A few years back when I was struggling to get enough hours at work I would often be sent home for a long lunch. Even though this was the most annoying thing ever from a financial and work routine perspective, I used to love coming home for lunch to catch watching Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meals on TV! He made a simple baked fruit salad once which he drizzled with elderberry syrup. He went on about how it really enhances the flavour of the fruit and ever since then I have been wanting to find elderberry syrup! I’m a little jealous of everyone that lives in Europe that goes collecting elderflowers in the summer to make syrup. It sounds like the most beautiful tradition and I would personally love to be able to do that so I could make my own syrup free of refined sugar. I’m not sure if I’ve missed something but I have never ever seen elderberry anything in Australia. It’s possible I don’t know where to look? The only reason I got my hands on some (finally) is because some of our friends had stocked up on a few bottles they picked up from IKEA of all places (kind of makes sense because IKEA is Scandinavian) I was so excited to finally try some and I have to say that Jamie was right! It really does elevate the flavour so well. Surprisingly it tasted quite familiar to me. It’s possible I may have tried some before when I was traveling Europe without realizing or I may have eaten it when I was really young and still living in Romania. The taste reminds me of a jelly I used to eat when I was very little. My Mum and I would go visit an old lady that lived on her own and she would always serve me bread with homemade fruit jelly jam we called dulceata. I’m almost certain she added elderflower to it because that’s what it tastes like to me. I was very little when we did this, maybe only 3 or 4 years of age (before we moved to Australia at age 5). My memories of this involved us walking through a forest to get to her house and her house looked like a forest cottage to me. According to my Mum, this isn’t true at all and I’m remembering it all wrong but it’s simply the way I perceived it as a small child and I love the memory so much!
These raw vegan Cheesecakes are a pretty standard recipe but as you may have noticed from many of my recent recipes, I am trying to add more hormone friendly nuts and seeds into the vases to get extra nutrition and added benefits. I’ve added pumpkin seeds to this base which are a wonderful source of zinc, magnesium, and iron. These are the three main minerals needed for period health and well balanced reproductive hormones. Pumpkin seeds are also the highest known source of tryptophan which is needed to convert to serotonin for healthy neurotransmitters and stable mood. You can read my foods for anxiety article here: http://hazelandcacao.com/the-best-plant-based-foods-to-beat-anxiety-and-build-healthy-neurotransmitters/ I’ve also added a nice selection of nuts that I don’t use very often in my recipes or everyday life for more variety. I loved sneaking in some pistachios! The extra little bit of saltiness elevates the flavour so much. The trick is to try and find shelled pistachios if possible to save on time. Depending on how thick you want the base of these cheesecakes you could likely double the recipe. Lately, I’ve become good at batch making my desserts and my make the same base for 2-3 desserts and change the flavour in the filling. For this reason, I sometimes get confused at the exact measurements I used despite doing my best to write them down as I go. I try to be conservative with the measurements that I give so that it doesn’t lead to food waste but if you find that there isn’t enough base to cover the base of all the muffin tin holes then feel free to double the recipe for the base.
This recipe is fairly straightforward and easy to make (provided you have elderflower syrup) and as usual is free of refined sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free and delicious!
|Raw Vegan Raspberry Elderberry Cakes|| |
- 1 cup macadamia nuts
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 3 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight or 3-4 hours)
- ⅔ cup coconut cream
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup raspberries ( fresh or frozen is fine)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 TBSP elderflower syrup
- For the base: break down the macadamias, pistachios and pumpkin seeds in a food processor until they form a nice crumb. Add the remaining base ingredients and blitz again until they are sticky. Divide mixture evenly and press into the base of a standard sized muffin tin. I used silicon for easy removal. If using normal muffin tin make sure it is lined with baking paper so the cheesecakes can be easily removed.
- For the filling: Add all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour evenly over the base mixture and place in the freezer to set for 3-4 hours or overnight. Decorate with raspberries and enjoy.