Wellness Connection

Alicia Marie


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Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the cookie baking, spiked holiday eggnog drinking and dessert obsessing begins. And if you are a victim to gluten, this time of year is starting to become torturous. I feel you. I usually avoid gluten 90%, but after visiting with three different types of doctors for a peculiar rash, it sounds like I need to commit to a gluten free diet 110%. I am still not convinced that that is what my body is reacting to, but I need to feel like I am doing something to stop my incessant scratching.

So I have my tunes playing (It is a Frank Ocean kind of week), I am laying in bed enjoying my three day weekend and I am sharing a bomb gluten free raw strawberry cheesecake recipe. I shared it with friends, family, and coworkers. Everyone loved it. It tastes quite similar to cheesecake, but it is fairly guilt free and it does not leave your stomach twisting and stretching the limits of your pant buttons. Who can say no to that?!

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

*Do note that you can substitute strawberry out for any kind of berry according to your preference.

Prep (Do this the day before you make these)

Soak your cashews in water the night before.

Soak your dates in water the night before or an hour before. 

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Crust

½ Cup Raw Almonds

¼ Cup Raw Pecans

¼ Cup Raw Cashews

4 Medjool Dates (pitted and chopped)

½ Cup Shredded Coconut

2 Tablespoons Date Water

Place dates in a glass of water for at least an hour. Take the dates out of the water and set aside. Refrigerate the date water. Place nuts in a food processor and pulse until ground into fine crumbs. Add the dates and coconut. Coat muffin pans with coconut butter or earth balance. Press the nut-date mixture into the muffin holders. (Doing it over I would use the back of the muffin pan as they would be much easier to take out!) Press mixture evenly and place in freezer for two hours.

Gluten Free Raw Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Filling

½ cup Raw Cashews (soaked over night)

1 Cup Strawberries

2 Tablespoons Date Water

2 Pumps of Liquid Stevia (or other sweetener of choice)

Pinch of Salt

1 Tablespoon Raw Coconut Butter (melted)

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

Remove cashews from water and add to food processor. Pulse cashews until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients except for the coconut butter. Gradually pour the melted coconut butter into the food processor and pulse until the mixture is consistently smooth and creamy.

Remove crusts from muffin pans and spoon strawberry mixture into the crusts. Freeze strawberry cheesecakes for at least an hour. Garnish with berries. Fill your tummies happy.

Gluten Free Vegan Raw Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe


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The New Year Cliche: Resolutions

The holidays have moved on with the exception of New Years and I have been less than strict with my vegan diet. I have caved into my tiny grocery budget and settled for vegetarian sausages that contain milk and other products that existed in my fridge previous to my vegan adventure. I have also enjoyed more than a few completely non-vegan Christmas cookies.

And thus I have gained a few pounds and I have not felt as ripe and energetic as when I committed more fully to a vegan diet. I listed some of the challenges I faced that led me to caving into non-vegan foods. These fall-backs have become lessons and I have developed some easy solutions to help me commit more fully  to a vegan diet.

1. My boyfriend is a full blown carnivore and so is his kitchen.

Solution: I brought my own soy milk to his house once. I will commit to bringing my own vegan snacks. I accept that this is completely nerdy and I know he loves me anyways. The positive side of bringing my own food is that I know it will be healthy, it is fun to bake together and I really enjoy cooking for him. As I have said in previous posts, there is something deeply satisfying about cooking for people you love.

2.  Sometimes I absentmindedly leave my vegan packed lunch on the counter before work.

Solution: Leave myself a note. Do not settle for non-vegan food at Starbucks–buy the expensive bistro and cut out the non-vegan products. Use the ridiculous high price as motivation to remember my lunch next time! I could also utilize my fridge at work—put in some staple foods and condiments that are vegan. The next time I buy a bagel I will not be tempted to get cream cheese if I have peanut butter or vegan cream cheese in my work fridge!

3. Holiday deserts are not vegan. Ever.

Solution: I remind myself of how much better I feel when I eat vegan and I think about all of the issues that have motivated me to take on this diet. Also, I have terrible digestion problems including acid reflex that return when I start eating more cookies and animal products. Getting creative and baking my own desserts is fun, but not always realistic when the season brings chaos and a busy schedule. Preparing meals ahead of time is key. Finding some recipes before the holiday seasons hits could be helpful and save time too.

4. It’s ridiculously hard to eat-out vegan where I live.

Solution: Make more dinners. Who does not like to curl up in front of the TV with a warm blanket and a homemade meal that you can feel good about? Also, do my research ahead of time. I like to look up menus online so that I know what my options are. Worst case scenario I can eat a snack before dinner and settle for a salad at dinner. This solution probably would not work for everyone—do you have any ideas to face this problem?

5.  Life gets busy.

Solution: Prepare meals ahead of time. I like to make smoothies ahead of time as well as vegan protein bars. They are quick snacks for any one on the go!