Raw Vegan Lavender Lemon Cheesecake

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My beautiful friend recommended this recipe to me and gave it rave reviews.  I’m a huge lavender fan and it looked too good to be true, so I made it!

I liked it so much, I came home every day after work and had a piece until it was gone (which only took 5 days).  It tastes delicious and refreshing and I felt SO GOOD eating it because it’s so healthy.  I will say it’s less of a cheesecake flavor and more of a frozen yogurt-y flavor.

Also, this is an expensive recipe, but it’s worth it.  I’m starting to realize that I would rather spend more money on high quality ingredients and spend more time making things that taste good and are healthy for me.

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So, here it is, from This Rawsome Life

Raw Vegan Lavender Lemon Cheesecake
This Rawsome LifeIngredients:

Crust:

1/2 cup dates
1 1/2 cups nuts (I used soaked walnuts and almonds)
Cheesecake:
3 cups cashews (preferably soaked for 3-4 hours)
3/4 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup honey/agave/maple syrup
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1-3 teaspoons dried lavender  (depends on how much you like lavender; I used 3)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod

Directions:
 

1. Surround the inside of a cake pan with wax paper or plastic wrap. Process dates and nuts together until you get a rough, sticky mixture that you can pat down with your hands into the bottom of the cake pan. Do so. Set in fridge.

2. Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. (I used a food processor and blended for about 10 minutes.  My friend said she ended up blending for 15!)
3. Pour onto crust in cake pan and set in the freezer or fridge until it has the hardness you want (probably 3-5 hours or overnight). Take out of cake pan holding the wax paper or plastic wrap and put on your favorite plate.
4. Slice and enjoy.

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Protein Powder Granola

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The new year has already started off wonderfully!  I just celebrated my birthday yesterday with some of my favorite people, my job is still amazing, yoga still rocks, and I continue to meet and be surrounded by positive, inspiring people!

I’ve been struggling with the direction of my blog lately because one of my resolutions for the year, after reading The Happy Vegan by Russell Simmons, is to eat less dairy.  Plus, this goes along with the yoga principle of “ahimsa,” meaning “compassion” and “not to injure.”  We shall see…

For now, here’s this:

Protein Powder Granola

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat germ, flax seed meal, brown sugar, dates, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, and vanilla. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and mix until evenly blended. Spread in a greased 9×13 or 11×7 inch baking pan.
  5. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes, or until toasted.
  6. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

 

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Strawberry Banana “Ice Cream”

strawbsmoothie2 I hope you all enjoyed your holiday!  Mine was filled with family, unseasonably warm weather, great food, and friends.  I’m feeling very grateful!

I’ve been eating a bunch and my digestive system could probably use a break from all of the goodies.

This simple fruity “ice cream” only requires 3 ingredients and a food processor or good blender.  Plus, it’s a delicious and easy transition from unhealthy holiday food back to healthy food.  It’s also very adaptable…you can use any fruit you’d like.  (As you can see in the food processor picture, I used mangoes).

Strawberry Banana “Ice Cream”

Ingredients:

10(ish) frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup plain yogurt

Directions:

Just one direction… place everything in a food processor and blend until creamy!

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White Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

White Chocolate Brownies
Happy #nationalbrownieday!

I’m re-posting one of my favorite brownie recipes for the special occasion. Just FYI, these are basically all butter.  These aren’t “every day brownies,” these are definitely “special occasion brownies.”  But, like I said, #nationalbrownieday is a special occasion.

Enjoy!

White Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Ingredients:

Brownies:
1 c. butter (yes, two sticks… did I mention this isn’t a healthy recipe?)

3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
2  c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling:
(adapted from Taste of Home)
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar  
1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. white chocolate chips
Chocolate Glaze:
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. shortening

Directions:

1. Brownies: Prepare 13×9″ baking pan by laying a piece of foil in the bottom and up the sides.  Spray with cooking spray or butter the foil.
2. Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a medium saucepan; add cocoa, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and cool slightly. 
3. Add sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until combined.
4. Add flour and baking powder; mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread batter into pan.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
6. Cookie dough: Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl and cream together.  Add flour and stir until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.
7. Spread in an even layer on top of cooled brownies.  Chill before adding chocolate glaze.
8. Glaze: Melt chocolate with shortening and stir until smooth.  Spread over chilled cookie dough layer.

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Salted Caramel Sauce

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not super fond of spending $5 on a small Salted Caramel Latte.  I love Starbucks, but I love not spending money even more.

I love this sauce because it’s so versatile.  You can eat it on ice cream, in lattes, on pancakes, in oatmeal… your options are endless!

To make a salted caramel latte, click here.  To make a caramel macchiato, click here.

Salted Caramel Sauce
Recipe from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

    1. Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
    2. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
    3. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
    4. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
    5. Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
    6. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
    7. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using. Store in the fridge.

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Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

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Holy. Cow.  These chocolate cheesecake bars are incredible.

My go-to dessert lately has been cookies.  I’ve made SO MANY cookies lately that I quit taking pictures of them to post on here because I didn’t want to bore you all.

