Posts Tagged With: dairy/ lactose free

Avocado, Coconut & Lime Cheesecake


This is just one of those recipes that comes along, out of the great blue yonder, that catches the eye and demands to be made.  This floated by via a recommendation from Yolanda at the wonderful Byzantine Flowers blog.  There are millions of recipes hovering around out there, but only a small minority grab me and really get my creative juices flowing.  I like something a little bit different, something challenging and new.  When I saw that this cheesecake had either kale, beetroot leaves or spinach in it, I knew I’d discovered a new dessert for me to play with.  I’m strange like that!!


We are in veggie heaven at the moment after helping chef strim his garden.  To be honest it was more of a wild field than a garden and due to our combined efforts in helping tame his jungle, chef gifted us a serious glut of amazing vegetables from his pristine veg garden (you can see where his priorities lie!).

Chef lives way up in the hills and has a fantastic garden that he and his Zimbabwean wife, Estele, take magnificent care of.  Estele is a natural with the good earth and can grow things that just shouldn’t grow in these temperate parts.  Chef is a proud frenchman and quite handy with a strimmer and mandolin.  Thanks to them we are now the proud owners of literally bin bags full of incredibly sweet spinach, fiery mint, intense chives, vibrant cabbage and some of the most vivid carrots.  You may be seeing more of these ingredients soon (maybe in desserts?!)  I have never tasted spinach this sweet (see below), the seeds came from chefs sister in the Loire Valley in France.  Ideal dessert spinach I’d say.

Raw desserts normally have a lot of components, but they are easy to get together and require a lot less messing around than normal baking (its not going to sink, burn, crumble, split……etc), it just sits there on the plate looking sexy.  I’ve never used pumpkin seeds in a base before and I think they taste even better than nuts.  Less fat, more flavour.  Seed bases are a winner.  The filling is rich and bright green (the spinach doing its thing) and you won’t believe that cream cheese wasn’t added.  It’s so smooth and creamy.

Who needs flowers

In the bright, green future, we’ll all be eating these!

Here’s the recipe with a few Beach House additions.  I stuck with handfuls, rather than exact measuring, here because its so straightforward and we love getting our mitts involved in cooking!!!



Avocado, Coconut & Lime Cheesecake (raw, gluten-free, vegan, yum!)

Avocado, Coconut & Lime Cheesecake

The Bits – 6 little cheesecakes or one large one


4 big handfuls pumpkin seeds

2 big handfuls dates (pitted and soaked in warm water for an hour)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 teas tahini

Pinch sea salt



2 avocadoes (peeled and stoned)

3 big handfuls spinach leaves (washed)

2 handfuls dates (pitted and soaked n warm water an hour)

125ml (1/2 cup) water/ water from date soaking

3 tbs lime juice

2 tbs coconut flakes/ desiccated

1 tbs coconut oil (melted)

1 tbs maple syrup

1 tsp lime zest

Pinch of sea salt

The pumpkin seed bases

Do It

Using a food processor, pulse the pumpkin seeds, dates, vanilla, tahini and salt together until they start to clump into a ball.  Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up.

On a chopping board, using your hands, press the ball down into a flattish sheet (approx 1.5cm thick).  Then take a cake/cookie cutter and cut circles.  Roll up the leftovers and make another smaller sheet, repeat this until most of the base mix is used (eat the rest.  Yum!)

In the mix

Get all of your filling ingredients in your food processor/ blender and blitz up until nice and smooth.  Place you cake/ cookie cutter over your bases and spoon in a good layer of mix, using the spoon, even out the mix and make sure it meets the edges (giving you a nice looking, clean edge).  Gently pull off the cutter, your cheesecake should look splendid.  If not, be more careful with the next one!  Repeat until your mix runs out.

As I mentioned, the base can be rolled up into little balls and snacked on at a later date, so no waste here.

Please feel free to play with sizes and shapes.  We used this cutter as it makes for a decent dessert size and was handy.  The original recipe was more of a cupcake size.


They don’t last long, for many reasons, the avocado doesn’t help (so creamy!)  Serve them immediately with thin slices of lime, bits of coconut or as we did, a sprinkle of coconut flakes and a few pumpkin seeds.

We Love It!

