When I think of summers past, August never was a very busy month for me. Usually it was the winding down of a Summer break, when I was in school, or a month where there was some preparing for Back-to-school products at the full-time jobs that I had. Otherwise, there was just the heat, and a few activities that I had to take up my time.
Fast forward to this August, where there is a TON of stuff happening! One thing that comes to mind is the prepping for next month’s Vegan MOFO, which is always exciting and slightly stressful. It’s a great time to stretch your imagination and learn about some amazing new bloggers.
Then, there are all of these events to go to in Southern California! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, this is super awesome. This week I’m going to a “release party” of sorts, for Follow Your Heart’s new cheese shreds (yum!). Plus, some vegan potlucks, working a music festival (as a merch lady, of course), and most of all, birthdays. Next week I may be helping out Fran & Kate for Fran’s new cookbook trailer, hell yeah!
This past weekend was my dad’s birthday, which means, time for carrot cake! Usually, my mom buys a non-vegan carrot cake to share with the rest of the family, but we decided that I would make some mini-cakes with my new mini springform pans for us. I’m still tweaking the recipe, which is a lighter version of one that I used a couple of years ago. We shared one of the mini-cakes after a dinner of Chinese take-out (classy, no?), and it really hit the spot.
Unfortunately, our amazing weather has decided to actually become Summery, so temperatures have risen about 10-15 degrees. Naturally, I’m trying to stay away from the oven, so I’ve utilized my mini cake pans once again and made some raw cheesecake for you! Raw desserts are some of my favorite to make because it usually consists of soaking, blending, pressing and freezing. Then, ta-dah! A beautiful and healthier dessert for you to (maybe) share with your loved ones.
One Year Ago: Mint Melon Peach Smoothie
Two Years Ago: Cool Gazpacho
- 1½ C. Raw Cashews
- Water for Soaking
- 1½ C. Plums, Sliced
- ½ C. Mashed Banana
- ½ C. Water
- 2 T. Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
- 2 T. Fresh Orange Juice
- 1 C. Raw Almonds
- 5 Dates or ⅓ C. Dates, Pitted
- Water for Soaking
- ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Thinly Sliced Plum
- Fresh Mint
- Cover the raw cashews in water and soak for 2-4 hours, or if you want them "alive" again, 8 hours.
- Drain the cashews and place them in a high-speed blender with the plums, banana, ½ C. water, maple syrup, and orange juice.
- Blend until very smooth, you may need to add more water depending on the strength of your blender. Set aside.
- If your dates are kind of dried out, like mine were, soak them for 30 minutes then drain.
- Pulse the dates, almonds, vanilla extract and sea salt together in a food processor until the mixture starts to clump together and is the size of the almond chunks are small (as pictured). You do not want this to turn into a paste.
- Press the crust into three 4" springform pans or one 9" springform pan. Pour the filling over the crust and tap it gently on your counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Place in the freezer overnight or at least 5-6 hours, until they are firm in the center.
- When you're ready to serve, take them out of the freezer and out of the spring from pan, while they are still frozen.
- Top with plum slices and fresh mint. Let them thaw out for 15-20 minutes before serving, closer to 30 minutes if you used a 9" pan.