Superfood Kitchen: How to Take Your Health to the Next Level (Includes Non-Dairy Acai Berry Cheesecake Recipe!)

Superfood Kitchen Acai Berry Cheesecake

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

You eat an organic diet, exercise, drink plenty of water and get sufficient rest. But is it enough?

In our daily grind, we try to keep it healthy and real by watching what we eat, minimizing processed food, staying active and going to bed at a decent hour. Although it’s a good start for maintaining general well-being, if we really want to thrive and lead a vibrant life — we need extra help.

This is where superfoods come into play.

Dynamic and Nourishing

Julie Morris is a master of taking exceptionally nutrient-dense food and creating magic in the kitchen. As a bestselling author and natural foods chef, she’s put together a number of cookbooks, including Superfood Kitchen: Cooking With Nature’s Most Amazing Foods. Gorgeously photographed with stunning recipes, Julie has shattered the myth of bland health food. Carrot & Yacon Soup with Gojis, Butter Lettuce Salad with Creamy Sea Buckthorn Dressing, Black Bean—Hemp Protein Patties and Lucuma Ice Cream Cupcakes are just a few examples of Julie’s creativity in action.


She also includes sections on understanding superfoods, the need for nutrient density, how (and why) we should create a functional food pantry and extensive background information on the ingredients she uses throughout the book — such as camu camu, hemp seed, maqui berry, sacha inchi and more. A resource guide at the end eliminates any guesswork about where to purchase supplies.

Deliciously Guilt-Free

One of the more eye-catching creations in Superfood Kitchen is a non-dairy, nutrient-packed cheesecake using ingredients like acai berries, lucuma fruit, raw cacao nibs, coconut oil and walnuts. Here’s the nutritional rundown for each:

Acai berries are native to the Amazon rain forest and pack a serious nutritional punch. Brimming with antioxidants, beneficial fatty acids, iron, calcium, fiber and vitamin A, this dark purple fruit helps curb arthritis, inflammation, obesity, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease and cancer. As an added perk, the berries are low in sugar.

A Peruvian superfruit, lucuma is a good source of beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein. With a taste reminiscent of caramel, the fruit is an outstanding sweetener — especially for diabetics since it ranks low on the glycemic scale. Lucuma has traditionally been used to support the skin and digestion, as well as cardiovascular health.

Containing a cornucopia of beneficial compounds, research has shown raw cacao nibs protect against heart disease, diabetes and inflammation — while also improving vision, mood and dental health.

Coconut oil is famous for its ability to strengthen the immune system, promote healthy brain function, support a balanced thyroid gland, improve cardiovascular health and encourage a strong metabolism. Rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), coconut oil is easily digested and rapidly converted by the liver into energy, instead of stored as fat.

Another brain and heart food, walnuts are a valuable source of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The nut demonstrates impressive diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.

All the above superfoods come together beautifully in the following recipe.

Acai Berry Cheesecake

Acai’s inherent richness is ideal for a decadent cheesecake. Loaded with antioxidants, it’s truly celebratory.

This recipe makes one 9-inch Cheesecake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (230g) raw cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours to soften, then drained
  • 1/3 cup (50ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup (75ml) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup (75g) acai powder
  • 1 tablespoon lucuma powder
  • 2/3 cup (100g) banana mash (2 or 3 bananas peeled and mashed with a fork)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 cup (150g) (packed) soft Medjool dates (about 10 or 11), pitted
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3 cups (450g) fresh blueberries, divided

Method

To make the cheesecake, drain the soaked cashews and discard the water. In a food processor or blender, mix together the cashews with the lemon juice, agave nectar, and coconut oil. Blend until completely smooth. Add the acai, lucuma, banana mash, tahini, dates, salt, and 1 1/2 cups (225 grams) of blueberries. Blend again until smooth.

In a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan, distribute the Cacao-Walnut Crust evenly and press down to form a compact flat layer. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust. Cover, and place in the freezer for about an hour. Remove the chilled cake from the freezer and decorate the top with the remaining blueberries, pressing down slightly to make the berries “stick.” Re-cover and freeze for another 2-3 hours. When ready to serve, release the cake from the springform pan and defrost for about 3—4 minutes to soften. Store in the freezer when not in use; will keep frozen for a few months.

Cacao-Walnut Crust

  • 1 cup (150g) cacao nibs, divided
  • 2/3 cup (100g) raw walnuts
  • 1 cup (150g) (packed) soft Medjool dates (about 10 or 11), pitted
  • 3 tablespoons lucuma powder

Set aside 1/3 cup (50g) of the cacao nibs. Place remaining nibs, walnuts, dates, and lucuma powder in a food processor and grind until crumbly dough has formed. Check moisture level by pinching the dough to ensure it sticks—if not, blend in a little water, a teaspoon at a time, until the sticky texture is achieved. Transfer to a bowl and mix in remaining cacao nibs. Cover until needed.

Reprinted with permission from Julie Morris’s Superfood Kitchen © 2015 by Julie Morris, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Julie Morris Superfood Kitchen

Acai | Navitas Naturals Chef’s Notes

Article sources:

Previous articles by Carolanne Wright:

About the author:

Carolanne WrightCarolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 


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