no-bake-vegan-cheesecake-bars

These vegan cheesecake bars are rich, creamy, delicious and so easy to prepare. They make the perfect dessert for a weekend treat! The trick is in soaking the cashews to get that creamy cheese cake texture. From there you can play around with different flavours, we topped our cheesecake with date syrup (which is easy to make yourself, following this recipe), walnuts and chocolate. Tastes like a cheese cakey snickers bar, yum!

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 C Dates
  • ½ C Walnuts
  • ½ Oats
  • ½ C Coconut Flakes
  • ¼ Tsp Salt
  •  

    Filling

  • 1 ½ C Cashews
  • ½ C Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
  • Pinch of Salt
  •  

    Toppings

  • Date syrup
  • Chopped Walnuts
  • Melted Dark Chocolate

  • Directions:

    Soak the cashews in hot water for 1 hour, then drain thoroughly.

    For the crust, add dates, walnuts, oats and coconut flakes to the jug, pulse a few times until well combined and crumbly.

    Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Transfer crust layer to loaf pan and press down into an even layer, place in the freezer to set.

    For the filling, add soaked cashews, maple syrup, coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla essence, lemon juice and salt to the jug. Blend on high until creamy and smooth.

    Pour the filling over the crust, drizzle with date syrup and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Freeze until completely set and firm.

    To serve, thaw briefly and drizzle the dark chocolate over the cheesecake, slice into bars. Enjoy immediately. Store leftovers in the freezer.

    These bars were made using the OmniBlend I - 2ltr Pro. The shape of the 2ltr jug make it well-suited to grind dry ingredients, and blend textures like the cashew 'cheese' batter.

    Date syrup is the perfect sweetener for your oatmeal, overnight oats, puddings, smoothies, frosting or even savoury dishes like marinades or soups. Date syrup is a natural fruit sweetener which can be used in place of sugar for baking and cooking. This is an easy plant-based recipe, without any preservatives. When using a high powered-blender like the OmniBlend you could skip the soaking part, but we do recommend soaking the dates in bicarbonate of soda as it helps bring out the dates’ caramel flavour. Yum!

    Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ C Dates
  • 1 Tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 ¼ C Boiling water
  •  

    Directions:

    Pour boiling water over the dates just to cover, add bicarbonate of soda, stir then soak for 15 minutes. Add the soaked dates with the water to your OmniBlend jug.

    Blend for 1 minute until silky smooth. Scrap down the sides to ensure everything is well combined, blend again for about 20 seconds.

    For this recipe we recommend using a narrow bases jug. We made this recipe using the OmniBlend I – 2ltr Pro, which has a turn-dial for variable speed control, and the 2ltr jug has a narrow base, perfect for this kind of pastes and syrups.

    butternut-cheesecake-recipe

    Baked cheesecake remains a firm favourite on any gathering, and this baked Spiced Butternut Cheesecake adds warm flavours that make this cake extra special for autumn and winter.

    As one little girl who had a taste of our test cake put it: “I really liked it, and I don’t even like cheese cake, and butternut!” She was keen to get her own slice, after first sharing a slice with her little brother. :) That tells you that the deep creamy texture doesn’t lean to the overly cheesy flavour, or butternut rich taste.

    The spice mix is what makes this cake so special, and is easy to put together. We’d recommend you make a batch, as it works well in carrot cake (instead of cinnamon), and gingerbread too!

    Spice mix:

    • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground cloves
    • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/3 tsp ground ginger
    • 1/5 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1/5 tsp ground cardamom
    • 1/5 tsp ground coriander seeds
    • 1/5 tsp ground anise seeds

    Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger are essential, and the others can be left out if you don’t have, however obviously changes the flavour slightly.

