Chocolate Vanilla Blueberry Collagen Cheesecake Squares (DF, GF)

I've always loved see raw "cheesecake" bites floating around and have been wanting to make my own but was slightly intimidated by the process- not realizing just how simple they are to make! With Spring around the corner as well as Easter, I thought these little bites would be perfect for a dairy free/gluten free friendly dessert! 


The middle and top layer of the bars are so creamy, light, and refreshing and the base is a touch sweet with hints of chocolate! They do not take long to make either, you just need to make sure you set some time aside (overnight) to soak the cashews- which gives the layers a creamy smooth texture. Cashews are pretty amazing with what you can do to them after soaking them overnight. I made the base of the dessert chocolate in flavor, but you can leave out the cacao powder and really add in anything you would like! The second time I made these squares, I added in peanut butter to the cheesecake filling mixture, left out the blueberries and they came out so good! 

For the chocolate vanilla blueberry cheesecake squares, I also added in Vital Proteins Marine Collagen for some extra health benefits. Adding in the Marine Collagen doesn't change the flavor of the bites, but gives you extra protein, supports your gut/joints, and helps you with brightening your complexion (which I have noticed with their beauty waters!) and making you hair/nails so strong/long! I currently have over 16 recipes on my blog using Vital Proteins, so you can definitely say that it is a big part of my diet and overall health routine


Not only is it easy to incorporate the collagen into your smoothies, coffee, or desserts, but I love adding it into savory dishes too like my butternut squash mac and cheese, quinoa lentil bites, or even this healthy sweet potato salad! It has tremendously helped improve my gut health (less bloating, better digestion, and helped with the improvement of my IBS and leaky gut!). I can't go a day without it! 

These little squares are so rich in tasting, salty, and a tad sweet but won't bog you down as maybe a regular cheesecake would! Making these raw, dairy free, and with less sugar than normal make the perfect alternative and you can really cater them to your taste preference as long as you have the measurements down! 

Hope you enjoy!

Raw Desserts
Yields: 9-10 squares
Prep time: (overnight to soak cashews) / 15 minutes to put together
Freeze time: 3-4 hours or overnight! 

What you need: 


1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup brazil nuts** 
3 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 cup (about 15 pitted dates)
2 scoops Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
Dash of sea salt
1 tbsp. vanilla


1.5 cups cashews; soaked overnight
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup blueberries or any fruit** 
4 tbsp. coconut oil
Sweetener if needed

What you need to do:

1. Soak the cashews overnight; so they become soft

2. In a food processor blend together the base of the dessert until a dough like consistency is formed. Once finished, press into pan or muffin tins. If using individual sized cups, fill each with about 2 tbsp of the base layer. Place in freezer while mixing the the layers. 

3. In your blender/vitamix; mix together until creamy all the layer ingredients except the fruit. 

4. Once blended until completely smooth, layer about 2 tbsp. over the crust. Place back in the freezer. 

5. Next, with the remaining cashew mix; add in the blueberries or any fruit you are using OR any add ins. Blend until smooth. 

6. Layer the remaining on top of the plain "cheesecake" mixture. 

7. Place back in the freezer to set for a few hours or overnight before cutting. 

Store in an airtight container in the freezer. 


1. For the base layer, you can use any mixture of nuts or seeds. You just need about 1 cup total. 

2. Feel free to leave the cacao power out and keep them plain. 

3. You can sub blueberries for any fruit. 

4. You can also add in almond butter, peanut butter, or any nut butter to the top layer of the cheesecake mixture. OR here, add in any additional ingredients (chocolate chips, shredded coconut flakes, cacao nibs etc)

5. If you need to sweeten up the cashew layer; start by adding 3 tbsp of sweetener of choice, such as maple syrup or honey. I would stick to a liquid sweetener so it blends easier.

6. Store in the freezer so they keep their shape. 



With the Super Bowl being just a few days away I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite game day snacks and quick eats that you can serve as appetizers or mains on Sunday; whether you are into the game, the halftime show or just there for the food...

All of the recipes are simple to make, healthy, AND will leave you feeling satisfied all night. The recipes range from homemade nacho chips, chicken fingers, healthy mac and "cheese," vegetarian coconut curry, breaded cauliflower bites (add some hot sauce on them and you have buffalo wings), crispy sweet potato skins and of course a few desserts. 

1. Sweet Potato Skins with a Curry Lemon Tahini Sauce

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chicken tenders with mustard.JPG

I also have Salmon Burgers, Quinoa Lentil Bites, Cauliflower Falafels, as well as a lemon hummus dip on my blog too! If you make anything this weekend or another time; I want to see so tag me! #balancewithb 

Hope you all have a good weekend and GO PATS! 

Healthy Holiday Recipe Round up

I had originally intended to do this blog post as a round up of Christmas cookies/treats made healthy, but then I decided to change it up a bit and do one appetizer, one side dish, and one dessert; balance it out a bit! 

As someone who is allergic to a few foods, I understand how difficult it can be sometimes during the holidays having to attend different get togethers or social events and not knowing if there is anything there that you can eat! So, instead of focusing on just desserts, I wanted to have three different options in which you could make, potentially making all three to enjoy, bring, or cook for your own guests AND all are gluten free, dairy free and paleo! 

Also, for each of these recipes, I added in collagen, from my favorite brand of choice Vital Proteins! Last week I wrote a blog post all about ways to stay healthy during the winter months, my go to products from Vital Proteins and why as well as how to incorporate them all into your routine! Click here to read about it! I also shared many of the recipes on my blog, such as smoothies, banana breads, protein bars, and even a no bake brownie recipe. 

