Category: Nourish Page 3 of 4

11 Recipes that Will Make You Fall in Love with Lentils

“Beans! Beans! Good for your heart. The more you eat the more you…”

ūüôā

I’ll be honest, that¬†little song didn’t mean much to me for most of my life because I didn’t eat beans! Aside from the occasional lima bean or green bean, I didn’t eat so much as a chickpea until I was an adult.

When I was a junior in college, I spent a semester abroad in southern Spain and was exposed¬†to dozens of foods I had never eaten before. Since I was a picky eater, I wasn’t exactly excited about this but knew it was a way I needed to grow. I even told my study abroad program¬†I was allergic to seafood, so I wouldn’t have to try any of it!

I remember sitting down for lunch one day, as my host mom, Matilde, served me a big bowl of what looked like tiny, brown flying saucers (got that reference from Rebecca Katz!).

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It turned out to be lentil and carrot stew, and I had no choice but to try it (doing anything else was considered rude in Spain). Fortunately, Matilde was so skilled at combining flavors in delicious ways that I tried it and loved it! Now, lentils are one of my favorite foods.

They also happen to be packed with nutrition to fuel your body and brain! Check it out:

  • They are PACKED with energy-balancing, weight-stabilizing,¬†fill-you-up fiber. *In fact, lentils fill me up more than any other food I eat.*
  • They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein. Green and¬†French¬†lentils are especially high in protein!
  • They’re mineral-rich and contain calming magnesium, heart healthy potassium, and are the #1 plant source of folate, which is essential for brain and nervous system function, healthy pregnancy and fetal development, reduced cancer risk¬†and heart health support
  • They’re one of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GBOMBS foods, which are some of the most nutrient-packed, anti-inflammatory, disease-preventive foods on the planet.

It’s nice to know that lentils are such a nourishing food, but where do we buy them and how do we cook them?

There are several different kinds of lentils, but the ones I tend to use the most are green lentils, French lentils and red lentils. Red lentils cook much faster but aren’t as firm as the other two kinds and contain less protein, so I don’t use red lentils as much as green we always have them on hand. Our favorite kind of pasta is actually made out of red lentils (one ingredient!) and is made by a company called Tolerant. We find it cheapest at Home Goods, but Whole Foods and MOMs sell it, too.

tolerant rotini

Every grocery store sells lentils, and you’ll find them either in the international aisle or in the health food aisle. Trader Joe’s also sells several different kinds of lentils, so we end up buying ours there to save a buck or two.

I scoured some of my favorite blogs and pulled together 11 lentil-loving recipes ranging from salads to soups to casseroles. I hope they inspire you to get excited about trying these little filling, fueling legumes!lentil-cover-image

Red Lentil Hummus by Jo Cooks

Lentil Bolognese from i heart eating¬†(We made this for dinner this past week and served it over Tolerant lentil pasta…it was DELICIOUS!)

Photo Credit: i heart eating. Used with permission.

Photo Credit: i heart eating. Used with permission.

Balsamic Lentil Salad from Destination Delish

Photo credit: Destination Delish. Used with permission.

Photo credit: Destination Delish. Used with permission.

Cozy Quinoa Buddha Bowl from Simply Quinoa

quinoa-buddha-bowl-2

Photo Credit: Simply Quinoa. Used with permission.

Curried Lentil & Brown Rice Casserole from Nourishing Mealscurry

Warm Lentil Kale and Potato Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing from She Likes Food

Photo Credit: She Likes Food. Used with permission.

Photo Credit: She Likes Food. Used with permission.

Baked Salmon & Lentils from Gimme Some Oven

baked-salmon-and-lentils-3

Photo Credit: Gimme Some Oven. Used with permission.

Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew from Eat Yourself Skinny

Mushroom, Lemon & Lentil Salad from Delicious Everyday

Red Curry Lentils by Pinch of Yum

lentils3

Photo Credit: Pinch of Yum. Used with permission.

Best Lentil Soup from Cookie & Kate

Photo Credit: Cookie & Kate. Image used with permission.

