Summer is nearly upon us, and as these days grow longer and on into those much muggier nights – ‘refreshed’ will take on an entirely new meaning for all.
Tomorrow morning marks the Summer Solstice, and what better way to celebrate than with a few brilliantly refreshing vegan ‘keep cool’ summer recipes (that don’t suck)?
I do hope that you’ll enjoy.
1. Banana Mango Ice Cream in Chocolate Cups
For the ice cream:
4 frozen bananas
1/2 cup chopped frozen mango
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean
For the raw chocolate cups:
2/3 cup raw cacao paste
4 tbsp agave nectar
pinch of salt
8 tinfoil muffin cups
In a high speed blender or food processor, blend the frozen fruit until smooth and whipped. Serve immediately. If serving in cacao cups, make them before hand.
For the cacao cups, melt the raw cacao in a double boiler and mix with the agave nectar and salt. Brush the mixture into the muffin cups, and place in your refrigerator until firm.
Pipe ice cream in the cups using a pastry bag and top with fresh cherries to serve!
2. Almost Raw Vegan Cheesecake.
For the crust:
2 cups almonds
1 cup dried Medjool dates
For the filling:
3 1/2 cups raw cashews -soaked for at least one hour
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup agave *
1 cup organic, unrefined coconut oil- liquefied (see below)
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
For the sauce:
Handful of fresh blackberries
4 large dried Medjool dates
2 hefty squirts agave
To melt coconut oil, if solid:
Measure out 1 cup of solid coconut oil and place in shallow bowl of warm water. As it softens, stir. Replace the water in the shallow bowl with fresh warm water and repeat until all is melted. I needed to change the water about 4 times to make it reach a fully liquid state.
To make crust:
Blend almonds and dates in a food processor until finely chopped. Press mixture very compactly into the bottom of a spring-form pan. I used the bottom of a glass to press the crust down, and it worked perfectly.
To make filling:
Take all filling ingredients and blend in food processor until smooth. Just let it go for a few minutes…. the texture should be nice and creamy.
Pour filling on top of crust and spread out until smooth. Cover with foil and freeze overnight. The freezing process will re-harden the coconut oil and set up the cake. After it is frozen you can refrigerate and it will be ready to serve after about one hour. Even though you have to freeze this cake to set it up, it is not a frozen cake… once refrigerated, it takes on an extremely similar texture to a regular ol’ cheesecake.
To make topping:
Blend berries, dates and agave together in a food processor. Simple, no?
3. Apple & Plum Crumble.
2 large cooking apples
6 large plums
2 tbs raw sugar (agave would work well too)
pinch of Cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups +1 tbsp wholewheat (wholemeal) flour
1/3 cup hardened coconut oil (place in fridge for a few hours if liquefied)
1/2 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup oats
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix the sugar, flour and coconut oil to make a crumbly mix. Add the oats and place in the refrigerator.
Peel and chop the fruit (Leave the skins on the plums to maintain a nice color. Also, cooking them can make them soft and barely noticeable).
Place fruit in a saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest.
Simmer on low heat until the fruit is soft.
Place in a 9×9″ oven-safe dish and sprinkle with the crumble topping.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top has browned .
4. Iced Mocha Green Machine
1 cup coffee, room temperature
1/4 cup almond milk
1 small handful spinach
2 tbsp cocoa powder
3 large Medjool dates, pitted (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
10 large ice cubes
Blend, gulp and go.
And, here’s to keeping our cool through those dog days of summer!
Namaste, and much love this day.