     

    Crust ingredients:

    • 1 ½ C Mixed Nuts (almonds, walnut, brazil nuts, cashew all work well, raw and unsalted)
    • ½ C Dried Pitted Dates
    • 1 Tsp Vanilla essence

     

    Filling ingredients:

    • 500 gr Cream Cheese
    • 500 gr Butternut, ready prepared, or freshly cut
    • 1 C Castor Sugar
    • 3 Large Eggs (free range)
    • 3 ½ Tsp Spice mix

    Directions:

    Pre-heat oven at 200C

    Roast the butternut without oil until tender, making sure it doesn’t discolour. Remove from the oven, and reduce oven temperature to 190C. 

    While the butternut is roasting, prepare the cake crust. Soak the dates in hot water for about 10 minutes, and measure the nuts. You can use a mix of nuts. For this cake we used almonds, brazil nuts, and walnuts, but you can use cashew and/or pecan too.

    Add the nuts to the OmniBlend jug, and grind on low to medium speed to create a nut meal.

    Drain the dates, and pad dry with kitchen towel to remove excess water. Add the dates to the ground nuts, and add the vanilla.

    Blend on high, using the tamper to create a dough. The trick is to push the tamper into the corners, pushing the ingredients into the blades. Once the dough has come together, remove it from the jug with a silicon spatula into a cake pan. Create an even layer in the pan, and cover the edges.

    Remove the butternut from the oven once soft, and reduce the oven temperature to 190C. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until set, and remove from the oven to cool down.

    Add the roasted butternut to the OmniBlend jug, and puree using the tamper through the lid.

    With a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese for a few minutes. Add the sugar, and mix again. Remove ¼ cup of this mixture and keep aside for decoration later.

    Add butternut purée and spices, and mix. Add eggs one at a time, making sure it’s fully incorporated before adding the next.

    Transfer the mixture into the cake crust, and spread evenly. Now take the cream cheese & sugar mix that you’ve kept aside, and divide teaspoons full over the batter. Take a skewer, and draw lines through the blobs to create a pattern. You’ll feel like a barista, creating latte art!

     Bake the cake for about 40 minutes, keeping a close eye on it toward the end of the baking time, making sure no cracks appear. If they do, reduce the oven temperature as this may vary for every oven.

    Remove from the oven (the middle will still look a bit wobbly), and leave to cool to room temperature. Then place in the fridge to further set, for 6 hours (after 4 hours it’ll be set, if you have less patience, just a little bit soft still like in the pictures, so 6 hours or more is better for a fully set result). This cake is also perfect to prep the day before, so that the cake sets properly and the spices fully develop the flavour.

    For this recipe we used the OmniBlend I - 2ltr Pro. This model has a turn dial for variable speed control, and a pulse. The 2lt jug works best for grinding dry ingredients, and pureeing with a narrow base.

    puree-blender

    vegan-sticky-toffee-pudding

    Treat your family and friends to this moist sticky toffee pudding for a Christmas in July, or as a dinner party dessert. You’d think you need butter and sugar for a really moreish sticky toffee pudding, but we put this vegan version to the test, and it’s a definite crowd pleaser! It’s topped with an amazing rich toffee sauce, which is almost too easy to make.

    Ingredients:

  • 2 C Dried Pitted Dates
  • 1 ½ C Brewed Coffee
  • 2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 C Cashew Butter (find here how to make your own)
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 C Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 C Corn Starch
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  •  

    Toffee Sauce

  • 1/2 C Dates
  • 1 C Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
  •  

    Directions:

    Stir bicarb of soda into the coffee, and pour over the dates. The bicarb of soda creates a richer sweeter flavour of the dates, giving a deeper caramel flavour to the cake, so it’s worth adding it! Leave to soak for 30 minutes, then add the mixture to the OmniBlend jug.

    Preheat the oven to 180C.

    Add the cashew butter, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla to the jug with the date coffee mixture. Blend briefly to make sure you keep some texture in the dates.

    Add the coconut flour, corn starch, and salt. Blend while using the tamper through the lid to combine all ingredients.

    Transfer to an oiled cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the centre feels firm to the touch.