Photo Credit: Cookie & Kate. Image used with permission.

Do you like lentils? Do you have a favorite way you like to prepare them or a recipe you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!

Cherry Tomato, Asparagus & Quinoa Spring Salad

We just came back from an amazing weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, where my husband and dad (whose 66th birthday is today!) finished the¬†Half Ironman Triathlon. They swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles¬†and then ran 13.1 miles! It was a HOT day, but they did it!¬†All of their hard work is preparing them for the Lake Placid Ironman on July 24th. I’m working on a post about the experience from this weekend, so stay tuned for that post later this week ūüôā

In the meantime, I wanted to share a recipe for a salad I’ve made a few times already this spring, mainly because of how simple it is. It’s a dish you could bring to a potluck or enjoy for lunch or dinner.

And it includes one of the veggies that is in season here on the East Coast – asparagus!asparagus-closeup

Asparagus is one of my favorite springtime foods that is incredibly versatile and easy to make. You can steam it, bake it, saute it, or grill it. You can even use it as an ingredient in soup, but I’ve yet to try that.

I came up with this recipe after spending a beautiful afternoon with my friend, Lisa, and her two kiddos. When I got home, I took a look at what was left in the fridge and decided to put this salad together. The ingredients are simple – quinoa, onions, garlic, tomatoes, lemons, and asparagus.

This recipe embodies the wise words of Julia Child…Julia Child Quote

Think of this recipe as a template or a guide. Start with a cooked grain like quinoa or rice + onion and garlic base + 3-4 cups of veggies of your choice + vinaigrette. The other day when I made it, I threw in some arugula. Another time, I might use spinach instead or sub in some roasted red peppers for tomatoes. Use what you have ūüôā

Cooking does not have to be stressful, and using templates like this can make it more fun and freeing!spring-quinoa-salad-aerial-coverspring-quinoa-salad-closeup

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (will yield about 3 cups cooked)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 bunch asparagus,¬†woody stem (bottom 1″) removed and the rest chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, leaves rolled and thinly sliced
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until almost all of the water is absorbed. DO NOT STIR QUINOA. Remove quinoa from heat and leave covered for 5 minutes to steam. Remove lid and fluff with fork. Set aside.
  2. Add olive oil to large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions for about 5-6 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add tomatoes and cook for 6-8 minutes. Add asparagus and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp tender and still bright green. Remove from heat. Add vegetables to quinoa and toss to combine.
  3. Whisk lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt and pepper together. Add olive oil and continue whisking until evenly combined. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle basil on top, and toss everything to combine. Serve warm or chilled.

Hail, Caesar! Kale Salad {Hubby-Approved}

Caesar salads are one of the most universally loved salads…even for people who don’t like salads that much.

Since removing dairy from my diet a few years back, I’ve had to get creative about how to recreate the tastes and textures I enjoyed for so many years from things like cheese and Caesar dressing. I’ve tried a few recipes, but none¬†really worked for me.

Until this one.

It’s from one of my favorite blogs – ohsheglows – written by Angela Liddon, who is a fellow lover of colorful, vibrant, plant-based foods. I’ve been making recipes from her blog for years and LOVE them.

I knew I had to try her Caesar salad recipe.

I’m SO glad I did! My husband, Bill, and I CRUSHED this salad. As in, we ate almost the whole thing in one sitting ūüôā

The dressing was thick and creamy and had just the right amount of tang. We used rosemary Chickpeatos instead of making Angela’s chickpea croutons, but I plan to try her recipe for those at some point in the future. chickpeatos-full-bag

The only ingredient that I didn’t have already and had never bought before was Worcestershire sauce. And you don’t have to get the vegan version, as the recipe suggests. Just use what you have!

Also, try not to let new ingredients in recipes intimidate you. Grocery stores offer more options than ever these days, so I’ve not had a problem finding things. The natural / health food aisle of the larger grocery stores carry most of the ingredients in recipes I post on this blog. My favorite stores locally are MOMs Organic Market, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Trader Joe’s.

