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Spreading the Love

We hope everyone had a great Pancake Tuesday yesterday and ate lots of delicious pancakes, because we sure did. 🙂

Today, we’re bringing you a recipe that goes along with another special day that comes every February – Valentines Day! We say “special day” and not “holiday” because is it really a holiday when you don’t get any time off work or school? We don’t think so!


Now we know that people often have strong feelings towards Valentines Day. Some people love it and go all-out with fancy dinners and wine, etc etc, while others hate it, saying that all it is is an excuse for card companies, chocolatiers, flower shops and restaurants to make a pretty penny few  billion dollars. That’s right – billions of dollars are spent each valentines day on jewelry  chocolate, cards, flowers, lingerie and dining out. Pretty intense, eh?


When it comes to Valentines Day, there’s always the group who simply don’t like it because they feel lonely because they’re single, but would love it if only they had a significant other.


We think Valentines Day is a great celebration of love, but not just the romantic kind. It’s also a fantastic reminder to show the people on your life who you care about that you love them – your parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, even teachers, co-workers or bosses who have made a difference or impact on your life. In our  busy lives today,Valentines Day is a day that reminds you to take a moment and show people that you care about them.


Of course, what better way to show someone that you love them than with home-made, heart-shaped brownies? 🙂


Healthy, gluten-free red velvet brownies, we might add, with a delicious pink icing to boot!


Because like we said earlier, people spend a lot of money on valentines day on store bought chocolates and other treats, so why not save yourself a little money and make your own?


These brownies are so fudgy and just the right amount of sweet. And if you’re not good with words, the heart-shape and pink icing will say “I love you” for you! 😉


And for those of you who are wondering- yes, beets are making yet another appearance here- but don’t worry, you can’t taste them at all.  And if you’re going to show your love to people by baking them brownies, you might as well do them another favour and fill them with antioxidant-packed, good-for-you beets, right? 🙂


So, if you can find absolutely no other reason to love Valentine’s day- then just think of it as an excuse to eat lots of chocolate, and make everything pink, red, and heart-shaped, because really, is there any other acceptable time of year to do that?

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Brownies


Prep Time: 15 min
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6


1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. ground almonds
1 tbsp arrowroot flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of xanthan gum (optional)

1/4 c. diced cooked beets
1/2 c. date paste
1 egg
1/4 c. pumpkin puree*
1/4 c. yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

For the Icing:

1/2 c. cashews
2 tbsp cottage cheese
1 tbsp honey
1.5 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam
1/4 tsp diced cooked beets
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter extract (optional)


Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.  Add all the wet ingredients to your food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. (The batter will feel a bit dry, but that’s ok).

Divide the batter evenly between 6 greased muffin tins (or heart-shaped tins!) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the centres feel firm.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the brownies from the tins and place on a wire rack to continues cooling.

For the Icing:

Add the cashews to your food processor (or high-powered blender) and blend until the cashews are smooth and buttery (this will take about 5-10 minutes)  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  When the brownies are cool, divide the icing between each brownie and smooth over the tops.

*If you’d prefer, you can omit the pumpkin and just use an entire cup of yogurt.


What are your feelings toward Valentines Day?  How do you like to show your friends and family you care?


Fun Fall Baking

On Wednesday we decided to tease you guys a bit, and give you a sneak peak into what we’ve been concocting baking this week…

But we were mean and we have been withholding it from you… until now!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake.  We could end this post with just that and give you the recipe now, because really, what else needs to be said?

But we like to talk way too much for that 🙂

So you’re probably wondering- why make vegan cheesecake if you’re not vegan?  Because we can.  It’s a bit more of a challenge, and we like a challenge 🙂  If you remember, we made a zucchini-bread cheesecake a while back, and it turned out fabulously!  We knew at that moment that we couldn’t let that be our last experiment with vegan cheesecake!

Well we’re not trying to brag, but we think that this second version turned out just as well (if not better!) than the first!  Thick, creamy pumpkin over top of a chewy, oat-and-nut crust.  People, food heaven lives here!

