Since autumn is upon us, I thought I’d get around to posting on here again. Life has been quite a whirlwind with moving across the country and getting settled into a whole new routine. My favorite thing so far about our new home is being right across the street from a farmers market that is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays through the end of October. I always grab a bunch of fresh local apples there, and they taste just so much better than any apple I can remember in ages.
This recipe is easy to make and comes together in under 15 minutes. The caramelized apples are warm and gooey, and they also make a great topping for pancakes or nice cream. Feel free to use any oats or extra toppings you like for this recipe.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp raw pumpkin seeds (optional, for topping)
- 1 tsp almond butter (optional, for topping)
Ingredients (Caramelized Apples):
- 1 Whole apple, sliced no more than 1 inch thick
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan and stir in oats. Lower heat to simmer. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
- While oats are cooking, heat a sauce pan over medium-high heat with 1/4 cup of water. Once warm, add apples and coconut sugar.
- Stir the apples frequently as the sauce thickens. Add cinnamon after a couple minutes. Once the sauce has thickened and is low in the pan, and the apples have softened (after about 7-10 minutes), remove from heat and stir. If you find your sauce is getting too thick too fast, lower heat and add a bit more water.
- Add the cooked oats to a bowl and top with the caramelized apples. Add additional toppings if desired.
Since I already wrote a bit about why I made this bowl in the first place on Instagram, all I will say here is that I made this smoothie bowl (or nice cream, depending on how you define it!), because I was tired, had a rough night the day before and really needed something comforting and delicious.
Enter this bowl. I can’t decide if it’s a smoothie bowl or nice cream — I put just enough almond milk in the base to make it slightly more than nice cream texture, but not quite smoothie bowl texture. I could debate this in my head for hours.
Anyway, one of my favorite combinations for smoothies and nice cream is to combine dates with mama powder. It creates such a delicious flavor that is very similar to caramel. Then when you add in old favorites like chocolate and peanut butter, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a winner whether it’s a soupy smoothie bowl or a firm scoop of nice cream.
- Smoothie Base:
- 4 frozen bananas
- 2 pitted medjool dates (or use about 5 regular pitted dates, but the medjool ones are worth springing for on this recipe)
- 1/2 cup of almond milk, optional. You can use as much or as little as you want depending on how thick you want your smoothie bowl.
- 1 scoop of chocolate plant-based protein (I use ALOHA chocolate), OR 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp of raw maca powder
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Sauce:
- 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (I used a coconut oil & peanut butter blend because I love the coconut flavor)
- 1/4 cup of vegan granola (use as much as you want)
- 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
- Small handful of hazelnuts (or other nut)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
- Place frozen bananas in high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix) or food processor. Blend until it starts to get creamy, adding almond milk if you desire (I personally like to add some so it’s more of a very thick smoothie consistency, but if you add none, you will have more of a thick ice cream texture).
- Add in pitted dates, maca, protein powder (or cacao), and blend until smooth and well combined.
- Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer while you make the sauce.
- To make the chocolate peanut butter sauce, place all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir, and microwave more if needed. You can add more almond milk if you want the sauce to be runnier. Stir it well until you get the consistency you want.
- Remove smoothie bowl from freezer and drizzle chocolate sauce all over, then add your toppings.
Do you like rhubarb? Did you know it’s actually a vegetable, and not a fruit? For the longest time, I thought it was a fruit. It is honestly one of my biggest food obsessions. I wish it were in season all year. I have a recurring reminder on my iPhone every April to remind me to start looking for it in stores. As if I need a reminder.
My favorite way to eat rhubarb is in a warm gooey strawberry-rhubarb pie. Or, in an insanely delicious rhubarb donut, which I came across once while traveling in Iceland. I don’t think any place on the planet can recreate how good that donut was, so I’m not even going to try.
While these strawberry-rhubarb (almost raw) cheesecakes are super delicious, they don’t quite compare to how decadent a warm flaky pie is, or to an actual cheesecake. However, I do love how healthy they are and how enjoyable they are to eat. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, they are the perfect cool treat for warm days.
This recipe is made using a 9×9 inch cake pan and gets placed in the freezer to set. You could also make these into individual bites using a muffin tin. See my post for my blood orange and pomegranate cheesecake bites for reference. Basically, you can use silicon baking cups and pack down the crust into each cup, pouring the filling into each individual cup instead of using one large cake pan. I actually find that method to be cleaner and easier to eat, but it does take longer to tightly pack the crust into each individual cup.
- 3/4 cup raw almonds
- 3/4 cup raw pecans
- 1.5 cup roughly chopped pitted dates (packed)
- 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight or for 4-6 hours)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk (the kind from the can, full fat, OR a VERY creamy nut milk such as Califia Farms coconut milk will do in a pinch)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce (to swirl into the filling):
- 1 cup chopped rhubarb (fresh is best, but you could also use frozen. If you use frozen, just thaw it out before making the sauce)
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar (If you can’t find coconut nectar, just use extra coconut sugar)
- 3-4 tbsp water
- A large handful of strawberries, sliced, for placing into the cheesecake filling at the end (as you can see in the photos above)
- To PREPARE: Add raw cashews to a bowl and cover them with cold filtered water. Place in the fridge and allow them to soak overnight, or for 4-6 hours.
- For the CRUST: About an hour before your cashews are done soaking, start on your crust (or you can do this all at once, but I find it saves me time to make the crusts first, clean out my blender and then start on the sauce and filling).
- To make the crust, add the raw almonds, raw pecans and pitted dates to your high-speed blender or food processor and blitz until they are in small pieces and form a doughy consistency. You will be able to tell if it’s right by picking up a bit of the mixture and seeing if you can pack it. If it’s falling apart, try adding more dates.
- Line the bottom of your 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper (I cut a piece that is about 9×9, maybe leaving a tab on a couple sides to make it easier to lift out, but not necessary in my experience). Then take the crust mixture from your blender or food processor and pack it tightly onto the bottom until it’s evenly spread across the pan.
- For the STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SAUCE: Heat a small amount of water in a small sauce pan, just enough to cover the bottom, and add in the rhubarb, strawberries, coconut sugar and coconut nectar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb and strawberries cook down and a sauce forms. Feel free to add in a bit more water as you cook. The sauce should thicken up after 10-15 minutes. Remove this from the heat.
- For the FILLING: Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add the raw cashews, fresh lemon juice, melted coconut oil, coconut milk and maple syrup to your clean blender (such as a Vitamix; you won’t get good results without a good blender) or use a food processor. Blend until very smooth. Pour the mixture over your crust.
- To FINISH it off, swirl the strawberry rhubarb sauce into the cheesecake. I would recommend using as much as you can. Then add the strawberry slices to the top to decorate, or feel free to push them down deeper if you prefer.
- FREEZE the completed cheesecake for at least 3-4 hours, or until completely set.
- To SERVE, remove from the freezer, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then you should be able to either lift the whole thing out by popping it out with a butter knife, or by cutting out individual pieces to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container if possible.