Delicious, Fun & Healthy Food


"Triple-Decker" Raw (Birthday) Cheesecake

Dessert, Cheesecake, Raw Desserts, Raw CheesecakeLina Liwag4 Comments

So January flew by fast...although it feels like the latest buzzword (in Toronto), the "polar vortex" is here indefinitely.  The media calls it "the winter visitor that refuses to leave."  But in the midst of these consistent sub-zero temps and record high snow falls, it was a time for celebration.  It was the big month of birthdays in my mini community.   I first wrote about it on this post here last year. 

So for an update, my dad who lives in the Philippines, turned 89 on January 15th.  What's really exciting to share about him is that he has started drinking green juice!  My brother and I bought him this kind of juicer here as a Christmas present.  The first juice recipe that my sister made for him was a mix of carrots, apple and the awesome moringa leaves (malunggay) -  fresh and organic from our backyard  there.  How cool is that!  You can definitely start a healthy practice at any stage in life.  I think having an open mind is the key. 

This year, the number of celebrants on my floor at work has increased to 11.  Half of that is from  my team.  Just imagine how many candles were being blown every time. Crazy! 


It's then predictable that it's also a time for making birthday treats, right?  But the real question is: how can I possibly squeeze this in to my ever so tight schedule? I managed...made a huge Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake for the birthday celebrants at work (check it here on my Instagram page) and then there's this special one for my husband who happens to celebrate his birthday back to back with me.   So here goes "Triple-Decker Raw (Birthday) Cheesecake.  Delicious and colourful bites and tastes of sunshine on this gloomy season of the polar vortex! Happy Birthday everyone especially to my soulmate, Angel! 


"Triple-Decker" Raw (Birthday) Cheesecake
Ingredients (Preferably Organic)

For The Crust:
3/4 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup dried Turkish figs, chopped
1 Tbsp. water
Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes sticky and holds together.  Transfer to a 6" x 2 3/4" springform pan and press firmly.  A 7" one can also be used.  The cake will be a bit thiner.

First Layer: Persimmon Cheesecake
1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for 6 hours
1 cup Vanilla or Fuyu persimmon, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh clementine or orange juice
2 Tbsp. coconut  butter, softened
1 Tbsp. coconut oil melted
2 tsp. maple syrup
1/8 tsp. vanilla powder
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until the mixture becomes very smooth. Adjust the taste.  Pour into the crust and place it in the freezer while you get to work on the next layers.

Second Layer: Matcha Green Tea and Avocado Cream
1/2 cup young coconut meat
1 medium size avocado
2 tsp. matcha green tea powder
3 Tbsp. coconut water
1  1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp. maple syrup (or more depending on your taste)
Dissolve the green tea with the coconut water and set aside.  Rinse either your food processor or high speed blender and process all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Adjust the taste.  Take out the pan from the freezer and pour the avocado cream on top of the persimmon layer. Return the pan into the freezer.  

Top Layer: Blueberry Cheesecake
1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for 6 hours
1 cup  fresh or frozen (then thawed) blueberries (see suggestions)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh clementine or orange juice
2 Tbsp. coconut  butter, softened
1 Tbsp. coconut oil melted
1  1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup 
1/8 tsp. vanilla powder

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until the mixture becomes very smooth. Adjust the taste.  Pour on top of the avocado cream layer.  Freeze the cake for 2-3 hours.  To serve, remove from freezer at least 30 minutes (or more) before serving.   Run a knife under hot water and cut into slices.    Enjoy!

1.  If young coconuts are not available in your area, you can use cashews as a substitute.  I would say use 1/3 cup and soak them.  The coconut water can just be replaced with filtered water.  
2. If you want the colour of the top layer to be more vibrant, use organic frozen blueberries and thaw them first.  A mix of fresh and frozen is also great.  This is my second time to make this cake so I noticed the difference. 


I usually take the time to meditate on the things that I'm thankful about every time I turn a year older.  Here are the big ones:  the Lord's kindness and blessings, my family, my friends. Canada, my job and my health.  It's been pretty amazing for a 54 year old I must say!  I hope you're enjoying the first part of the year.  Let me know what you think of this Birthday cake!



Raw Persimmon Cheesecake With Cacao Sprinkles - Our 20th Anniversary Cake

Dessert, Cheesecake, Raw CheesecakeLina Liwag4 Comments

October 30th was an important day for my husband and I.  It was our 20th Anniversary!  Wow! I just couldn't believe how time has flown.  There's so much gratitude in our thankful for God's blessings through the years. The lessons we've learned and are continually learning in our marriage and parenting make it even more special and meaningful. 

So to celebrate the occasion, I wanted to make a special cake...something with my favourite fruit in season...with just the right flavours and ingredients to go with it.  And delicious enough for everyone.  I'd love to share it to friends, co-workers and relatives. 

