This weekend I was a woman possessed. I spent almost every waking moment in the kitchen or at the store searching for random ingredients. I found so many recipes I wanted to try, and my excitement couldn’t be contained. I didn’t get to them all… if my kitchen and my stomach could have survived, I would have. None of my recipes were originals… but why try to make something unique every weekend when there are so MANY amazing recipes out there to try!?
To add to my #foodie obsession, I tend to stalk Food52. The Instagram feed alone is the stuff of dreams. They put out contests from time to time and although I don’t partake, I am often inspired to whip up something along the rules. This week, they hooked me with their Black Sesame Seed ice cream… I know what you’re thinking, but I assure you, it’s delicious. It tastes similar to peanut butter, but nuttier if that makes sense. You roast the seeds in a pan before grating them in a food processor, and the smell is awesome. Even my skeptical husband was sold. It’s a lovely gray, and the flavor is so rich and creamy, a few small scoops are all you need.
I also made a household favorite, spanakopita triangles. I used to make these regularly a few in the past, each time with a different flavor or filling. After a revival request, I opted for the store-bought phyllo and made a mix at dinner. Once you’ve done a few, you’ll be able to make them with your own filling concoctions. I’ve tried a few different recipes but the ones from Smitten Kitchen are always a winner with us. They are guaranteed to fill you up, they can be a meal or a dessert, depending on your filling, and aside from working with the phyllo, they are quite easy to make.
*Deb, if you ever find this, I think you’re my soul sister in the kitchen.
On to the main event… I won’t lie, I was skeptical when I saw this recipe online. I knew I wanted to make something for sharing with a friend who had serious dietary restrictions when I discovered these Raw, Vegan Blackberry Cheesecake bars from The Full Helping blog. Albeit beautiful for taking pics, most of the vegan recipes I try never live up to the rich flavor profiles as the real deal. This recipe not only surprised me with its ease and wholesome ingredients, it’s absolutely delicious.
Cheesecake it is not, but the texture and flavor totally live up to what a fruity cheesecake should taste like! The hint of coconut is also perfect, not too overbearing. I substituted the maple syrup for honey, which is a much more natural sugar. I also used blueberries instead of the recommended blackberries. She says you can make any fruit substitution, and I plan to try many in the future. My final change was to line my pan with coconut oil and then a parchment layer. It made it ever so easy to pull out after it had set, and helped with cleanup.
Once set, they cut like a dream. Creamy and firm, they’re even more heavenly to eat. They are the perfect combination of sweetness, tartness and fruit. Just forget they’re actually, somewhat wholesome.