I have had nasal problems for some time now which no doctor seems to be able to assist with, so being as internet-savvy as I am, I have decided to try to diagnose my problem myself. My doctors love me, I am one of those patients who say, “Oh, but the internet suggests that I should…”
The internet says I should avoid dairy. So, this week I finally decided to go dairy-free (it was a hard decision, because I knew it required strict monitoring of food labels). It was really rather cute, me going to the local health store and stocking up on dairy-free cream cheese, chocolate, yoghurt, etc. I’m sure I looked like a complete noob.
Day 1 passed rather well. The dairy-free white chocolate was surprisingly yummy. The dairy-free coconut yoghurt was surprisingly potent. The dairy-free cream cheese was chalky in appearance, but surprisingly, cream cheesy.
Day 2 arrived and nasal symptoms persisted. As did I, avoiding dairy at all costs. Day 3 came and symptoms were worse. So I decided it’s probably not dairy and am now worried it could be something worse, like wheat, which seems to be the basis of my diet. But before jumping to conclusions, I think it’s time to take a trip to the nose specialist. Could be something in the air rather than something I eat. Let’s hope so.
In my few days of non-dairyness, I did go slightly over-the-top with the purchasing of non-dairy alternatives. I have never really been a milk lover (although I do eat meat, something about milk doesn’t sit right with me… rather nonsensical really), and I was kind of excited to find all these new products.
There has been an idea floating around the internet for some time now of cheesecake that is not made with cream cheese. This appealed to me greatly as I have never really liked the idea of cheese in a cake. This raw cake is made with cashews prepared in a particular way and then blended, which then give the appearance of cream. I had to try this cake. Even if the taste wasn’t great, for me this recipe looked like a fun experiment to try (much like the salt ice-cream trick, which I’m dying to attempt).
I finally bought my first round cake pan which was on special, as were the vanilla pods (my first), so I decided that the end of my non-dairy trial would be a perfect time to make this torte. I was very impressed with the experiment and the fact that you can make an ice-creamy, cheesecakey treat without using any dairy. Phenomenal. End result is deliciously sweet and the recipe is pretty simple. I can’t believe it’s not dairy.
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup dates, pitted
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 2 lemons, juiced (about 5 tbsp juice)
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 cup blueberries (thawed if frozen)
- Place walnuts, dates and salt in a food processor and process until fine and well combined. Pour into 18cm (7in) springform cake pan, or normal cake pan lined with cling wrap (if using a larger pan or tart pan, add ½ cup extra dates and ½ cup extra walnuts). Press firmly and evenly to make the base. Leave in the refrigerator. Rinse food processor.
- In a small pan on low heat, combine coconut oil and honey and whisk until liquified and smooth.
- Place all ingredients for filling in the food processor, excepting the blueberries. Process until smooth and creamy.
- Pour ⅔ of filling mixture over the torte base and smooth evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Add blueberries to remaining filling mixture in the food processor and blend until well combined. Pour over the first layer of filling and smooth evenly with the back of a spoon. Freeze until solid.
- Remove torte from freezer 30 minutes prior to serving (alternatively, put each frozen piece in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to soften). Run a sharp knife under hot water and slice.