People look quite disgusted when we tell them we’ve been making desserts with spinach in.  Hopefully they’ll read this post and have their minds changed, even better, they’ll actually try it for themselves.  Vegan desserts are the future, next week, garlic beer! (joking)

Foodie Fact

Coconut oil is an excellent substitute to cooking oils and especially butter.  It has been heralded as a ‘superfood’ and it certainly is.  The benefits of coco oil are many, for example, it can even be rubbed into your hair and skin giving amazing nutrition to both. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but they are mainly lauric acid, which actually helps repair the heart and arteries.  These fats also contain micro-biological qualities that fight bad bacteria and fungi in your guts, they also help you absorb many vitamins and minerals.  I could go on here……..I’m sure you get the idea.  Eat more cocos!

Categories: Desserts, Raw Food, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Butter Bean and Celeriac Hummus

I loveto make hummus and pastes.  They are so rewarding in their creaminess and intense flavours.  Hummus is normally full of salt and saturated fat if you buy it at the shops, best homemade.  This hummus is rich, but nice and low in oil.

Just using a blender (I’m quite old-fashioned so this is a relatively new thing) is a real treat.  So quick and clean.  Although we do miss out on the old muscle-building mash-up.

Butter beans (or Lima Beans) are a real gift, when puree’d they are so creamy and have a lovely subtle flavour.  Adding certain beans to stews and soup, can add creaminess, without using dairy.

Jane recently went to Panama and I asked for some beans.  We now have a fine stash of the tasty legumes in the cupboard, some of the varities I’ve never even seen before.  I’m looking forward to some experimenting.

But why call it hummus?  Its one of those things, it’s not technically a hummus, but paste sounds so bland.  Dip doesn’t really do it justice either.  I’m sticking with hummus, it’s a great word and more will follow…

I thought that the light, sweet celeriac and a hint of lemon would make a cracking hummus.  Spread on warm oat bread (see Beetroot Oat Bread recipe) it was a real hit.

I used Halen Mon Celery salt ( here and it added to the flavour.  It’s local salt and excellent quality.  I’ll be writing more about it in the future.

This recipe will make a nice big bowl full of whipped up beans.

The Bits

2 cups of cooked butter beans (or two tins, dried beans are always better and cheaper), 1 1/2 cup of cooked celeriac (chopped), 1/4 cup of good olive oil, zest of 1 lemon (chopped), 2 tbs fresh thyme, s+p.

Do It

Soak beans overnight, cover with water (1cm above) and bring to the boil, add two bay leaves then cover and cook for 45 minutes, until tender.  Allow to cool a little.  (It’s good to make hummus and dips when the ingredients are still warm, it helps the flavours blend).  Drain the beans and keep around 1/2 cup of the cooking juice, save the rest for soups or stews.  Bean juice packs loads of flavour (top tip!).

Heat a pan, add some oil and gently fry off the chopped celeriac, until slightly coloured and soft.

Add all to a blender, including the reserved bean juice.  If you don’t have a blender, roll your sleeves up now!  Blend until creamy.  Check the seasoning and lemon levels, the lemon flavour will fade a little with time and the hummus will dry slightly in the fridge, so make it slightly too runny.  However you like it!


This hummus will add richness to stews and soups and can be used in all the other ways of the hummus.  I normally add a splash of olive oil to get it going again, try not to eat it straight out of the fridge.  Let it warm up a little first, get the flavours going.  Grab a carrot or some warm bread, add to a glorious sandwich.  Relax.  Enjoy.

We Love It

Butter beans are one of our favourites.  Especially when Panamaian.  This hummus is so creamy and should have a nice hint of thyme and lemon.  It’s rich, without gallons of oil and the celeriac makes a great mash and adds its unique flavour to the mix.

Foodie Fact

Butter beans, like all legumes are high in fibre, which helps the digestive system, stabilises blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol.  They are also a great source of fat-free, quality proteins.

Butter beans contain almost all of your daily ‘Molybdenum’ needs, an enzyme that neutralises sulphites.  With more sulphites being added to our foods (especially deli salads, bagged supermarket salad) more people are becoming sensitive to it.  Eating these beans will help to sort that out.

Panamanian Beans

Categories: gluten-free, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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