So smooth, so rich, and so creamy, you’ll find it hard to believe it’s not dairy! Toasted hazelnuts and coconut are bound together by sweet dates, creating the perfect nutty and gluten-free base that’s then topped with a dreamy layer of tangy blackberry decadence. These bars are easy to make and store well in the freezer for up to a week. Enjoy at room temperature or frozen—they’re delicious either way!
Mix it up
This recipe is just as delicious with other in-season summer berries. Try substituting the berries and base layer nuts with the following combinations:
Quick-soak cashews: bring 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water to boil in medium saucepan. When boiling, add cashews, cover with lid, and turn off heat. Let soak for 30 minutes and then rinse with cold water.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Place hazelnuts on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool. As hazelnut skins are often bitter, when cooled, place toasted hazelnuts in clean dish towel and rub vigorously to remove skins.
Line 8 x 8 inch (16 x 16 cm) baking dish with parchment paper 8 in (16 cm) one way and 8 inch (16 cm) the other way, leaving enough at the top to grab and remove cheesecake bars from dish when done.
In food processor, pulse toasted hazelnuts until texture of finely chopped nuts. Add dates, coconut, and salt; pulse until well combined. Press hazelnut mixture into base of parchment paper-lined baking dish to make an even layer and set in freezer to firm up.
To high-speed blender, add soaked and rinsed cashews, 1/2 cup (125 mL) blackberries, coconut milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Pour onto base layer and top with remaining 3/4 cup (180 mL) blackberries. Freeze for 4 to 6 hours.
Remove from freezer and let sit out for 10 to 15 minutes before pulling parchment up to remove cheesecake from baking dish. Cut into 2 in (5 cm) bars and store in sealed container in freezer. Enjoy frozen or let sit for 1 hour before eating.
Pears and chocolate make for a very natural friendship and play together beautifully in this plant-based, dairy-free cake. This cake is dense and rich, with a medley of spices, and enhanced by just a hint of espresso powder, which allows that chocolate flavour to shine through. In addition to slices of pears being laid on top, this cake employs some pear purée to add moisture and sweetness to the slightly nutty texture provided by the whole wheat flour. Pear primer A firm pear such as Bosc, recognizable by its distinctive dusty brown skin, is perfect for this dish. When eaten raw, Bosc pears are crisp and not too sweet. When baked, this variety softens up and its flavours are enhanced, but it maintains its characteristic long-necked, graceful shape. Unlike a Bartlett pear, which turns from green to bright yellow when ripe, Bosc pears don’t change much in colour when ripe. Give it a little nudge with your thumb near the neck of the pear and it will give slightly—that’s how you know you’ve got a ripe one. Compared to other pears, Bosc will still be quite firm.
Many flavours that complement pears—sage, ginger, maple syrup—also go well with butternut squash, so it makes sense to bring the two together. For this autumn salad, mixed greens are tossed with marinated squash ribbons that serve to dress the salad with spicy, gingery brightness. A juicy yet firm medium-sweet pear, such as red Anjou, works well here, and its vibrant red skin makes a pretty plate alongside butternut squash. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of crispy sage and maple syrup-toasted hazelnuts. Refrigerator tip Treat butternut squash ribbons as you would a dressing, keeping them in the refrigerator until ready to use. They will last a few days in the refrigerator, and you can have them on hand to dress small amounts of lettuce. If, rather than making one large salad, you want to serve individual amounts of this salad, just dress a few leaves with some ribbons; cut up pear and fry sage leaves as you serve.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.