Vanilla Bean Purple Sweet Potato Creamy Cashew Berry Cake

How about a slice of vanilla bean purple sweet potato creamy cashew berry cake? These cakes are vegan, gluten free, wheat free, refined (cane sugar) free, dairy free, soy free and yes they’re still delicious! Flavor packed little squares! Here is the easier-than-you-think recipe!

Ingredients: 

Crust
6 soft dates (pitted)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp almond meal
1/2 nuts (almonds, peanuts whatever you have)
1/2 cup rolled oats

Bottom Layer
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours and drained)
1/2 purple sweet potato (peeled and steamed)
2 tbsp coconut BUTTER (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Top Layer
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours and drained)
10 raspberries
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp maqui powder
1 tbsp pomegranate powder
2 tbsp beet (finely shredded)
2 tbsp coconut BUTTER (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Directions
Make each layer separately in the food processor (wash the container between each layer). Starting with the crust – throw all ingredients into the processor and blend until a ball is formed. Crust should be pliable and easily to shape without falling apart. Line square glass dish with parchment paper and press the crust into the paper and the edges of the dish. Spread evenly.
Wash out the food processor and blend the first layer ingredients together until smooth and silk. Pour into the dish. Wash and repeat with the second layer.
Place the layered “cheezecake” in the freezer for 3 hours. Cut into squares and top with desired goodies (I used chocolate covered cacao nibs and blackberries). If you want to drizzle it with a magic chocolate sauce shell, mix 1 tbsp cocoa powder with 1 tsp of coconut oil and maple syrup. Serve when cakes are thawed, yet still cold. Like cheesecake.


Harvest Salad

Harvest Salad | A Bit of Bees Knees
Harvest salad! Bringing on all those gorgeous colors… Tuscan and curly kale with purple cabbage, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, Israeli couscous and steamed pumpkin. I topped mine with a bit of Bragg’s live foods liquid aminos and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Ingredients:
2 stalks of Tuscan kale (washed and ripped into bite size pieces)
2 stalks of curly kale (washed and ripped into bite size pieces)
2 cups purple cabbage (shredded)
1/3 cup tri colored quinoa (cooked)
1/3 cup Israeli couscous (cooked)
2 cups pumpkin (cubes and steamed)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Harvest Salad | A Bit of Bees Knees
Harvest Salad | A Bit of Bees Knees


Vegan Friendly Gluten Free Wagon Wheels


Homemade treats are happening in the kitchen today. Wagon wheels were a popular dessert for Aussie kiddos back in the 1950’s – traditionally made with shortbread biscuits, strawberry jam, marshmallow fluff and chocolate. I remixed this classic treat into a healthier more adult”ish” version. Super lush sweet almond and cashew “cookie dough” with vanilla bean coconut cream and fresh raspberry chia jam. All covered in chocolate of course + it’s gluten-free and vegan friendly! Here’s how you make em!

Makes 2 full wagon wheels

Ingredients

Cookie dough:
1/2 cup sweet almond paste
1/2 coconut flour
1 cup raw cashews
Splash of hemp mylk (if needed)
*Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blend until the cashews are fine and the cookie dough forms a ball. Set aside.

Coconut cream:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup melted coconut butter (not coconut oil…there is a big difference)
1/4 cup hemp mylk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
*Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and combined. Set aside.

Raspberry chia jam:
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp maple syrup
*Mix ingredients in a cup and let chia seed activate for 10 minutes.

Chocolate shell:(after the wagon wheels are assembled and frozen)
1 cup chocolate chips (enjoy life if you prefer vegan)
1 tsp veg oil
*Microwave ingredients in a cup for 2 minutes. Stir with a spoon and repeat until chocolate is melted and the consistency is ready for pouring.

Assembly:
Use a a cylinder form such as Ateco to help shape your wagon wheels. Start with pressing 1/4 of the cookie dough into the mold, making sure it is level with the tamper before adding a layer of coconut cream, jam and cookie dough once more.  Place in the freezer for 1 hour before removing the from the form and covering with melted chocolate.
Vegan Friendly Gluten Free Wagon Wheels
Vegan Friendly Gluten Free Wagon WheelsVegan Friendly Gluten Free Wagon Wheels


Peanut Butter Coco Cups

Peanut Butter Coco Cups
Ingredients:
Young coconut water
Young coconut meat
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp mesquite powder
1 tsp organic coconut sugar
1/2 tsp maca powder
1 handful Ice

*Blend in a blender until smooth and pour back into coconut. Top with chocolate covered cacao nibs, coconut flakes and drizzle with pb and chocolate!Peanut Butter Coco Cups


Coconut Cabbage Thoran : A Southern Indian Dish

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Thoran is a coconut cabbage veggie dish from Kerala – Southern India. Our friend and chef Shravan was kind enough to teach me how to make a few of his Mama’s recipes while we were cruising along the jungly backwaters in Alappuzha. His cooking was some of the best home homestyle food we had in India! Before Dan and I left the country he helped make a list of all the spices I would need to recreate these dishes back at home.

Coconut Cabbage Thoran

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
5 curry leaves
1 clove garlic (diced)
1 small green chili (chopped)
1 1/2 onion diced)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups finely chopped green cabbage
kosher salt to taste
1 cup freshly grated coconut

In a large pan, heat oil until simmering. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and garlic, stir until fragrant. Add chopped chilies, onions, turmeric and cumin powder. Stir to ensure the spices don’t burn.  Add cabbage. Stir until the cabbage is coated with oil and spices. Cover with lid and let cabbage cook, stirring occasionally ~ 5 min. Add freshly grated coconut and stir until  mixed. Season to taste with salt and serve hot with rice, daal, or puris (crispy puff bread).
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^^^Meet the chef! Shravan is on the left. His mom taught him how to cook – great job Mama! During the dry season he works as a chef on the rice boats. Shravan and Raj (on the right) were two of the three guys that accompanied us on our float through the backwaters! It was such a blast – crammed into that tiny galley with the engine humming, pans sizzling, amazing smells and misty water rainbows out the kitchen window. It was a very cool experience. A tad shhhhweaty but so awesome. Thanks for the cooking lessons friend!
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I saved my spice shopping for the end of the trip in Kolkata. I ran around New Market, following scouters through a maze of shops with my giant list of spices… “Does any one have Valampuli??? What the heck is Valampuli!?” I have know idea, but it’s on my list. Facepalm. Hey Google? 😉 Looking back on it, we had a lot of fun. I found many of my spices in the attic of a saree shop (because everyone sells a little bit of everything around here). A boy helped me scoop spoonfuls of turmeric, tea masala and Kashmiri chili powder onto an old-fashioned scale. We sat there on the floor filling little bags with spices and sealing them with a candle flame he had melted to the floorboard. I love moments that. Our pantry at home officially smells like India.
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