(GF, V, RSF)
Being the health foodie that I am, I’ve long since been aware of various superfood powders on the market. However, something I’ve only just discovered are the amazing ‘berry powders’ on offer. It seems that here in the UK, we’re way behind the Finnish in harnessing the natural goodness of wild berries. Luckily, the people over at Arctic Berries have got us covered. Their berry powders are available in 3 flavours: Cranberry, Blueberry, and Sea Buckthorn. I was delighted to have the opportunity to experiment with their blueberry powder. However, these aren’t just any old blueberries, these are ‘wild arctic bilberries’.
In order to create the powders, the berries (peels, seeds, and all) are dried and powdered below 40 degrees (so as to maintain their high nutritional value). Wild arctic blueberries are naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. One teaspoon of the powders is equal to a handful of fresh berries. These berry powders are especially useful in the winter months, when berries are out of season. They work amazingly to enhance both the flavour and the colour in any given recipe. They can be stored in the cupboard in a practical little packet and added to breakfasts, smoothies, raw chocolates, and a whole lot more. At £7.50 per packet, they are slightly dear. However, when you bear in mind the nutritional punch even the tiniest quantity of the powders provide, you’ll come to realise they are well worth it. If you’d like to try out these super berry powders, you can purchase them here.
I chose to use the powder to create this raw blueberry and passion fruit cheesecake. It’s the best raw dessert I’ve created yet. Totally vegan and gluten free, but tastes oh-so-indulgent. It’s full of goodness in the form of healthy fats, antioxidants, and nutrients. I’ve tried and tested many a raw dessert recipe, none of which I’ve been too impressed by. The majority descend into a watery mush once left out of the freezer for an hour or so. As the old saying goes, ‘If you want something done properly, do it yourself’. So, I did. And it’s pretty great. The texture of this raw dessert bears a striking resemblance to the traditional cheesecake, without having used any cheese at all (vegans rejoice!).
The other issue I’ve encountered when making raw desserts is the sheer quantity of nuts used in the recipes (nuts don’t come cheap, y’know). That’s why I’ve made this one mini. However, if you want to make it full-sized, all you need to do is triple the recipe.
For the base:
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pecans
2 medjool dates
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1/2 tsp sea salt
For the topping:
1 cup raw cashews
1 passion fruit
1/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
3 tbsp coconut water
2 tbsp Arctic Berries blueberry powder
A couple of fresh blueberries (for decoration)
The evening before making the dessert, place your cashew nuts in a bowl and cover with water. If you’ve not had enough time to do this, place the cashew nuts in a bowl and cover with boiling water for as long as possible (ideally 4-6 hours). It also helps to place your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight so the cream will separate from the water.
Place the almonds and pecans into a food processor and pulse until they form a crumb. Add the medjool dates, melted coconut oil, and salt and pulse for around a minute until all the ingredients are combined. Place the mixture into a springform tin and even it out with the back of a spoon. Place in the freezer.
Drain and rinse the cashew nuts. Place them in a high powered blender (I use a Nutribullet) with the coconut cream (the thick white part on top), the coconut water (the clear liquid that should be sitting underneath), the maple syrup, and the blueberry powder. Blend until the mixture is smooth. You can add an extra tbsp of coconut water or two if the blender needs a little help. Remove the base from the freezer and top with the berry mixture. Leave to set for 4-6 hours.
When the cheesecake is ready to remove from the freezer, top it with the passion fruit pulp and blueberries. Leave it to defrost at room temperature for around an hour. You should be able to slice into it easily.
This will keep in the freezer for a few weeks so it’s the perfect dessert to make in advance for a dinner event (or just to eat a slice at a time).
I’d love to see if any of you recreate this recipe. If you do, tag #theglutenfreediary on Instagram!
* I was provided with a sample of this product to review on my blog, however, all opinions are my own and this post was written with 100% honesty *