    Remove from the oven, cool for 10-15 minutes, and then remove from the pan.

    For the toffee sauce, add all ingredients to the jug of your OmniBlend, and blend until super smooth. Pour the sauce of the pudding right before serving.

    Enjoy!

    For this recipe we used the OmniBlend I - 2ltr Pro

    watermelon-ice-cream-no-churn

    You only need 3 ingredients, a high-powered blender and a freezer to make this amazing no churn, dairy-free watermelon ice cream. Naturally sweet watermelon is so refreshing on a summers day, and the coconut milk creates an irresistible creamy texture and adds tropical flavours.

    To sweeten things up a little, we used AB Products Vanilla flavoured syrup. This syrup is a gem that originates from Paarl, where chef Abé Conradie developed a range of syrups and sauces for use in restaurant kitchens, and available at Pick’n’Pay, SPAR, and Checkers for use at home too. AB Products are used commercially to flavor desserts, coffee, smoothies, etcetera, and perfect to use at the comfort of your own home to swirl over or in desserts like ice cream, sorbets and milkshakes.

    The ice cream takes about 3 hours to prepare, which is mostly waiting time, so this could well be your easiest dessert ever! The blending halfway the the freezing process eliminates the need for churning of an ice cream maker, and the result is a super soft and creamy ice cream!

    Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • 2 C Watermelon, cubed
  • 1/4 C AB Vanilla Flavoured Syrup
  •  

    Directions:

    Add all the ingredients to your Omniblend jug (the 2 liter jug with the tapered shape works best for this recipe). Blend from low-to-high for 60 seconds. Transfer to a loaf pan and place in the freezer for 2 hours and then remove. Break the frozen mixture into chunks and place back into the blender. Blend on high speed, using the tamper through the lid to push the ingredients into the blades until a creamy consistency is reached. Place back in a loaf pan or container and freeze for another 30 minutes to an hour to firm up.

    Serve into bowls and enjoy!

    fig-cardamom-preserve-recipe

    There’s nothing like a fig preserve on a cheese platter, served with a ripe camembert and lightly salted crackers. Think lazy Sunday afternoons, friends and a glass of wine ... the perfect match! This preserve recipe is full of flavour with just a few simple ingredients, creating the perfect texture with a blender.

    If you’re lucky you have figs growing in your garden, and otherwise you may be able to pick them up at a good price at markets and shops. Fig season only lasts a few weeks, and we love the thrill of making the most beautiful food with the fruit.

    fig-preserve-recipe-omniblend

    This recipe will impress your guests, and takes a bit of good old South African brandy to give it that warm and deep flavour. We used Parow brandy, which we also used for the Eggnog recipe.

    Ingredients:

    • 450 grams Figs (about 9 figs)
    • ¾ C Brown Sugar
    • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
    • 1 Tsp Lemon Zest
    • 2 ½ Tbsp Brandy
    • ½ Tbsp Reduced Balsamic Vinegar
    • 12 Cardemom Pods

    Directions:

    Roll the cardamom pods lighty with a rolling pint to expose the seeds (make sure not to loose the seeds), and add to a medium sized saucepan. Toast the seeds for a few minutes over medium heat until you can smell their aroma. Remove from the heat.

    Rinse the figs and remove the stems. Quarter them, and add to the pot along with the lemon juice, zest, sugar, and brandy. Mix and set aside for 15 minutes.

    Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring frequently and keeping a close eye on it to avoid it to stick. Take it off the heat once the mixture is thickened and glossy. Leave to cool down for 15 minutes.

    Add the mixture to the OmniBlend jug (the narrow base jugs work best for this recipe), and blend on low speed just for as long as required to create a good consistency.

    Add to jars and screw the lid on, leaving it on the counter to further cool down if necessary. Then store in the fridge where you can keep it for about 2 months. Our guess is that it’s finished sooner!