You have to try this recipe! It’s delish ūüôā

*Click here to get the full recipe for this Crowd-Pleasing Caesar Salad from ohsheglows!*

vegan-kale-cesar-aerial

 

 

Easy One-Pan Meal: Baked Salmon, Potatoes & Asparagus

As much as I like experimenting in the kitchen, I also think it’s fun to explore other blogs and cookbooks to find inspiration for the next great meal idea!

Last month, we tried something new and used the meal planning service from Relay Foods, an online grocery store that makes grocery shopping quick and easy.¬†The last time we used their meal planning¬†service, we made a yummy black bean soup and kale slaw with our friends Zach and Kiersten a few weeks before they said, “I do.”

I was curious to see what Relay’s One Pot Meal options looked like, since I’m not a huge fan of the clean-up part of cooking. I found a One Pan Salmon, Potato and Asparagus dinner that looked easy to make. Asparagus is in season, so I thought it would be a great way to showcase that veg.

asparagus-closeup

What I loved about the dish was its simplicity and how delicious it was! Not only that, but two of the main ingredients are mood-boosting foods that I wrote about in my last blog post –¬†folate-rich asparagus and wild caught salmon.

Folate is one of the most important nutrients we can eat and is found in leafy green veggies, asparagus, lentils and other beans. It plays a key role in helping our body produce the mood-balancing and boosting neurotransmitter, serotonin.  The omega-3 fats in the salmon feed our brain and help our body reduce inflammation, which is at the root of so many of the diseases that are taking life from our years and years from our lives.

I bet you will enjoy this delicious dish as much as Bill and I did!

**UPDATE: Relay Foods was bought by Door to Door Organics in 2016, which has since shut down. For more ideas about online recipe options and meal kits, check out one of these options:

Here is the link for a similar recipe from Simply Recipes, since Relay Foods is out of business.

one-pan-final

 

Bill’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites

My husband, Bill, is in the process of preparing his mind and body for an epic life event – his first Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid, New York this summer.

With only one triathlon under his belt, he knows what he is about to do in a few short months is no small feat, but he is determined to make it happen.

He’s training with my dad, who has completed¬†five Ironman races since starting at the age of 56, and will be competing in his sixth Ironman with Bill at the age of 66.

Dad Bill Columbia

Bill has been diligent about his training, putting to use the discipline he’s learned as a lifelong athlete.¬†¬†His training schedule is rigorous and requires activities like four-hour bike rides on a Saturday morning and 5:00 a.m. swims at¬†the gym in order to be guaranteed an open lane.

People often ask me, “Are you going to do one?” (Translation: Are you going to swim 2.4 miles in a lake, bike 112 miles through the mountains, and then run a marathon (26.2 miles)?)

Hmmm, let me think about that…probably not ūüôā It doesn’t appeal to me in the least!

What does¬†appeal to me and what¬†I do enjoy is making¬†sure Bill is well fueled and nourished. Eating well is an often overlooked aspect of athletic training. It’s critical for ensuring your body has enough energy and strength to endure long training hours and essential for speeding up the recovery process.

By modifying his diet over the years, Bill has connected why and what he eats with how he feels and functions. We eat as Michael Pollan suggests Рreal food, not too much, mostly plants Рso our diet is packed with nutrient-dense foods. He eats the way he does to fuel and nourish himself, so he can perform physically at the highest level. One of his favorite fueling snacks, especially on the days of early morning workouts, are these chocolate peanut butter energy bites. PB Choco Bites

Packed with healthy fats, fiber and protein, these little no-bake bites are energy-dense, meaning a little goes a long way.

For someone like Bill, popping a few of these before, during or after all of those hours of training stokes his fire, since he’s burning a lot of energy. But for the rest of us, one or two a day will do.

Like most of my other no-bake bites, these tasty treats require a food processor, so if you don’t have one yet, I would highly recommend adding it to your wish list. They’re not super expensive but are incredibly versatile. We have a Cuisinart one and use ours just about every other day!

