Anna Speaks

Boost Your Gut Health with this No-Bake Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

No Bake Vegan Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake
 
Probiotic-rich foods are one of the most important things we can consume. After all, the gut is home to around 70-80% of our body's immune system in the form of an army of friendly microflora – there are trillions of beneficial bacteria living in a healthy gut. The benefits of consuming probiotics reach far and wide - they promote more complete digestion, help eliminate indigestion and stomach bloat, and keep unhealthy bacteria in check so we're less likely to fall ill, to name just a few. 

And if you're looking for a dessert that's friendly on digestion this is it - a dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, nutrient-rich cheesecake that contains a generous amount of gut-friendly probiotics from cultured coconut yogurt and Sunbiotics organic probiotics to help replenish the digestive system. It also contains healthy fats from whole coconut butter to stabilize blood sugar, and contains very minimal sugar in general - there's just a little over ¼ cup maple syrup and seven dates in the entire cake.  The texture is decadent (so silky and rich!), the flavors are refreshing (lemon! Berries!), and eating a slice (okay, maybe two slices...) won't weigh you down or get in the way of your sunny springtime adventures. 

We hope you end up sharing your own cheesecake masterpiece with friends and loved ones this spring!

The Recipe

No-Bake Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

Makes 1, 6” x 2-3/4” springform pan

Filling Ingredients

1.5 cups cashew nuts, soaked
 
1 cup unsweetened Natural COYO

1/2 cup melted Dastony Stone Ground Coconut Butter (not coconut oil, use whole coconut butter)

1/4 cup + 1 Tbs real maple syrup

1 inch of vanilla bean – the whole pod*

Juice of 1 lemon – about 1/4 cup

3 drops therapeutic grade lemon essential oil ** (or use the zest from one organic lemon)

½ cup fresh raspberries
 

Crust Ingredients

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup blanched almond flour

7 medjool dates

1 tbsp of coconut oil, melted

1 tsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp salt
 
Topping (optional but a nice touch) - Rawmio Raw Chocolate Hearts

*if you do not own a high-speed blender, scrape the vanilla beans from the pod as the pod itself may be a
a bit too tough for the blender to break down fully.

**use therapeutic grade, organically produced lemon oil ONLY. Not all EO is of the same caliber, and
most are not safe to ingest.

Steps

Crust

1. In a blender or food processor, pulse ingredients together until they break down and bind together. You'll
want to be able to take a spoonful, squish it together, and have it hold its shape. Make sure all of
the dates are broken down as they are what help bind the crust.

2. Scoop crust into the bottom of a springform pan, and press evenly along the bottom only.

Filling

1. Soak cashews for at least 4-6 hours to soften. They can also be soaked overnight to prep for the next
day. Drain and rinse thoroughly after soaking.

2. Combine all ingredients except lemon oil and coconut butter in a blender carafe (preferably high speed
like Vitamix or Blendtec) and blend on a medium-high setting until very smooth – about 30 seconds.

3. Add gently melted coconut butter and lemon oil and blend again. The reasoning for adding these last is
the heat generated from blending may alter the flavor of these two ingredients. Adding the coconut butter
last also helps give the filling a more fluffy consistency.

Assembly

1. Pour filling over crust in a springform pan

2. Take fresh raspberries and place them on top of the filling, then with clean fingers or a utensil carefully push
them down into the filling so that they are completely submerged.

3. Place cake in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour. Store leftovers in the fridge. Cheesecake may also be
frozen but should be left to unthaw before serving for best flavor and consistency

This Matcha Pistachio Butter Shake is Heavenly

Vegan Matcha Pistachio Butter Shake

It's officially spring, which means smoothie season is finally here. No longer do you have to put on an extra coat and huddle up next to the heater to enjoy your favorite icy blends. This recipe is simple to make and is so delicious - it's really more like a milkshake than a smoothie in terms of taste, but the ingredients are all plant-based and healthy, so it can be enjoyed any time of the day. 

If you haven't yet had the pleasure of trying our new Pistachio Nut Butter, run, don't walk, and grab a jar (or 5 - you'll be happy you did ...). This unique nut butter is like heaven in a jar - it's hard to believe that something with just 1 single ingredient could be so decadent and satisfying. Adding a heaping tablespoon to this recipe brings an incredible creaminess and sweet nutty flavor that works perfectly with the matcha, vanilla, frozen banana, and coconut water. We think it's safe to say this nut butter will elevate just about any smoothie recipe you make with it. 
 
Since this shake contains matcha, it makes a great breakfast shake, especially for those days when you need a little extra pep in your step. Toss in some vanilla protein powder to transform it into the perfect pre or post-workout fuel. 
 
We hope you love it!
 
