Mini Cheesecakes + a Celebration!

Today is a very special day!

RSRF is officially one year old! I can't believe I've already been blogging for a year. Time seriously flies, and I'm not just talking about blogging! The school year will be over in a few days and I feel like it was September like 7 minutes ago... 

I'll be a senior and have to apply for colleges in a few months and I can't even decide what type of nut to put in my granola without anxiety. Bring it on, adulthood...gulp. 

Anyway, I'm so happy that I decided to take the plunge and start my little blog and I feel like I've come so far in a year! Of course I couldn't celebrate without cake + sprinkles.

But why have regular cake when you can have cheesecake?! And why have regular cheesecake when you can make it vegan?! 

These little guys are raw apart from the maple syrup and made with cashews! I've been drooling over vegan cheesecakes on Instagram for too long so I decided to finally make my own and I'm so glad I did. First of all, have you ever seen a more adorable dessert? Didn't think so. Also CAN YOU SAY DELICIOUS? I think they're even better than classic cheesecake. And your body will love you because they are full of natural, super nourishing ingredients + tonnnnnns of healthy fats. #fatsarefriends.

Also, SUPER excited because I found (at Fleet Farm, of all places) these adorable all-natural sprinkles that are colored with plants and such. I'm totally geekin' out because sprinkles are so fun and cute but I'm really not a fan of the whole artificial color thing. (except for pb m&m's...but everything in moderation right?)

Break out your food processor and celebrate with me! Actually, you don't even need an excuse to make these. Just do it. Your stomach (and anyone lucky enough to taste test) will thank you. 

Happy Monday pals. Hope it's a good one!

Raspberry Cheesecakes

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup dates; pits removed
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Prepare a regular sized muffin tin by laying strips of parchment paper in the bottom (as shown in the picture above). You could also use cupcake liners but I didn't because I didn't have any pretty ones. Put the dates into a food processor and pulse until they resemble a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until everything is broken down and the mixture sticks together when packed. Divide the dough evenly between 6 cups of the muffin tin, packing down with wet fingers or the back of a measuring cup. Place the crusts in the fridge to set while you make the filling

Filling: 

  • 1 cup raw cashews; soaked for 4-8 hours
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream from a can
  • scant 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10-15 raspberries

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides. If the mixture is too thick to blend, add some coconut milk. Divide the filling between the crusts and smooth out the tops. If desired, add toppings such as sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, or more berries. Cover the cheesecakes and place in the fridge or freezer for about an hour or until completely set. To remove, run a knife around the edges of the cups and use the parchment as pull tabs to pop out the cheesecakes. Keep refrigerated.

Chocolate Cheesecakes 

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 dates; pits removed
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 tbsp raw cacao powder (cocoa powder works too)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp rolled oats (or more nuts)
  • optional: pinch of ground coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor

Combine ingredients in a food processor until chopped very fine. Press into muffin tins. Mine only filled 4 cups but I wanted the crust to be thick so I think it would work to do six, the crust will just be thinner. Refrigerate while you make the filling

Filling:

  • heaped 1/2 cup cashews; soaked for 4-8 hours
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil
  • 2-4 tbsp water (more or less to blend)

Process ingredients in the food processor until completely smooth, then divide between the crusts. Add toppings of desired, then cover and freeze or refrigerate until completely set, 1-2 hours. Keep refrigerated + covered until ready to serve.

Notes: Since these are raw, the recipes are relatively flexible. You can substitute different kinds of nuts for the crust or use strawberries in place of raspberries if you wanted. If the consistency of the filling is off, simply add more coconut milk to thin it or coconut oil to make it firmer. Just go by feel. Any leftover filling can be frozen and cut into squares for some seriously awesome fudge.

In other news, life has been busy as usual. The sectional track meet was on Friday and I'm headed to state in the 1600 (with a pr) and 3200! I'm especially excited because a lot of my teammates made it too so a big group is going. It's going to be fun but I'm pretty nervous! The lead up to sectionals was super stressful so it was nice to have a relaxing weekend of sleeping, movie watching and lots of pb m&m consumption...but now it's back to the grind for one more week!

Lil' action shot

Lil' action shot

Speaking of running, I have a little note about my vegetarianism and training for anyone who is interested. Leading up to Conference and Regionals, I thought I was doing all the right things (lots of sleep, staying hydrated, etc.) but I wasn't feeling good in races. I should've been fresh but I was feeling tired and achy and just run down. After regionals my mom suggested that maybe my diet was missing "something" aka a good source of protein. I felt really stuck because I knew she was probably right. It made me really upset to think that maybe my vegetarianism was holding me back from my full athletic potential. I'll admit I thought about it and weighed the benefits/negatives, but ultimately I knew there was no way I could bring myself to eat meat. Instead, we decided to spend the next few days before the next meet really focusing on lots of nutrient dense, protein-rich foods. I'm really not a heavy eater, so it was actually really difficult for me. I had oatmeal with nut butter and hemp seeds for breakfast, snacked on Larabars and nuts, and ate a sandwich with hummus for lunch. At dinner I made sure to include protein and iron-rich foods like spinach, and I put lots of olive oil on my salad. Those two days were pretty challenging but it totally worked! I felt powerful and fueled at my meet on Friday and I did it while staying vegetarian. I'm super relieved but sorta dreading having to do it again this week leading up to state. I definitely could not eat like that all the time, but with the stress, demanding training and intense races, I think my body really needs it. After track though it's back to giant smoothies and veggie plates and I CANNOT wait ;)