PB Choco Bites Title

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I love Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats or Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1.5 cups Medjool dates, pitted (find these in the produce section of the grocery store)
  • 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (add 1/4 tsp more if your peanut butter is unsalted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put oats and shredded coconut in the food processor fitted with the S-blade and run until it reaches a fine meal, about 45-60 seconds.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until everything is evenly combined.
  3. Form dough into 1-inch balls with your hands and roll gently between your palms to even out the edges. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Cheezy Cauliflower Nachos {Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free}

We’re in the FINAL stages of our kitchen renovation, and I can’t wait to show you all the before and after pics! I’m waiting for some frames to arrive to hang up artwork, and then I’ll reveal the final look. It’s been very exciting! ūüôā

On¬†Thursday night, we¬†decided that we’d had enough of eating dinner¬†in our basement. We brought most of our kitchen stuff upstairs and started putting food, cups, plates, bowls and other accessories in their new homes. For the first time in my life, I have a pantry and soft close drawers and doors! It’s the little things.

We decided to break in the kitchen by making our first dinner in the new space that night. And we shared some pretty nasty champagne to celebrate! Me and Bill Cheers

Inspired by a recent visit to the AWESOME MOMs Organic Market and cafe in Hamdpen, I decided to take a stab at making vegan cauliflower nachos, a dish they had on their menu at the Naked Lunch cafe. My friend Katie and I split it the other day when we met up for lunch, and it was delicious!

As a kid I never ate beans, brown rice, avocados or scallions, so everything in this dish represents quite¬†a few¬†transformations along my food journey. Our taste buds are highly adaptable, so give foods you’ve previously sworn off a second chance!

Since removing dairy products from my diet (here’s why I¬†did), I’ve missed some of the creamy goodness dairy-based foods provide. But, because¬†my body feels and functions so much better without them, I don’t consider it a struggle to be without them. And that’s what motivates me to find alternatives like the cheese-y sauce used in this recipe.

The “cheese” sauce has a bit of a kick to it (back off the cayenne if you want less).

Cheese Sauce CloseupIt’s creaminess comes from the cashews and tahini, two ingredients I use in a lot of my recipes that you can find at just about any grocery store (find tahini in the natural food aisle or international aisle in the Mediterranean section).

We haven’t made this cheese sauce in over two years, and Bill liked it so much that he¬†said, “We need to make a batch of this stuff¬†every week!”

From start to finish, this recipe comes together pretty quickly, as the cauliflower takes very little time to roast and the cheese sauce can be whipped up in a matter of minutes in the blender.

Vegan nachos pic

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2¬†cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 15-ounce can no sodium added black beans,¬†drained and rinsed¬†(Eden Organic or Field Day Organic are our go-tos)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 batch noocho cheese sauce

To learn more about the ingredients in the noocho cheese sauce, check out this blog post I wrote about it previously.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and a few pinches of sea salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and a fork pierces through easily. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Add rice and beans to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Top with roasted cauliflower, avocado, scallions, and noocho cheese sauce.

 

Ginger Lemon Energy Bites {Gluten-Free, Paleo}

We’re approaching the final week of construction on our kitchen (YAY!), which has been going on for almost two months. I’m excited to get back in my kitchen so I can¬†come up with more delicious, nourishing¬†recipes to share with you!

One piece of equipment I’ve had access to throughout the remodel process is my food processor. It is one of the most versatile and useful tools in our kitchen. We use it to shred cabbage and carrots and to¬†whip up hummus, pesto, and¬†chocolate avocado pudding.

But we use our food processor most often to make raw, no-bake energy bites, including these Cherry Chocolate Brownie Bites, Coconut Chai Almond Butter Bites, and Snickerdoodle Donut Holes.

I wanted to come up with a new no-bake bite recipe to celebrate my friend Jinji’s birthday. She makes our favorite chocolate treats that I slowly savor on a weekly basis, so I thought I’d check with her to see what¬†flavor combinations she might like. Lettuce Party Card

Citrus

Coconut

Ginger…LOTS of ginger.

Ginger for Jinji ūüôā

I took her inspiration and combined a few tastes and textures that I thought would complement each other and came up with my newest no-bake recipe!

