Take the Cake

Light Ingredients

Take the Cake

All of the month of July, I did close to no baking.  My intentions every summer are to eat fresh, whole fruits and vegetables, nix the flour and sugar to feel lighter and perhaps also lose a few pounds.

This is the plan every year and it was something I proudly achieved every summer as it is my favorite time of year where the days are longer and warmer bringing me out-of-doors more often and the selection of whole foods is plentiful.

It all fits.  Wonderful universe!

These are some of the foods I had in mind and I can create a number of delicious recipes using them in addition to many other whole foods and herbs that are available now.

What recipes can you come up with using what’s pictured here?

The banana:  Adds creaminess without the fat:  yogurt smoothie, kale/spinach smoothie, banana bread.

Spinach – Excellent fiber source that is like a broom in your digestive tract:  sautéed spinach with olive oil and garlic, green smoothie.

Mejool dates – Caramel-like rich flavor:  oat scones with almonds (recipe Mejool Oat Scones).

Tomato – Creamy, tart, spicy or not:  cool gazpacho (recipe and images coming soon), sliced in a salad or, my favorite, on toast with mayonnaise.

The pretty bright red strawberry – Sweet and tart:  add to fruit and vegetable smoothies, add to a salad.

Oranges – Vitamin C go-to:  add to salads, smoothies or have it raw.

Raisins – Convenient snack:  add to bran muffins, create a unique trail mix, or eat straight from the box.

Herbs – What makes the dish:  add your unique combination to small red potatoes, zucchini, or a combination of veggies, toss with olive oil and roast in the oven.

Green tea – Soothing hot, refreshing cold:  excellent anti-oxidant and after-dinner soother, add fresh ginger and a bit of honey for a little something extra.

Even as the days of summer wind down, I plan to continue to bring more fruits, vegetables and herbs into my diet.  I plan to scope out any I have yet to try.  Maybe a “whole foods to try” bucket list.

Here’s to summer light eating!

Light Ingredients


Embracing Error

No-Bake Raspberry Cream Cheese Cake (Mousse) with a Pecan Crust

No-Bake Cheesecake

I’ve often heard food used as metaphors for life well, this recent baking experience literally allowed me to embrace and enjoy eating, my errors!  Yum!

The ingredients in this cake or mousse are sooooo what my sweet dream desserts are made of!  (Yes, when I dream, I dream of food!)

It started as a trip to the local produce market on Thursday – big produce delivery day!

Organic raspberries on sale – Yay!!!

I located a bunch of different recipes that incorporated raspberries and combined a couple to create this recipe for a Greek yogurt-infused, no-bake raspberry cheesecake.  And since I never liked graham cracker crusts — I will often make my cheesecakes with no crust — I discovered a way to make a hearty, nut-flavored crust using finely ground pecans.

I intended to make a cake however the creamy consistency could easily categorize the result as a mousse or perhaps a smoother and creamier, cheesecake.

No-Bake Cheesecake

No-Bake Cheesecake

I made this recipe work in a number of ways:  many of my raspberries were unusable explaining the low price but upon my inspection I managed to find just the right amount for this cake; the pecan crust recipe needed sugar and I happened to taste it before it was completed allowing me to make the needed adjustments.

These trials and errors enriched this baking experience enhancing both my flexibility and self-compassion.  And of course, it produced a delicious cake!

Here’s the recipe and more enticing images.

No-Bake Cheesecake

No-Bake Raspberry Cream Cheese Cake (Mousse) with a Pecan Crust

Filling

Ingredients
2 8-ounce packages of good quality cream cheese, softened
1 C plain Greek yogurt
½ C + 2T Confectioners’ sugar
2 t vanilla
2 t lemon juice

Freshly whipped cream

Process:  add all ingredients except the whipped cream to a large bowl and mix very well; fold in the whipped cream; chill.

Crust

Ingredients
1 C pecans, finely ground
1 C all-purpose flour
4 T butter
1 T sugar

Process:  add all ingredients to a food processor and blend well; press the mixture into a spring-form pan that is wrapped in foil; bake for 20 minutes; allow to cool.

Making freshly whipped cream:  combine 8 ounces of cold cream, 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of cream of tarter and whip until stiff.

Assembling the Cake
Place rinsed and dried raspberries on top of the baked and cooled pecan crust; pour the cream cheese filling over the raspberries; chill for 2-3 hours; and serve.

No-Bake Cheesecake No-Bake Cheesecake


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