And of course, chock-full of pumpkin pie spices, this is Fall in the form of vegan cheesecake!  Make that healthy, refined sugar-free cheesecake 🙂

Our initial intent was to make 1 large cheesecake, but then we thought, what’s better than having a slice of cheesecake?  How about your own personal-sized cake, where you can eat the whole thing all by yourself?  The choice was obvious.

So whether you’re vegan or not, make this cheesecake- you won’t be disappointed!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Prep: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 min
Serves: 6


For the Crust:
1 c. dates
1 c. oats
1/2 c. walnuts
1/4 c. almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

For The Cheesecake:
1 1/2 c. cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours
1 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree)
1/3 c. date paste
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350F

For the Crust: combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-power blender and pulse until everything is all ground up, and mixture sticks together when pinched.  Divide mixture evenly between 6 large lined muffin tins and press firmly into the bottom.

For the Cheesecake: blend all ingredients in a food processor or high-power blender until smooth.  Divide amoung the muffin tins and smooth with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheesecakes are firm to the touch.


What is your favourite cheesecake flavour? Do you ever experiment with creating dishes for specific diets, even if you’re not on that diet yourself?

Cheesecake Imposter

We’re not vegans.

But we sure do love vegan food!

We have mad respect for anyone who is vegan, though, because there are some things that we just don’t think we could ever give up.  Like honey, cheese, chocolate, and yogurt and cottage cheese- we just love these foods too much!

But when vegan food looks like this, we can make allowances…

Vegan zucchini bread cheesecake.

Who knew you could make such delicious cheesecake without using any cheese at all?  Vegans did, that’s who.  And we are forever grateful to them for figuring that out.

Our first ever encounter with vegan cheesecake was at a restaurant in London called Veg Out. The moment we tried it, we were sold.  It was so creamy and delicious, you would never have guessed that it wasn’t “real” cheesecake!  From that day forward, we made it our goal to one day create our very own vegan cheesecake.

Well, today is that day, people!

Made with soaked cashews, silken tofu, and fresh-from-the-garden zucchini, this cheesecake is absolutely divine- and could fool anyone 😉

Did we mention that it also has no refined sugar?  Oh yeah.

This version is a little more light and fluffy than a traditional cheesecake, and has a similar texture to that of pumpkin pie.  However, if you want a thicker texture to achieve a more New York style dessert, we suggest increasing the amount of cashews you use, and decreasing the amount of tofu.  Either way we know you’ll love it!

Drizzled with almond butter glaze, this cheesecake had us licking our plates clean.

Delicious cheesecake that’s good for you.  We may never eat regular cheesecake ever again.

Vegan Zucchini Bread Cheesecake

Prep Time: 25 min

Bake time: 45-50 min

Makes: 1 pie (8 slices)


For the Crust:

1 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. walnut pieces
1/2 c. almonds
1 c. dates, softened
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger and nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Filling:

1/2 block silken tofu
1 c. raw cashews, soaked overnight
3/4 c. date paste
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each ginger and nutmeg
2 c. zucchini, grated and squeezed of excess liquid
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum or corn other thickener*

For the Glaze:

2 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp date paste
3-4 tbsp water


For the crust:

grind oats in a food processor until ground partially into flour, but leaving some texture.  Add almonds and walnuts and blend until finely ground.  Add dates, spices and vanilla, and blend until you have a crumbly mixture that sticks together when pressed.  Pour mixture into a greased 9 inch pie plate and press firmly onto the bottom and up the sides.  Set aside.

For the Filling:

Drain the cashews and place them in the food processor and blend until they are smooth and are forming a ball.  Add tofu and blend until smooth.  Add all other ingredients, except for 1 cup of the zucchini, and blend until fully combined.  Stir in the other cup of zucchini.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth out the top.  Bake at 350C for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling feels firm, and a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before cutting.

For the Glaze:

In a small dish, combine date paste and almond butter.  Gradually add water, stirring to combine, until the mixture is runny but still somewhat thick.  Drizzle over top of the cheesecake once it has cooled.

*You can use other thickeners such as arrowroot flour/starch, corn starch, etc. If you choose to use more cashews than tofu, you may not need this at all!


Have you ever tried vegan cheesecake?

Are you vegan? Why or why not?