    This recipe was made using the OmniBlend I - 2ltr Pro.

    black-bean-brownies-recipe

    Brownies make for the best treats, and these are even better as they’re high in fibre, packed with nutrients, and flourless. This gluten-free recipe makes about 16, and are delicious as is, or top with some peanut butter or tahini drizzle. This recipe is basically a ‘one bowl’ recipe, and only requires a food blender to prepare.

    The black beans create a moist and gooey texture, and you won’t taste or notice them in these brownies. They do add a lot of minerals, fibre and essential vitamins, which benefits healthy bones, digestion, blood sugar, and heart health. Healthy snacking never tasted this good, and the best part is that it only takes a few minutes to prepare the batter, and get baking. Ideal for lunch boxes too!


    Ingredients:

    • 1 ½ C Black beans (rinse rinsed)
    • 1/3 C Coconut oil
    • ¼ C Honey
    • ¼ C Coconut sugar
    • ¼ C Cocoa powder
    • ½ tsp Baking powder
    • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
    • Pinch sea salt
    • 2 Large free-range eggs
    • 1/3 C Chocolate chips


    Directions:
    Preheat the oven at 175C. Add all ingredients except the eggs and chocolate chips to the OmniBlend jug and blend on low for about 20 seconds, till blended and all ingredients are incorporated in the batter Add the 2 eggs and blend again, until just combined. Pour into a prepared brownie tin (about 20x20cm), and sprinkle chips on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

    parow-brandy

    Eggnog is a typical drink that you want to serve during the holiday season. A traditional delicacy that is so easy to serve as an alternative to fruity cocktails or gin & tonic. It’s delicious as a dessert too, quite similar to a Dom Pedro, without the ice cream.

    Eggnog can be made with different liquors, like whiskey, bourbon, or cognac. In this recipe we’re using a proudly South African Parow brandy, available from most Checkers liquor stores.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 large Free-range eggs, the freshest you can find
    • ½ C Castor sugar
    • ¾ C Brandy
    • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1½ C Full cream milk
    • 1 C fresh cream

    Directions:

    Add eggs to the OmniBlend jug, lid on top without the cap, and start blending on low for a few seconds. Continue blending and add the sugar, for 15 seconds. Now add the other ingredients, and blend for a further 30 seconds. Chill in the fridge, and serve with a sprinkle of grated nutmeg.

    pea-cake-recipe-festive-holiday-baking

    When we hear Carrot Cake, we’re all ears! So when we saw ‘the new carrot cake’ on the cover of TASTE’s 15th birthday edition, we paged over immediately to find out what this lime green cake was about. It appeared to be a Pea Cake with Lime Icing! As the batter contains pureed peas instead of grated carrots, a high performance blender is required to blend a smooth paste. To make it easier, we tried making this cake recipe with the OmniBlend blender, using the blender as the only kitchen appliance to prepare the wet mix.

    The recipe was an instant winner, and it was fascinating to hear the guesses of what made this cake green without revealing the ingredients immediately: “Mmm… it’s got a sweet freshness… pear?”, and “So what makes it green, matcha?” One taster who had just shared not even liking peas at all, and hadn’t been eating them since childhood, loved it. You can imagine the look on her face when she heard it were the peas that gave it the green colour. :-) It’s the fresh lemon juice in the batter, and the lime in the icing that creates the perfect balance of sweet with a hint of citrus, and makes this cake so good.

    In the original recipe there’s no bicarbonate of soda used, which creates a denser and moist texture. As carrot cake recipes often work best using bicarbonate of soda, we tried it with this recipe too, and it resulted in more of a cake crumb texture, which we preferred. We’ve not made further changes to the ingredients, and the directions below are based on using the OmniBlend blender at the most convenient way to whip up this cake.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 C Frozen Peas
    • 400 grams Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
    • 300 grams Castor Sugar
    • 6 Free-range Eggs (room temperature)
    • 4 Tsp Vanilla paste (or 3 Tsp Vanilla Essence)
    • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced (6 Tbsp juice and 3 Tsp zest)
    • 485 grams Cake Flour
    • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
    • 2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
    • 1 Tsp Salt
    For the frosting:
    • 225 grams Icing Sugar
    • 4 Tsp Lime Juice

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 160C degrees, and grease 1x24x11cm bundt cake tin.

    Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, and salt in a bowl, give it a good stir and set aside.

    ingredients-pea-cake

    Bring water to the boil and add the frozen peas. Bring back to the boil, which takes 2 minutes, and then strain and refresh under cold water and set aside.

    spread-high-performance-blender

    Add butter and sugar to the OmniBlend jug, and blend increasing to medium speed, using the tamper through the lid to whip the sugar into the butter for a light mixture.

    cake-batter-omniblend-blender

    Add the eggs, one at a time, and blend to incorporate and create a fluffy batter. Now add the peas, and blend on high, for about 60 seconds until smooth. And finally add the lemon juice, zest, and vanilla and blend a few seconds until incorporated.

    Decant the batter into the bowl with flour, and combine well, ensuring all flour is incorporated. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin, and bake for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes. 

    Cool the cake in the tin, and once cooled prepare the frosting. Sift the icing sugar, and add half the amount of lime juice, adding more gradually until you reach the desired consistency. Just runny enough to create a drip effect.

    Bake this cake for any occasion and use some decorative sparkles to make it a festive cake for the holidays.

    christmas-baking-batter-blender

    For this recipe we used the OmniBlend I – 2ltr Pro, as it allows for increasing the speed gradually, and the 2 litre jug has a narrow base to works well for blending thick textures like the initial butter and sugar in this recipe as well as hummus, nut butters and other spreads. The 2 liter jug can also be used for grinding dry ingredients if you want to grind your own fresh nut or oat flours.

    chcolate-cake-recipe-blender

    This Vegan Chocolate Cake is delicious, sugar free, and beautiful for an afternoon tea. It is sweetened by date syrup and banana which have their added nutritional benefits. Pure cocoa develops a dark chocolate flavour that satisfies your chocolate cravings.

    If you think egg-less cake is dense and heavy, you'll be surprised how light and fluffy this cake is! It rises beautifully, and doesn't collapse like some heavy cakes tend to do after baking.

    Best part is that you can make this cake completely in your blender. For this cake we're using the 2 liter jug, which is suited for wet and dry ingredients. We're giving the nuts and quick chop, by just using the pulse function. Pulse until you're happy with the texture, you still want to have a bit of a bite.

    We loved the cake with a raspberry coulis, but you can also add a chocolate icing. Or bake it like a banana bread: bake ahead, slice it, stick it in the freezer, and take a slice when you feel like a snack with your favorite toppings.

    Ingredients:

  • ½ C Pecan nuts
  • 1 ½ C Almond Milk
  • 2 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¾ C Canola Oil
  • 1 ½ C Date Syrup
  • 1 Medium Banana
  • 2 C Cake Flour
  • 1 1/3 C Cocoa
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  •  

    Directions:

    Give the pecan nuts a quick chop, using the 2 liter jug, and the pulse function. Keep them aside, and dust with a little cake flour to prevent them to sink to the bottom of the pan during baking.

    Add almond milk and apple cider vinegar to the OmniBlend jug to activate, while you're measuring the other ingredients. Add the other in ingredients to the almond milk mixture. Blend starting on low speed, increasing to high, for a smooth batter. This will only take about 30 seconds.

    Take the jug off the base, add the nuts, and stir with a plastic or wooden spoon to mix the nuts into the batter. Decant the batter into the prepared cake pan. Use a silicon spatula to scrape the jug.blender-chocolate-cake

    Bake the cake for about 60 minutes at 170C. The time depends on the size of the pan and the exact oven temperature, so keep an eye on it, and test with a skewer. When the skewer comes out dry the cake is ready.

    chocolate-cake-sugar-free

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