As I was visiting my parents this weekend, I looked in their cabinets to see what they had.  I like to play a little “game” where I pick an ingredient, then Google “{Insert ingredient here} dessert recipes.”  So, after I spotted some evaporated milk in the cabinet, I Googled “Evaporated Milk desserts,” ignored all of the fudge recipes, and stumbled upon these delicious little bars.

I am all about pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but I would totally forego the pie for these bars.  That’s how good they are.  They’re very decadent and you’ll probably need some milk to go with them. Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 4

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from: Very Best Baking

Ingredients:

 

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, (1/2 a stick) melted
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 8×8 inch baking pan.
    2. Combine flour, nuts, brown sugar and butter in medium bowl; reserve 1/2 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared baking pan.
    3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or just until light golden brown.
    4. Make the filling:  beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in evaporated milk.
    5. Microwave 1 cup of the chocolate chips in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring just until chocolate chips are melted. Beat into cream cheese mixture. Gently stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
    6. Pour over hot crust. Sprinkle with reserved topping mixture.
    7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan to room temperature. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, then serve.

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 3

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

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About 80% of the time, I crave sweet, unhealthy breakfasts… like donuts. And cinnamon rolls.  And Reese’s Puffs.  It’s really hard to pass up these options when I’m rushing around in the morning trying to get ready for work.

But, I’d like to live a while so, I find healthy and quick alternatives.  Obviously this oatmeal doesn’t taste like Reese’s Puffs, but it’s a totally sufficient substitute.  Especially topped with heavy cream… balance, right?

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
splash of milk or cream

Directions:
1.  Mix water, quick oats, cocoa powder, and salt in a pot on the stove (or make in the microwave).
2. Cook until you’ve reached a desired consistency, then stir in the honey and vanilla.
3.  Top with peanut butter and cream and mix!

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Oreo Frosting Cookies

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Yay, this is my first post back on WordPress!  I liked Tumblr, but I really missed WordPress.

Anyway, I hope you all had a fabulous Halloween and were able to eat tons of candy.  We, as usual, bought a bunch of candy knowing we wouldn’t have very many Trick-or-Treaters.  We did end up having more kids than usual, but we also still have plenty of candy left over.  Win-win!

I made some awesome “frosting” cookies a few years back.  They’re just regular sugar cookies with frosting in the dough.  Well, I thought I’d kick those up a notch (because more sugar is the only thing that can make sugar better) and add Oreos to the mix.  They turned out amaaazing.  You’ll have to try them for yourself!  You could really add anything you want to these.  They would be great for all of that extra Halloween candy, if that’s even a thing.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup frosting of choice (I used white chocolate frosting)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate, melted
1/2 cup crushed Oreos

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet or line with a Silpat.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the frosting, egg, vanilla, and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until well combined. Once combined, slowly drizzle in melted chocolate while mixing.
  5. Then, add your Oreos and mix with a spatula…don’t over-mix.
  6. Drop cookies by large tablespoon fulls onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges of cookies are lightly browned.

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Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies

Happy National Dessert Day!

I made some pretty delicious Pumpkin Gingersnap Blondies…. but, then I forgot to take pictures of them.  So, here are some awesome pumpkin spice cookies instead! 

I’m obsessed with Target’s seasonal candy.  They always have all the good stuff.  I actually never end up really loving any of the candy, but they make for great desserts!  These Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses aren’t great on their own, but they are wonderful in these cookies!

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies

Ingredients:

Cookies:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
1 packet (4.2 oz) Pumpkin Spice Pudding
24 Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses

Glaze:
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Place the very soft butter in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the sugars, salt, vanilla, and stir well. Add the egg and stir until well blended.
3. Add the baking soda, flour, and Pumpkin Spice pudding, mixing until blended.
4. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto light-colored baking sheets. Flatten into disks, using gentle pressure from your fingers.
5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned; the tops shouldn’t brown, they should still be slightly gooey.
6. Remove the cookies from the oven. Press the Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses into each cookie while the cookies are still warm. Slide the cookies onto a rack to cool completely.
7. Make the glaze by warming the milk until it starts to bubble; either by stove or by microwave.  Add the chocolate chips until they are melted. Mix together until the consistency is smooth.  Drizzle over cookies. Let cool and eat!

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

I received the most amazing pumpkin kit from Sprouts Farmer’s Market.  To see what all was in it, check out my Instagram (whatkatiesbaking).  

One of the the items included was canned Organic Pumpkin. 

The options for pumpkin puree are pretty limitless.  When I grabbed this can of pumpkin to make something with, it was a crisp, chilly evening and I was craving something warm, salty, spicy and comforting. I think the most comforting food on a fall-like evening is soup.  Not thin, watery soup, but thick, hearty soup.  So, I found a recipe for spicy pumpkin soup.

Oh. My. Gosh. This soup is amazing and incredibly easy to make.  It’s perfect for cozy fall nights or Sunday football parties.  I highly recommend it!

Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Recipe from: All Recipes

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) Sprouts Organic Pumpkin (canned) 
½ an onion, cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic salt
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
½ cup heavy cream (or whole milk)

Directions:

1. Heat chicken broth, pumpkin puree, onion, garlic, and Cajun seasoning to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
3. Stir in heavy cream before serving.