconut milk and scoop off the thick, white fat that should be on top. The rest of the can should be filled with a translucent white liquid. You want to use only the thick, white fat. Don't use the milky liquid. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Scoop half of this mixture onto your crust(s), followed by some - but not all - of the berry jam. Pour over the rest of the cheesecake batter, then use the rest of the jam on top. Swirl the jam around with a spoon or finger for decoration. Leave in the freezer overnight and store in the fridge.