With that intention, I was so ecstatic when I found a box of the freshest and nicest looking Fuyu persimmons at my grocery store. As if they were just there waiting for me. Raw persimmon cheesecake here I come!  This would be the 2nd installment to my "dessert making adventure." I wrote a bit about persimmons in an earlier post here.  For this recipe, no sweetener was necessary. Isn't that awesome?

As I write this, I'm happy to share that the cake came out very was enjoyed by our mini community.  I felt the joy as people smiled and savoured this homemade 20th Anniversary cake!




 Raw Persimmon Cheesecake  With Cacao Sprinkles

Crust :
1 c. raw  almonds 
6 pcs medjool dates, pitted and sliced into small pieces 
4 Tbsp raw cacao powder 
a pinch of sea salt 
1 vanilla pod scraped or 1/2 tsp. vanilla powder 

1. Place almonds in food processor and process until finely chopped. 
2. Add dates, cacao, vanilla and salt and process until mixture stick together. 
3. Transfer the mixture into the bottom of a 9" spring form pan lined with parchment paper (a smaller 7" pan can also be used which will yield a thicker cake). Make sure to press it well. 

2 1/2 c. raw cashews, soaked overnight or minimum 4 hours
3 c. Fuyu persimmons, peeled and chopped 
1 c. fresh orange juice 
1/4 c. lemon  juice 
1/2 c.coconut oil, melted
(see #3 below on sweetener)

2 1/2 Tbsp. cacao nibs 



1. Rinse and drain soaked cashews. Prep the persimmons, orange and lemon juices, melt the coconut oil by placing it on a small bowl over a pan of  simmering water. 
2. Transfer them all into a high-speed blender. Process until smooth. 
3.  Adjust the taste.  If persimmons are very ripe, no sweetener is required otherwise add up to 2 1/2 Tbsp. of maple syrup if they are still a bit crunchy.
4. Pour over crust. Sprinkle the cacao nibs on top. 
5. Freeze until cake becomes solid, approximately 6-7 hours.
6. Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

There's also an older cheesecake recipe made of pomegranate, my other favourite fruit. You can check it at this link. 


Marriage is a gift and I am truly grateful that Angel and I are partners in this life that God gave us.  I'm thankful for the bible, a standard that both of us can trust.  Then there's our good friends who help hold our hands when we need strength and support. I can truly say that we are enjoying each other.  Happy 20th my dearest! 



Chocolate Cups with Creamy Persimmon Filling

Dessert, Raw DessertsLina LiwagComment

I'm not big on desserts.  The customary after lunch and dinner "sweet thing" as I was growing up in rural Philippines was either some slices of ripe mango or maybe some bananas, usually from our backyard.  Chocolates were unheard of then.  

Lately, I've been making desserts for the occasional indulgence to serve to friends and relatives.  I find that sweets usually get a lot of people excited.  I try to pick good ingredients.  Personally, desserts should only be enjoyed once in a while and not an everyday fare.



 I've been experimenting on chocolate cups lately...with different fillings.  First I tried almond butter but the hubby thought it was "too rich" for his taste.  Then at another time, I used homemade cranberry jam with a mix of nut butter which some of my co-workers enjoyed... but it still wasn't perfect for me and  the hubs.  


Then a few days ago I was inspired... PERSIMMON!  It's my favourite fall fruit so why not?  Combined with cashew into a mousse-like consistency makes a perfect filling.   So I made it and my husband loved it!  Freshncrunchy turned one year and we're celebrating it this weekend.


Chocolate Cups with Creamy Persimmon Filling
Ingredients (Preferably Organic) 

Makes 10-12 small cups

1/2 c. raw cacao powder
1/2 c. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. cacao butter, shaved
1/2 tsp. vanilla powder
1/3 c. maple syrup or your choice of sweetener
a pinch of salt

1/4 c. raw cashew
1 large (or 2 small)  Fuyu persimmon, peeled and chopped  
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1. Prepare the filling by crushing the cashews into powder using a personal blender like a Nutribullet (for quick processing and easy clean up).  Add the chopped persimmon and lemon juice and process until creamy and smooth.  It should be thick like a mousse.  Refrigerate the mixture until ready to use. 
2. To make the chocolate, melt the coconut oil and cacao butter in a double boiler or by placing them in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Add the cacao powder, vanilla and salt then the maple syrup and whisk to combine well.  
3.  Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake papers.  I had the large size ones so I was able to make 11 pieces.  Pour about 2 tsp. of the liquid chocolate into the bottom of cupcake papers, or at least enough to cover the bottoms.  Put in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.
4. Place about 2-3 teaspoons of the filling onto each chocolate base.  Spread and smooth the filling by using the back of a teaspoon but making sure it does not go to the edges. Cover with the remaining liquid chocolate. Put  back in the freezer for 20-25 minutes to harden.  Enjoy!  Store any leftovers on a sealed container in the freezer.  


You can omit the cacao butter if it's not available.  It just adds a deeper flavour to it.   Coconut oil should work on its own...just add 2 more tablespoons. 



Happy Halloween to all!