The bite from the ginger, zing from the lemon zest, tartness of the cranberries and a pinch of salt come together in a special way in these energy bites. For more energy bite recipes, check out this page.

Ginger Lemon Bite Closeup Ginger Lemon Bites TrioGinger Lemon Bite Wrapper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 2/3 cup Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Directions

  1. Process cashews and coconut in a food processor until it reaches the consistency of a fine meal/flour.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the ingredients start sticking together.
  3. Shape dough into a small ball with your hands and roll to smooth them out. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

When it comes to convenience, versatility and eating for energy, it doesn’t get much easier than overnight oats in a jar!

This is one of my go-to breakfast options and is perfect for busy mornings. Here are just a few more reasons I’m such a fan of overnight oats:

  • Change it up based on what you have on hand and what’s in season
  • Inexpensive ingredients that are pantry staples in our house
  • Eat them right out of the jar or heat them up on the stovetop, if you’d prefer something a little warmer
  • Make them a few days ahead of time for a ready-to-go breakfast
  • Involve your kids and let them get creative with toppings!

I’ve shared recipes for overnight oats before, including these¬†Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats and these¬†“Berry” Quick Overnight Oats, but today’s recipe is for Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats!

Oats aerial

I used some of my favorite seasonal ingredients, including crisp apples, warming cinnamon and crunchy walnuts. I used apples two ways – applesauce as the base and chopped apples as the topping. The chia seeds are filling and soak up some of the almond milk, helping everything come together…without cooking it!

I love the combination of apples and cinnamon, especially during¬†the colder¬†months, so that’s what inspired this particular combination.

Apple OatsOats aerialI had some fun making a video “how-to” in case you’re a more visual person and want to hear more about the benefits of each ingredient.

The full recipe is listed below, so check it out and give it a try!

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

This is a quick and easy breakfast option for the busy person on the go! Make 2-3 ahead of time so you can prep once and eat multiple meals. It's a time saver!

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 1
Author Rachel Druckenmiller

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup whole rolled oats I use gluten-free
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 apple chopped
  • 4 walnuts chopped

Instructions

  1. Stir applesauce, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and sea salt in the bottom of a mason jar.

  2. Add the oats and almond milk and stir everything together to combine. Cover with a lid and store in your fridge for at least 30 minutes, ideally overnight.

  3. Remove from fridge and stir in toppings. Eat directly from the jar or warm on the stove. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Optional toppings: 1 tablespoon nut butter, toasted coconut, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, 100% pure maple syrup, to taste

Like this:

25 Energizing Breakfast Recipes {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

For most of my life, the back of the cereal box was the highlight of my first meal of the day.

As much as I enjoyed starting my day that way, I’ve learned that typical breakfast cereals and other breakfast foods like donuts, bagels and granola bars are not the most filling or nourishing choices.

We’ve heard that breakfast is an important meal, and it’s true.

Eating breakfast helps us stabilize our blood sugar levels throughout the day, which affects things like our energy, alertness, and mood.

Not hungry when you wake up? You might have eaten too late the night before and spent your night digesting instead of repairing and resting. Another possibility is that you might not have gotten enough quality sleep and could still have some stress hormones floating around that are dampening your appetite.

When we grab something to “break the fast,” the key is to make sure we’re eating the most filling and satisfying combination of food to keep us going throughout the day. The secret to lasting energy and feeling satisfied after a meal is eating a combination of…

PFF

Fiber only comes from plants, so that would mean we want to include something that was growing in nature at some point. Protein can be plant-based or animal-based. Examples of healthy fats include things like nuts, seeds, avocado, wild caught salmon, and coconut.

Remember, breakfast is a time of day, not a group of foods. Anything is fair game!

Check out this video I put together that walks through some of my favorite breakfast ideas. Then, take a look at the links below that direct you to a bunch of the recipes I mention in the video!

Smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to jam pack nutrition in a glass, but drink them slowwwwly instead of downing them in 90 seconds, as I have a tendency to do. Smoothies are so easy to make as well and can be done in minutes with the help of the Best Juicer! Getting nutrients from veg and fruit has never been so easy.

