Uniquely~Me

A Lifestylye Blog




Memorial Day is just around the corner and hopefully that means rest, quality time, reflection on what the day means to us and also hopefully- good food! Healthy food! With invitations to barbecues, warm weather and more time on this day off to enjoy ourselves also comes many options for food. It is easy to go overboard, but I always like to make this day a win-win. Food that is absolutely tasty and food that is absolutely healthy at the same time. And yes, that includes dessert too! This recipe is made with cashews as its base. Cashews are rich in heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein and other vitamins that support eye, blood and immune health as opposed to the higher amounts of saturated fats that are abundant in cream cheese-based cheesecakes.

This cheesecake dessert recipe is full of creamy flavor and perfectly refreshing as a lighter take on traditional cheesecake. See below for more details and a printable, pin-able recipe!






dairy-free, cheesecake, cashews, healthy, nutrition,
Dessert
Yield: 12Pin it

Dairy- Free Sweet Cashew Cream Cheesecake

prep time: 1 hourcook time: total time: 1 hours
Give this easy and delicious take on cheesecake a new spin! A great alternative for those whose are dairy-free, looking to go more plant-based, or simply wanting to try something new and healthier.

ingredients:

Cheesecake Filling
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup 100% organic real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Crust
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • One packet crushed graham crackers (about 10 crackers- and check label of box to ensure all-natural ingredients. Avoid added colors, hydrogenated oils, etc)
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds (I crushed my flax seeds in a mortar and pestle to open up the shell and release the nutrients inside the seed)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup oil of your choice (I used avocado oil)

instructions:

Cheesecake Filling
  1. Soak cashews for at least 4-6 hours or overnight in bowl with cool water. 
  2. Then drain water from cashews and place into a blender. A blender works best for creating this type of cream vs using a food processor.
  3. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract and set to "blend" or "whip" setting on high to create smoothest texture. Blending may take up to 5 minutes for cashews to completely silken. The cream should feel smooth when rubbed between your fingers. If still grainy, try adding a tablespoon of water at a time and blend a few more minutes until texture is smooth.
  4. Once completely smooth, pour into 10" springform pan (a pie pan will also work) and let cool overnight. Allow to defrost a few hours before serving for the best creamy texture. Top with fruit, nuts, 
Crust
  1. Blend crushed graham crackers, flax seeds, oats, oil, and dates into food processor and blend until all ingredients are moist. 
  2. Transfer crust ingredients to a 10" springform pan, and evenly spread out ingredients to coat the entire bottom (and sides if you like) of the pan.
Created using The Recipes Generator



One of the most ironic things about this blogging world is that so many of us find ourselves in a push and pull between our deep creativity and introverted draw to create, write, process and reflect alone with the equal need to share what we're processing, engage in social interaction, network, and feed our creativity with inspiration, collaboration and ideas from others. And many times fulfilling this comes in the form of events. A word that can send a lot of us introverted hermit creatures into a frenzied list-making process of reasons (really excuses) for why we don't need it when it's actually the one thing we often need the most. Thankfully, there is a growing number of blogging communities out there to help ease this seemingly scary part of "putting yourself out there". 

I was invited to share company with some local bloggers from Sacramento's Blog Bloc community and it was such a great reminder of why we need community in everything we do. Whole Foods recently had their Beauty Week in partnership with Yelp and our Blog Bloc founder, Kachet of The Kachet Life (thekatchetlife.com) was the regional ambassador. We were treated to an amazing brunch spread highlighting the seasonal produce and regular favorites (hello vegan donuts!) as we learned about the newest, top-of-the-line natural skincare products on the market. I was elated to share the day with my dear friend and fellow blogger Eli of Fine Wine Poet (finewinepoet.com) and at the end of the day we left with full bellies, smiles on our faces and some discounted products to give a try. Ummm, skincare is not just for the ladies! For those looking to restock or sample new products whether make-up, skincare, essential oils or other beauty needs, waiting for sales and opportunities like a beauty week are the best way to go. So many of us bloggers rarely buy these things full price!















A recommended product for those battling oily skin!

I'd like to wrap this up with just an encouragement (that I also have to constantly remind myself to do) to surround yourself with people who are engaging in and working toward the same things that you are going after and working toward. I was so put at ease to see that the room was full of introverted creatives just like me. Most of the time, when we find ourselves in these new spaces, the people we are with have either already gone through or are similarly still processing the same emotions as we tend to be processing too as we all travel on different parts of our creative journey- no matter how new or experienced.  


Exploring Sacramento's gems of food, good drinks, venue ambiance and culture is one of the best parts of living in this region. And a huge reason why my husband and I love living in midtown- we want easy access to all the local eats and good stuff. With Sacramento being the farm to fork capital of the nation, we are so fortunate to be surrounded by not only restaurants, but great open air markets, wineries and the evermore popular and growing craft brewery scene. I am not a huge beer drinker, but I am married to one :) We recently had the amazing opportunity to privately tour one of the region's hottest craft breweries- Crooked Lane Brewing located in Auburn, CA just a hop on the freeway up the hill from the city center of downtown.

