30 Jun 2017

STRAWBERRY + CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE


Cake for breakfast? Yes. I've been having a slice of this every morning since I made it, because the only ingredients are fruits, nuts, seeds and nutritionally-dense superfoods. It's a creamy, rich recipe that leaves me feeling satisfied and energized. The strawberry layer is fruity (shocker) and the chocolate layer reminds me of mousse. Too many nuts make me feel groggy though, and since a big chunk of this recipe is cashews, one slice a day is enough for me. I aim to listen to my body and mind and act accordingly. But my motto is always: do what works for YOU. Some days I crave more fat-dense foods like avocados and nut butters, while other days all I want is juice and dark chocolate, and OTHER days mountains of steamed buns sound perfect. I don't always understand why my body is telling me to go for particular foods - though sometimes it's obvious, if I haven't been drinking enough water, sleeping well, am on my period, etc. - but in any case, there IS probably a reason for it, so I honour that and listen to it. 

Having said all that, I do make an effort to consume a solid foundation of good stuff each day to cover all the bases. I used to be against supplements and protein powders (there's an unfortunate amount of pseudo-science in some parts of the vegan and raw vegan communities that would have you believe supplements and cooked foods are pooooison!! *terror-filled face*) but thankfully I have come 'round and now take a multivitamin everyday, and usually add a scoop of protein powder to my smoothies, whether I've exercised that day or not. The argument that we should be able to get all our nutritional needs met by simply consuming a whole foods, plant based diet is dubious. Basically you would have to eat a LOT of food everyday, which is time consuming and not necessarily affordable.

I recognize that I cannot regularly, easily consume everything my body needs merely by eating whole foods, and vegan foods at that. I gotta take advantage of high-quality supplements and superfoods powders: they are concentrated forms of nutritionally powerful foods and they make up the difference when my whole foods don't allow me to reach my nutritional requirements for the day. I try to eat greens every day (my fave is steamed broccoli with tahini, salt and pepper). They are one of the most nutrient-dense foods that we can eat. Kale, spinach, collards, brussel sprouts, cabbage, swiss chard, beets greens, bok choi, yu choi, and other leaves and leafy greens are SO GOOD FOR YA. I am no doctor, but please just look at any study on what foods are best for your health and you're gonna find green stuff on that list. So in addition to eating fresh, whole greens whenever possible, I like throwing a scoop of greens powders - greens that have been dried and ground into powder - into smoothies. Yep, it sounds nasty. But the flavour is not really that intense, unless you add a giant amount... (don't do it). 

You wouldn't know, but I added a scoop of Genuine Health's VEGAN greens+ O to this cake because I am sneaky like that... *evil laughter*. Now I am gonna talk about VEGAN greens+ O for a minute because Genuine Health has sponsored this post - I gotta pay my bills, y'all - but regardless, all opinions are always my own on this blog and I honestly love this greens powder and use it everyday because it makes me feel good. 

This product is one of my favourites because it includes a wide variety of greens, and not just leafy greens. The ingredients range from algaes to grasses to leaves, I say: the more the merrier. VEGAN greens+ O contains 23 phytonutrients, which can help protect against free radical damage. It's formulated to be over 300% more absorbable compared to other similar products, and if you're just looking at the nutrition in one scoop of this, it gives you more than most greens powders I have found. I'll be frank: it does not taste amazing. Unsurprisingly, it tastes a bit like grass (and not the fun kind). But not to worry: you only need a small scoop of it to feel a difference, so I'd recommend adding it to a fruit smoothie or other sweet, flavourful recipe (*cough cough this cake*). Find out where you can buy VEGAN greens+ O right here.

NOW LET'S EAT CAAAKE. 


STRAWBERRY + CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
[ makes one 6" cake ]

Crust:
1 cup oat flour
1 cup tigernut flour
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Strawberry layer: 
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup strawberries
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
3 pitted Medjool dates
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Chocolate layer:
1 heaping cup cashews
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 scoop (7.6 grams) VEGAN greens+ O

To make the crust: mix all the ingredients together until you have a dough that will hold its shape when pressed between your fingers. Press into the bottom of a lined 6" springform pan or other dish. Leave in the fridge.

To make the strawberry layer: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Scoop evenly onto your crust and put back in the fridge.

To make the chocolate layer: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Scoop evenly onto your strawberry layer.

Leave the cake in fridge overnight so it can set properly. Slice and decorate with whatever you like: edible flowers, chocolate chips, mint leaves, chopped nuts or seeds, chocolate or caramel sauce... :) Enjoy!