Vegan Matcha Pistachio Butter Shake

The Recipe 

Matcha Pistachio Butter Shake
 
Serves 1
 
Ingredients
 
1 large frozen banana (or 1.5 small)
12 oz coconut water (we love Harmless Harvest)
1 heaping Tbs coconut cream (can be omitted) 
1 tsp matcha powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup ice
 
Steps
 
1) Blend until creamy dreamy. Serve with cacao nibs on top. 

7 Ways to Uplevel Your Smoothies (and Reduce the Sugar!)

 

7 Ways to Uplevel Your Smoothies (and Reduce the Sugar!)

Smoothies can be an easy and delicious way to pack in a serious amount of nutrition without having to give it too much thought. Not only that, but they're portable and easy to drink on the move, and also make nutritious meal replacements for days you may be particularly short on time. That being said, there is an art to making smoothies that are both pleasing to the taste buds and also have a balanced nutrition profile. For instance, a smoothie that contains just frozen fruit, bananas, and milk might have some vitamins, but it is high in sugar and low in healthy fats, protein, and trace minerals - it isn't very nourishing and may leave you hungry shortly afterward. On the other hand, a smoothie packed full of green superfoods, nut butter, and nutrient-rich, lower sugar alternatives will have a completely different effect on your overall energy levels and daily nutrient intake. 

Here are some top ways you can seriously level-up your smoothies!

Swap out the 'nanas

Bananas may be a smoothie shop staple, lending both creaminess and sweetness, but it turns out they're not required to make a smoothie thick and delicious. Both steamed sweet potato and avocado can be used as lower sugar alternatives - they'll thicken up the texture just like bananas and their relatively neutral flavor profile means they can be used in many different recipes. Try freezing them first, especially if your other smoothie ingredients are fresh (not frozen). Just make sure the sweet potato is steamed (or baked) and peeled first before freezing for the best and creamiest results.

Go nuts!

Nut butter shouldn't be confined to just sandwiches and toast - they're absolutely amazing in smoothies too. Not only do they make the texture and flavor more creamy and rich, but they're also chock full of healthy fats and protein, which means your blood sugar will be more stable after drinking your smoothie, even if you add higher sugar fruits like banana. Almond butter and coconut butter are always classic, fool-proof picks, or try pistachio butter or hemp seed butter for a more exotic pick. 

Check out all 17 Dastony stone-ground nut and seeds butters HERE

Superfood power

One of the easiest ways to amp up the nutritional value of your smoothies is to toss in some superfood powders. Try a high-quality green powder like Vitamineral Green or Pure Synergy - these options give you a huge bang for your buck because they contain many different superfoods in 1 product. They're also highly concentrated, so just a few tsp is enough to give you a serious nutritional boost. You could also blend in medicinal mushrooms, adaptogens, matcha powder, maca root, a superfood berry blend, or anything else of your choosing. The goal is to sneak in even more trace nutrients and antioxidants without having to fuss too much over it. 

Sneak in the greens 

While it may be challenging to sit down and get through a huge bowl of dark leafy greens, that same quantity of greens can be blended right into a smoothie and drank with ease. If you find yourself slacking in the greens department, this is one of the easiest ways to ensure you're getting plenty of green leafy goodness. The result is a flood of vitamins and trace minerals, extra fiber, and tons of antioxidants to fuel your day. Baby spinach is a great, mild-tasting green to start with, or try raw kale - just be sure it's de-stemmed first as the stems are very fibrous and will result in a funky texture.

Pump up the protein 

Long gone are the days when adding a vegan protein powder to your smoothie meant sacrificing both taste and texture (we're talking to you chalky-tasting and indigestible soy protein ...). Now there are plenty of amazing plant-based options that are organic, additive-free, easy to digest, and are also soy-free, and allergen friendly. If you're searching for a new protein option, Sprout Living makes a variety of plant proteins enhanced with functional superfoods - and they taste like real food, don't contain any added sugars, and the texture is silky-smooth. 

Just a pinch of salt 

Quite possibly the number one tip for making flavors pop - adding a pinch of salt. This step might not come intuitively if you're blending something sweet, but adding just a pinch of high-quality Himalayan salt will bring forward the flavors of your smoothie, as well as infuse your recipe with valuable trace minerals. Just don't go overboard - a small pinch will do. 

A touch of vanilla

Another flavor-enhancing tip, especially for those looking to cut down on sugar, is to use just a touch of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. This is a great hack to trick your taste buds into thinking they're getting something sweet and dessert-like even if the overall sugar content in your smoothie is quite low. For instance, if you're using frozen berries, some sugar-free almond milk, and sweet potato or frozen avocado instead of banana - adding a little vanilla will go a long way to make it more taste-bud-friendly!