No-Bake Cheesecake: Vegan, Rhubarb, Cardamom? Oh my!

If you have never tried your hand at raw vegan desserts this is an excellent first step! As long as you have a food processor and room in your freezer this cheesecake is even easier than the traditional recipe!
Kaycie took an old recipe from her vegan catering days and infused the market flavours of the season.

But that’s not all…we’ve collaborated with fellow blogger and sister to our own Eats of Asia owner (Jay Del Corro), Kristina Del Corro. We each took photos for each other’s blogs this week. If you like food, photography or books we highly recommend giving her site a gander.

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You will need:

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Equipment
Food processor
Springform pan
Saucepan (for the compote)

For the Crust
1 cup of Medjool Dates from Cherry Pit or Panorama Orchards (pitted and soaked overnight)
1 cup of shredded raw Coconut from Going Nuts
½ cup of raw Pecans from Going Nuts
1 pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

For the Cheesecake Filling
2 Lemons from Cherry Pit or Panorama Orchards
4 cups of raw Cashews from Going Nuts (soaked overnight)
2 1/2 tbs Vanilla Extract from The Silk Road Spice Merchant
4 Tablespoons of Clover Honey from Beeland (substitute for Maple syrup or agave for true vegan)
¾ cup Coconut oil from The Vitamin Cupboard

For the Rhubarb Compote (this makes 6-8 servings of compote)
2 cups of diced rhubarb from Cherry Pit or Panorama Orchards (3-4 stalks)
2-3 tablespoons of the same Beeland honey
½ Teaspoon of Ground Cardamom from The Silk Road Spice Merchant
1 pinch of the same Pink Himalayan Salt from The Silk Road Spice Merchant
1/3 cup of water


Directions:

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1. Make your compote first. This will give it time to simmer-away while you process the other parts of your cheesecake:
a) Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
b) Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring, until the rhubarb has completely fallen apart. Then to ensure correct consistency cook uncovered until  (about 30 minutes total).
c) Remove from heat to let cool.

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2.  While your compote is simmering you can get started on your crust. In your food processor, combine all the ingredients from the crust list keeping an eye on the texture while you’re grinding everything down. You want to process these items until it looks like a crust. Too much time and it will turn to a paste.

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3. Empty the contents of your food processor in to your springform pan and flatten in to a crust with your hands, spoon, or bottom of a glass.

4.  Now comes the fun part, the cheesecake filling! Combine all your ingredients in the food processor and blend until creamy like cream cheese. Don’t worry if it’s taking a while, this is normal. If the texture is looking chunky add in very small amounts of water while things are running to help the nuts break down better.

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5. Flatten out your cheesecake by gently tapping the pan on the counter.

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6. Dollop your compote on the top of the cheesecake until you have the entire contents of the saucepan emptied. Then, with a butter knife, drag the cutting edge through in a swirling motion to incorporate it in to the cheesecake.

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7. Tap your pan on the counter again to ensure everything is level.

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8. As this is a no-bake cheesecake, you’ll be using freezing as your method to set everything. Freezing this overnight gives it the longest life when serving, but a few hours should be fine if you’re in a pinch.

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9. The only thing left to do now is enjoy your creation! It’s our experience that this cheesecake is a hit on Mother’s Day… just saying.
Whatever your occasion, Bon Appetit!

Eat Your Way to Love

Valentine’s Day is a bit of a fluffy holiday, what with its Cupid-drawn arrows flying around swirling pink hearts, lush flowers and rich chocolates being flung at a loved one, and sappy cards that don’t really embody the true beauty of love.  It can all be a little overwhelming to even the most savvy of gentlemen (and lady).  But we here at the market, l-o-v-e the food aspect of Valentine’s Day; it’s a clear opportunity to try your hand at a new recipe to impress, vamp up a tried-and-true favorite, or really spoil your guy or gal with decadent and delicious fare.  Aphrodisiacs are at the top of the food list come lovers day and we’d be remiss if we didn’t share some of the sexy and enticing foods you can find in one stop at the Calgary Farmers’ Market.

Aphrodisiacs go way back and it’s not just about flavor, it involves the shape and texture of certain foods to arouse the mind, making them not just about taste, but also a cerebral experience.  Whether or not these foods actually turn you on is still to be proven, but if it’s tasty, why not give it a try?  Here are our top six.

First up: Oysters

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Oysters are perhaps the most famous of aphrodisiacs; while they are visually suggestive, oysters are also high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for love and fertility.  Our friends over at Blu Seafood have fresh oysters on hand for you if you want to stick with the notorious aphrodisiac.  Owner, Brian Plunkett, is also a trained chef so if you aren’t a fan of slurping them down raw, he can suggest just the right way to prepare them to suit the mood.

2. Chili Peppers

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An exotic reputation and a bright red color, chili peppers kind of just look like love. But scientifically, they stimulate endorphins, speed up heart rate and make you sweat, which all mimic how you feel when you’re say…. hot and bothered.  Gull Valley Greenhouses and The Cucumber Man are prime spots at the market to pick up some peppers to heat things up.

3. Avocados

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We’re not sure exactly how lustful an avocado is; it could be the sensuous shape or the rich, creamy flavor of the fruit that warranted it being dubbed as an aphrodisiac.  But when its reputation goes as far back as the Aztecs, you can’t argue with history, right?  We won’t.  And neither will Cherry Pit or Blush Lane Organics, both brimming with ripe, ready-to-indulge avocados.

4. Chocolate

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What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate?  Do you have to give your love bug a heart-shaped box of mass-produced chocolates?  No!  In fact, we invite you to stop by Papa Chocolat to spoil your taste buds with silky smooth, unique and sensual flavors like dark cayenne or lavender cream, hand-crafted  by Bernard Callebaut himself.

5. Honey

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Birds and bees ring a bell?   Sweet and sticky, honey is chalked full of healthy vitamins that are said to increase desire.  In fact, the word ‘honeymoon’ got its name from mead, an alcoholic beverage made from honey given to the happy new bride and groom.  We have plenty of honey to be found around the market from the delicious Alpine Wildflower Honey at Beeland, Nixon Honey at Innisfail Growers Co-op, Chinook Honey at LA CUCINA, and Saskatoon Berry Honey from the Saskatoon Berry Farm.

6.  Cinnamon, Cardamom, and Nutmeg

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Nothing like spicing up your love life, literally.  Cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg all have ancient aphrodisiac roots spanning from Arabia to China; their warming properties really seem to heat things up if you know what we mean.  Swing by The Silk Road Spice Merchant for some exotic ways to enhance a meal or that cup of tea you’re enjoying all snuggled up by the fire.

Whatever way you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, we hope it’s a lovely occasion for you and your sweetheart.  And if you need a little more inspiration, check out our Valentine’s Day event and Enter to Win a Romantic Getaway to CRMR‘s Emerald Lake Lodge!