I’m all for starting the week with a positively, but it’s a little hard when I’m scratching my head wondering where the weekend went! Something that tends to happen a lot in our family are last minute, throw together gatherings that are casual and the food consists of what we can scrounge up in our kitchens. That happened Sunday and for a dessert, I went with Ani’s The Real Cheezecake from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen since it’s hubby’s favorite raw dessert so far. But I didn’t have enough macadamia nuts for the crust and didn’t have enough time to hunt some down. I did have a freezer full of almond milk pulp and defrosted about 2 cups worth in the dehydrator to use instead. The Excalibur defrosts almond pulp in about an hour at 115 degrees and stirring every 20 minutes or so.
I mixed the pulp with the dates and rest of the crust ingredients and flattened into a spring form cake pan.
Next the fun part – blending the filling in the Vita-Mix.
I love having a blender so powerful that it can turn raw cashews into cream in minutes!
Needless to say, the cake was a hit and the crust was just as good using almond pulp over macadamia nuts. What’s great about this cake is it’s a mix between a cheesecake, lemon pie and key lime pie with it’s unique flavor personalities. But it was probably easier to make than all those with no baking or delicate crust artistry required. It’s one of my favorite desserts too because it’s so simple to make, comes together fast and always impresses.
Unfortunately there was a ton of meat at this gathering and only a small side salad. So I raided my sister’s kitchen to throw together a veggie-loaded vegan dish also. I came up with a huge spaghetti squash and very ripe tomatoes from my dad’s garden, an onion and several little eggplants from my sister’s garden. Time for more spaghetti squash marinara. :-)
I whipped up a decent marinara sauce using the tomatoes in my sister’s non-Vita-Mix blender and it came out pretty well.
For a cooked vegan dish, it was pretty popular considering I threw it together in 20 minutes.
I did score more free garden bounty from my dad – raw almonds from a friends tree.
Raw almonds aren’t easy to get because California almonds have been pasteurized, farmer’s markets, home grown or from friends trees are the best way to get raw. But they’re a bit time consuming to remove the shells. And this is a huge bag, so I’m going to be busy for awhile! The flavor and texture on these are slightly different from pasteurized store-bought almonds, they’re softer and richer. I can’t wait to try homemade almond butter with these.