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Macro Monday: September Reflections

Hi Friends,

September has always been my time. It's the time of year when I feel the most energized , revitalized, and determined. I just LOVE when the air gets a little crisp. Not to mention the way the sunlight filters through the still-a-little-green pretty red & yellow leaves.

I think this is why I have always loved the start of school. I always dreamed about crunching leaves with my new boots on the walk home, and having an excuse to wear a few cozier things like scarves. My heart just swoons. And I know I'm not the only one.

This summer has been mega busy. Good busy. Bad busy. A little bit of all kinds of busy. I am so grateful to have been able to spend to much time with family and friends this summer. Lots of beaches and outings and all of that. And we'll be getting to see more family in a few short weeks, which is super fun! It goes without saying though, that life has been a little more chaotic than I am used to. Finding balance has been hard. But I am learning (trying) to find my grounding within it all.

So, this long weekend T and I unplugged. In fact, there would have been no other choice - we simply needed to regroup and relax and take a break from everything and everyone. We'll be back into the swing of things later on today (this post was written a few days ago, actually, so I could truly unplug over the weekend).

Anyways, back to September - I always love watching how we naturally adapt to the changing seasons. Without consciously thinking about it, I haven't been craving salads in the last few weeks. And I haven't been drawn to the berries at the market the last few weeks (I still got a few, duh). My intuition has been pulling me towards celeriac, and squash, and carrots, and has me planning soups and stews and warm, nourishing plates of delicious hearty food.

I also am drawn to work inwards and see what needs a little polishing. What kinds of things are not serving me at the moment? How can I focus my time more effectively on the things that matter? What can I let go of, and is there anything I need to bring more of in? There are definitely a few habits that I'm going to focus on letting go of, which I may write about in a future post.

I'm also excited, and gearing up to teach a few more Macrobiotic classes in September and October at one of the most lovely & wonderful spaces I've ever been in: Templed Mind. Definitely check them out, and their amazing schedule full of wonderful classes and events. Next Monday, September 8th, at 5-6:30pm, I'll be doing a class on some of the Macrobiotic Healing Foods. Hope to see you there!

Are you an Autumn kind of person? What's your favourite season? Any foods you've been craving lately?

Sending you a big crunchy-leaf, wool socks, and hot mug of tea kinda hug!
xoxo Jess

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MTF: Vegan Lemon + Raspberry "Cheesecake" {raw}

It was my birthday this week (29th birthday), and to celebrate I wanted to indulge my recent random craving for something cheese-cake-ey. Usually I'm all up in the chocolate cake for my birthday, but not this year.

I have had delicious and wonderful baked tofu cheesecakes before, but I wanted something super dense and rich, and didn't feel like using the oven.

So, with the help of the handy vitamix I was able to borrow (pretty wicked machine - don't want to give it back) , this delicious cake was born, and the recipe was destined for a MacroTreat Friday (MTF) post.

I'm not usually so into raw desserts as I find they can sit quite heavy, but raw cheesecakes can be pretty divine once in awhile. This one held up to all my expectations <3

MTF: Raw Lemon + Raspberry Cheesecake

This is a tart and fresh, yet superbly decadent treat. If you're craving something dense like a cheesecake, and you love lemon - you'll love this recipe. It's not super sweet, so play around with adding in some more maple syrup if desired. I'd recommend serving with some ginger tea :)

* Largely Inspired by + Modified from a combination of this recipe and this recipe and another from one of my cookbooks :)

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 2/3 cup hemp hearts or walnuts (I used hemp hearts)
  • 1 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil

Lemon Filling

  • 2.5 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened coconut out of a carton) + a bit more
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (if you love lemon as much as me, add in even more!)
  • 3 TBSP coconut butter
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • zest of one lemon

Raspberry Swirl

  • 1/2 - 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Make the crust: In a highspeed blender or food processor, combine the almonds and hemp hearts until they are crumbly (not butter). Add in the maple syrup and coconut oil, and blend again until combined.
  2. Line a 6" tart pan or springform with parchment paper.
  3. Press crust into bottom of pan.
  4. Make filling: Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Add to blender, along with all of the other filling ingredients, and process until very smooth. Add a little more milk if needed (I ended up adding about 2 TBSP more).
  5. Pour onto crust.
  6. Make Raspberry swirl: add in all ingredients to blender, and blend until smooth. Pour on top of cake, and using a fork, swirl it around to combine. If you use less raspberries, you'll get more of a swirl look. I used quite a few (yum!) so I ended up with a pink layer.
  7. Put into fridge overnight. If you have toothpicks, I'd recommend putting a few in around the edges and covering with plastic wrap. You can also place in the freezer to set faster - I'd guess about 4 hours or so. [in the end I put mine in the freezer to firm up, it wasn't quite as solid as I wanted the next morning].
  8. Bring out of fridge or freezer and let sit for about 15 minutes before you cut + serve.
  9. Enjoy!

It was really, really good, and hit my lemon + berry craving straight on the nose.

Do you like raw or vegan cheesecakes? What's your favourite recipe?
Have a great weekend, friends!
xoxo Jess