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! 

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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

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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: 

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Base:
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

Layers:

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. 

NOTES:

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. 

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Super Bowl GAME DAY EATS

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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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!