For this round up of recipes I decided to make:

1. A Winter Vegetable Melody with a Collagen Balsamic Mustard Glaze (side dish)
2. Homemade Rosemary Almond Flour Crackers with a Lemon Rosemary Collagen Hummus (app)
3. Collagen Sugar Cookies

I wanted to incorporate Marine Collagen into each one of the recipes because of the health benefits that it has to offer and the significant improvements that it has made on my own health! Not only does it add in extra protein, without changing the taste to any of the dishes but these are some of the other benefits: 

  1. Support gut health (helped improve my leaky gut symptoms, SIBO, improve digestion)
  2. Stronger nails
  3. Brighter skin (made my skin even toned and clear)
  4. Support hair growth / stronger hair

Since adding Marine Collagen into my routine every day whether it is in my smoothies, energy bites, coffee, and really just about anywhere; my gut health has improved so much! I now feel that I am able to tolerate more foods than I could before since heaving leaky gut and SIBO and my hair grows so much faster! The biggest one for me has been and always will be gut health since that always controlled my life, but since taking the Marine Collagen, I feel that now I am the one in control. It is really simple to add it in any recipe or your routine and you won't even taste it! If there is one thing that I can't live without as part of my routine, this would be it!

The first recipe, the winter vegetable melody are all of my favorite vegetables; sweet potatoes, beets, butternut squash, fennel, and parsnips roasted with nutmeg, cinnamon and sea salt until crispy and then I poured a sweet and tangy collagen mustard balsamic glaze over them as soon as they came out of the oven! It makes a really easy and simple side dish; all you have to do is cut up the vegetables, roast them and the glaze takes only takes about 5 minutes to mix up! Plus, it makes a great salad dressing too! 

RECIPE 1: Winter Vegetable Melody w/ a Balsamic Glaze


What you need:
1 medium sweet potato
2 small beets
2 cups butternut squash
2 parsnips
1 fennel (a bulb) 
few dashes of EACH: cinnamon AND nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
olive oil 

Collegen Balsamic Mustard Glaze:
Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 balsamic vinaigrette
half of a lemon (juice)
3 tbsp. mustard (I used dijon)
1 tbsp. honey
pinch of sea salt
1 scoop Vital Proteins Marine Collagen

What you need to do:

For the vegetable melody:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

2. Cut all of the vegetables into cubes, somewhat evenly. 

3. Add to a large mixing bowl with cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and about 1-2 tbsp of olive oil or enough to lightly coat the vegetables. (If you use too much they will come out soggy)

4. Spread out evenly on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked all the way through. 

While the vegetables are roasting, make the glaze. 

1. In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients above! Taste test and adjust! 

Once the vegetables are finished, pour the glaze over the vegetables while they are still warm. Serve immediately. 

*If you have leftover glaze, store in the fridge for up to a week (can use as a salad dressing etc)

For the second recipe, I love making my own crackers and dip! This recipe is simple too and just requires a few ingredients and it is really healthy! Sometimes I fill up so much on the appetizers that I don't even really like and then I can barely eat the main meal, but this appetizer is packed with protein not only from the chickpeas but the collagen too! It makes the perfect snack! I make these crackers a lot during the week and dip them in just about anything and the hummus also can be great with veggies, on toast, etc! 

                                                                  RECIPE TWO:

What you need: 
Makes about 15 crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes (including the dip) 


For the Rosemary "Cheesy" Almond Flour Crackers
1 cup almond flour
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
3 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

What you need to do: 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a medium sized bowl, add all of the above ingredients and mix well until a dough is formed. 

3. Flatten out on the parchment paper. You may need to add a little olive oil on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to you. 

4. Using a sharp knife cut length wise and width wise, somewhat evenly! Sprinkle with more nutritional yeast and fresh rosemary! 

5. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. About half way through, around the 12 minute mark, gently flip the crackers. 

Store in fridge for up to 1 week in a sealed bag or container. 


What you need: 

1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
2 tbsp. tahini
juice of a lemon
2 tbsp. rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 scoops Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
sea salt & pepper to taste

What you need to do: 

1. Add all of the above ingredients into your food processor and combine together until desired consistency is reached

Taste test and adjust to preference. 

Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks. 


For the last recipe, I decided to make Collagen Sugar Cookies! Sugar cookies always remind me of the holidays, so I decided to go for these instead of a basic chocolate chip one! They are really soft and chewy in the center with slight crunchy outside edges. They aren't typical in the sense that they are extremely flat and crunchy, but I love them! They taste really light, airy, and like little clouds! I added the Marine Collagen into the mix so you can reap all the benefits while eating these cookies, they just have a few ingredients and take less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish! I also threw in two bonus recipes at the bottom that I've made previously with the collagen too, if sugar cookies aren't your thing, but these are really good!! 

I based these cookies off a few recipes while browsing through some of my favorite blogs because I always think that it is so hard to find a really really good sugar cookie recipe! I adapted this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen


What you need: 
Makes about 12 cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes 

1.5 cups almond flour
1 scoop Vital Proteins Marine Collagen
4 tbsp. coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. honey
1 egg or flax egg
pinch of sea salt
2 pinches of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Coconut sugar, for dusting when finished! 

What you need to do: 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 

2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the coconut oil (after it has been melted & cooled), the egg, coconut sugar, vanilla, and honey. 

3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda. 

4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated.

5. Roll into balls and line up evenly on the baking sheet. Flatten gently. 

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 

7. Once they are finished, sprinkle with coconut sugar. 

Store in fridge for up to two weeks or freezer for longer! 

Note, the Marine Collagen is optional for the recipe, you do not have to use it, but it just adds in extra health benefits! 

Here are also two bonus healthy dessert recipes that use the Marine Collagen as well: 

No Bake Spicy Cinnamon Brownies

Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding