Vegan Berry Cheesecake & some facts about my nutrition
Today is the last day of my 46 days of “clean eating” and I thought it’s about time to share a little recap of the past 6 weeks with you guys. As I’ve mentioned in this post and this podcast episode already, I’ve been seeing a nutritionist at the beginning of February to have myself checked for food intolerances and to work out a dietary plan to improve my overall well-being.
The basics of my dietary plan for the past six weeks looked like this:
- 3 meals per day
- min. of 5h break between each meal
- no snacks in-between (only a little snack before sports)
- increased protein intake with a focus on plant-based proteins
- avoiding raw fruit and vegetables
- no carbs for dinner
- no diary products
- no refined sugar and white flour
- lots of fresh water and unsweetened herbal tea throughout the day
To be honest, I consider myself very lucky to have an affinity for healthy food. My parents have always made sure my nutrition was balanced and they taught me what it means to live a “healthy” lifestyle. Still, the principles of my new dietary plan looked white overwhelming to me at fist. Especially the part about the intake of raw fruit and vegetables, since salads, fresh veggies and fresh fruit basically made up most of my diet plan until then. However, the nutritionist explained to me that the belly ache I was claiming to have most likely has something to do with the intake of too much raw food that my body can’t process properly. Long story short: I quite strictly sticked to this plan for the past 6 weeks and I honestly have not felt as good as I do right now for a very long time.
Of course, those adaptions of my nutrition were quite a big change at first, but little by little I was able to break my old dietary routines and got used to the new principles. By now, those little changes I’ve made to my daily nutrition are an integral part of my everyday life and have become my new routine. It’s all just a matter of getting used to new ways and trying out new recipes and dishes. What I liked most about the past weeks was that I had to cook all my meals from scratch again – which also meant less take-away food and less eating out. I feel like I’ve gained awareness about the food and nutrients I’m consuming on a daily basis and was able to find out which foods are really good for me.
The result of the past 6 weeks is not only a minus of 4 kg on the scale, but much more importantly an immeasurable increase in my overall well-being. My skin got a lot better, my energy level is a lot higher than before, my workouts seem to be a lot easier (also, I was able to see results much quicker, which is very motivating!), I don’t have the feeling of being so stuffed and full anymore after meals. I simply feel very happy.
My personal conclusion of these past 6 weeks is that there is no “right nutrition for everyone”. There are so many dietary concepts out there, and everyone has to find what works best for them. Also, I think it’s crucial to talk to a nutrition expert before you want to make major changes to your diet, as you can easily do more harm than good. Our nutrition is something we should all take very seriously, since it’s important to know what we’re taking in and consuming. I, for my part, will definitely stick to most of the dietary principles I’ve exercised the past weeks, but most importantly I think it’s crucial not to be too strict with oneself. Listen to your body and its needs, find out what’s good for you and allow yourself to indulge from time to time.
Now, one thing I’ve definitely learned: Diary products are just not good for me. Thankfully there are so many amazing ways to work around diary products that I don’t even miss them (except for cheese, I’ll probably miss cheese forever.) In honor of the occasion, I want to share one of those recipe discoveries with you today.
I served this little slice of heaven at our family Easter brunch today and it was a big hit. Super healthy, super tasty and easy to make. Everything I love about a dish! Have fun trying it out and tag me in your Instagram stories or posts when you do so – would love to see it!
Vegan Berry Cheesecake
For the chocolate crust:
- 60 g almond flour
- 100 g raw cashews
- 100 g raw almonds
- 8 large dates, pitted
- 70 g coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 50 g of your favorite dark chocolate bar + superfood add in’s such as: cacao nibs, goji berries, chia seeds…
For the berry cheesecake filling:
- 250 g frozen mixed berries (you can also use fresh ones, or also stick to one flavor, like raspberry for example)
- 250 g raw cashews, soaked overnight (or for 1 hour in boiling hot water)
- 2 tablespoons Agave syrup
- 100 g coconut oil, melted
- 220 g coconut cream (You can substitute the thick cream part of coconut milk if you can’t find coconut cream – see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice of half a lime
- pinch of sea salt
- melted chocolate for drizzling
- frozen & fresh berries
The chocolate superfood base:
- Using a square pan (ca. 20 x 20 cm) and line it with parchment paper. Let paper hang over the edges so you’ll be able to pull out the cheesecake once it’s set.
- Process all crust ingredients in a food processor (or with a powerful hand-held blender) until well combined and no large pieces of nuts or dates remain. Dump into lined pan and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Move to the freezer while you make the filling.
The raspberry cheesecake filling:
- Drain soaked cashews and add to the blender along with all other filling ingredients.
- Blend for several minutes until very smooth and creamy.
- Taste and adjust sweetness (agave syrup)
- Once you get the flavor right pour over the crust.
- Smooth filling using a spatula and return to the freezer to set for at least 2 hours (or overnight)
- Remove bars from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for a little while so it’s easier to lift out of the pan.
- Cut into squares, drizzle with melted chocolate (I used 80% raw cocoa chocolate thinned by adding a little coconut oil), and top with frozen & fresh raspberries.
- Return to the freezer to store.
- Before serving, take out of the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to soften slightly.
If you can’t find coconut cream (I couldn’t find it in my local super market), you can use a can of coconut milk by placing in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, until the water has separated from the thick and creamy part of the coconut milk. You can tell that this has happened when you shake the can and don’t hear any noise. After you know the cream has separated from the liquid, open the can and scoop off the thick cream, leaving behind most of the liquid.