Make sure you follow the guidelines of the PFF combo – protein, fiber AND some healthy fat in each smoothie. Most of the time when we make smoothies, we put in lots of fruit and juice and very little protein or healthy fats, so we spike our blood sugar and end up feeling hungry a couple hours later.

My basic formula for making smoothies looks like this: ~2 cups veggies (spinach, baby kale, lettuce, cabbage), 1 cup fruit (berries are best!), 1 -1.5 cups liquid, 2 tablespoons protein (nut butter, hemp seeds, protein powder) and then some add-ins like coconut oil, flax seeds, chia seeds, dates, cinnamon, or cacao powder. My preferred protein in smoothies are hemp seeds, sprouted pea protein, or sprouted brown rice protein (you can get all of them on Amazon). Sun Warrior and Vega are two good brands.

These are some of my favorite smoothie recipes, especially the Ultimate Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Chocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie, Caribbean Island Breeze, and this Snickerdoodle Smoothie.

Whip up a smoothie in the morning and put it in a thermos. It should stay cold for about four hours.

smoothie bannerIMG_6864

You can also find lots of free smoothie recipes here at Simple Green Smoothies.

Here’s a link to an awesome and FREE downloadable smoothie guide from the Academy for Culinary Nutrition that you can print out and put on your fridge.

I like smoothies, but I don’t drink them every day. Sometimes my body wants something warm or something a bit more savory like a frittata, so I pay attention to my cravings and eat accordingly!

Gluten-Free Grains

Sugary cereals aren’t the only bowl-based option for breakfast. Check out some of my favorite hot and cold cereal recipes below. I serve them with some almond milk or coconut milk. Yum!

PS Oatmeal Banner

Granola Aerial

No-Bake Bites

Enjoy these as a side to some fruit and/or veggies or oatmeal. If you make a lighter smoothie based mostly on veggies or fruit without fat, try these as a side to that, too. They also make a great snack!

coconut chai biteslacto cookies

Egg-Based Dishes

For more savory options, the dishes below are some of my absolute favorites. As the weather gets cooler, my body tends to crave these warmer, veggie-packed, nutrient-dense meals.

Beet Shakshuka Recipe from Two Moms in the Raw cookbookMexican Black Bean Scramble

Leftovers

Who says breakfast has to be a boring bowl of cereal? Have some leftovers from the night before? Heat them up for breakfast!

currycrock pot chili

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares {Paleo, Vegan}

As we’ve been gearing up for Thanksgiving and experimenting with different dishes, I’ve been trying some new desserts.

Inspired by the textures of Meghan Telpner’s Rawmazing Key Lime Pie, I thought I’d infuse the flavors of fall into a melt-in-your-mouth, coat-your-tongue, creamy, no-bake cheesecake.

And I wanted an excuse to use pumpkin.

Pumpkin

Because I love pumpkin.

All things pumpkin.

Especially when it’s mixed with sweet maple syrup, creamy cashews, and warming cinnamon and ginger.

It’s my new go-to for a Thanksgiving dessert.

Cheesecake StackPSquare Closeup

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares.

I’m going to keep it short and sweet here today because this recipe is that good, but all you need to know is it’s easy to make, doesn’t require baking, and is so addictive you’ll want to eat multiple squares at a time.

The creaminess comes from the raw cashews (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it), and the slight hint of tartness we’d usually get from cheese comes from a spoonful of lemon juice.

Happy Thanksgiving!

cheesecake banner

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (make sure they’re soft)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt

Filling

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 2-4 hours then drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put all the crust ingredients into a food processor, and process until the ingredients stick together. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a square baking dish.
  2. Put all filling ingredients in your blender or food processor (high-speed blenders like a Vitamix or Blendtec work best) and blend until smooth and creamy. You may have to stop to scrape down the sides. I had to use the tamper for my Vitamix to get it to be smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour the filling evenly over the base and smooth with a spatula. Cover the dish and place it in the freezer to set for 4-6 hours.
  4. Let the dish sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and then cut into squares. I sprinkled a thin layer of cinnamon on top before serving.

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