Surrounded by luscious rolling hills, forestry and fresh air and right off of Highway 49, visiting Crooked Lane Brewing felt like a little escape- a mini day trip right in our own "backyard." With our often-hectic schedules being self-employed and parents of a toddler, it was a wonderful opportunity to get away and spend some time with one another- alone! Co-Founders Adrian and Paul and Sales Manager Marnina greeted us with warm welcomes and tasty selections as we began our day learning about their journey to establishing this home for their Great American Beer Festival (the highest award in the beer world) gold-medal winning brew. I was eager to enjoy and share this experience with my husband in particular as he is the bigger enthusiast out of the two of us when it comes to craft beer. Although, what I came to enjoy about this place is that it has something for everyone. Whether you're into sours, deeper notes, lighter ales, or non-alcoholic options, there is something there for you. I started with the house-made mandarin soda- made fresh with in-season mandarins from a local farm just up the road. Perfectly sweet, bubbly and refreshing. Zach opted for the Munich Dunkel- a darker german lager. And in just a bit later, we will get to the food :)





We carried on with the rest of our time touring the back room where the magic of the brewing happens. Crooked Lane Brewing specializes in English ales and German-style lagers- something I did not know very much about going in to this, but it was exciting to see their passion and craft for how they approach their brewing process. Adrian's wife was actually noted as the main brewmaster and admired for her perfection in developing each brew.

"Some people are bakers when it comes to brewing and some people are chefs- we are definitely bakers" -Adrian, Co-Founder.

This more scientific approach is what allows them to replicate each batch with seamless continuity and likeness. It is this consistency that brings people back- knowing that their favorite brew will be served just like they like it, every single time. But it's not just the good brews that draw people to this gem. There is a warmness and history cultivating community that you can't help but feel as soon as you walk in. From the supply of grain coming from local farmers just miles away, to the inviting Biergarten, and to the story and detail in every single piece of wood in the building, Adrian and Paul have made it their mission for every visit to be an experience. So coming from an in-experienced beer drinker to perhaps another, this place is definitely one to put on the list of places to visit when in the Sacramento area.












And now to the food! Depending on the day of the week, there will be some local eats to enjoy with your fresh brews or house-made fizzy drinks. I opted for the house-made root beer which was rich and fantastic. Saucy Litos was the local food truck of the day specializing in wings- but we opted for burgers and fries which were still a perfect pair with Zach's sampler and my root beer alternative.  I'll let the pics tell the rest!








In summary, per my husband, their Kolsh, Wobbler (dopplebock) and other German-styles beer were on-point. The take-home favorite of the day was the India Pale Lager- IPL (pictured in can above) noted for it's incredibly perfect balance of hops and citrus notes that blend well with the lager. Very drinkable for someone who doesn't typically go for an IPA (India Pale Ale) style and one of the higher echelon varietals of beer he has ever tasted.

Thanks so much to The Blog Bloc Sacramento and Crooked Lane Brewing for hosting us and providing such a great experience for us. It made for such a relaxing day away after a week's worth of hard work and parenting. This post was created in collaboration and celebration of Sacramento's Beer Week beginning May 10th. You'll see some of the favorites canned above in take-home growlers and there will be more can releases coming out on May 12th with all the fun starting at 11am. In particular, they have Swamp Goddess, originally brewed in March 2017, is a 10% smooth triple IPA, with a balance of citrus and dank hops. Fog of Dreams is a New England-Style IPA, with a creamy malt backbone with Denali, Citra and Mosaic hops. They will also be releasing Fog of Dreams which is a special  collaboration between the brewers of Drake’s and Crooked Lane. If you are interested, check out Crooked Lane's website ---> here and keep an eye out on the latest Sacramento press around this event! Although hosted, all opinions were my own :)


These past few weeks have been full of so much -well work (hence the title)- but also just living life and some fun new announcements coming soon! Being a work-from-home mom has been the most rewarding, challenging, fun juggling act of a blessing these past 1.5 years. I'm so thankful to be able to spend time with her while also engaging in fulfilling work with an awesome company as a Registered Dietitian and health coach consultant. But to the credit of all mamas out there, just being a mom alone is a full-time job. There is no need to add to this title to feel validated in the work arena. I've learned this so much these past few weeks.

Chaya is now 2 years old and with each new stage of her life comes a new approach and strategy to how I have to coordinate my work for the day. Gone are the days where I could rely on her naptimes for catching up on tasks and phone calls. Her vibrant toddlerhood is calling for bunches and bunches of mama love, attention, role-playing playtime and snacks that require a bit more preparation than the good ole breastmilk. Now our days usually start with time at the gym for me (and also an opportunity to squeeze in some work) and play time at the kids club for her (a sweet break for mama and some social time for Chaya!). My sweet friend, Rachael reached out to me to take some photos for my blog- giving me and my husband a more than welcome creative break. I racked my brain trying to come up with some clever post, but what I found even more poignant was to turn our typical, seemingly mundane everyday into a beautiful, pictorial story. So Rachael and I played around with angles, lighting and expressions versus a planned storyline. Seeing these photos surprised me and reminded me that we can still enjoy so much meaningful and significant purpose even when things feel redundant in our simple day-to-day lives. So with less words, I'd like for the pictures below to tell the rest of our story- a snippet of a day in the life of a working mom

Please check out more of Rachael's amazing work at this site: https://www.anewday.me/




























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