Blackberry Cheesecake with Gluten-free Crust

Gluten Free Cheesecake | Casual Classic

I've been on a sweets kick lately. I feel like all the blog posts I have lined up are for cookies, cakes, sweet treats, etc. I mean, that's not the worst thing in the world though, is it? I guess I'll try to sneak something a little different in there to mix it up though maybe.

Today's recipe is a new one for me. I'm the kind of person that likes to stick to things that involve chocolate, but for some reason, cheesecake was calling my name (that and I had fresh blackberries in my fridge that had to be used up). It's a pretty simple and quick recipe too, and deliciously rich so it'll make enough to last you weeks. I froze half of mine to save for later which worked out nicely.

Gluten Free Cheesecake | Casual Classic

You can use any fruit you'd like but this recipe does work best with berries - raspberries or blueberries would be a great substitute, and the lemon in this cheesecake gives it the perfect tart kick that cuts the sweetness a bit. I did sneak in a few superfoods, like chia seeds, gelatin, coconut oil, and of course the lemon juice I just mentioned, so you can't feel too guilty snacking on this delicious treat. Recipe below!

Gluten Free Cheesecake | The Casual Classic

Ingredients:

Crust

Filling

  • 2 8 oz containers of organic cream cheese
  • 6 oz fresh blackberries (or other type of berries)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons, juiced)
  • 1 tbsp gelatin powder

Directions:

  1. Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the oats in the food process and process until finely chopped up. Add remaining crust ingredients and process until well mixed.
  3. Press the crust down into the pan firmly until well packed. It's easiest to use your fingers to make sure it's even across the entire pan.
  4. Once the crust is removed from the food processor, add the blackberries and process until pureed.
  5. Place the gelatin and lemon juice in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until well dissolved and the mixture is warm (do not let it boil!). 
  6. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese and honey together. I used a hand mixer, which is kind of required, since this mixture is so thick.
  7. Add the lemon juice/gelatin mixture to the cream cheese and mix well. Lastly, fold in the pureed blackberries to create a marble like effect.
  8. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust and place in the fridge to let it firm up. You can also place in the freezer for about an hour to make this happen quicker.

*adapted from EatGoodForLife

As always, you can find most of these ingredients on Thrive Market, which is where I usually order them, since you get such a huge discount. Would love to hear feedback about how this turned out in the comments below! xoxo

My Bone Broth Hack (+ a promotion!)

Bone Broth

There is nothing better than comfort foods, am I right?! I'm sure bone broth is not news to you guys, but it has quickly become one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. Plus, the health benefits seem to be endless. Now you guys have heard about collagen at this point I'm assuming. Well, bone broth is probably the #1 source of collagen (and the best way to get it into your diet). Just a cup of this stuff daily, and you're on your way to better immunity, hair, skin, nails, gut, and overall health! Sounds pretty good right? Read on for some of my favorite things about bone broth.

Bone Broth
  1. It is one of the best sources of gelatin/collagen, so it's got major benefits for your hair, skin, and nails - especially your skin. It helps to banish wrinkles, improve the elasticity, and decrease cellulite. I've noticed a huge difference in my skin since I started using it - my face is clearer, brighter, smoother, and healthier.
  2. Bone broth helps to heal leaky gut in a major way. The reason for this is because it builds probiotics and protects the lining of your gut. This also helps to fight food sensitivities. Even if you don't have gut problems, it is still great for overall gut health.
  3. Like I said above, it's a major source of gelatin, which means it's pretty darn good for your joints also. Gelatin acts like a cushion for your joints, so for all of you with sore knees, wrists, and elbows, start drinking this and I bet you see a difference.
  4. Because it has such a large benefit on your gut, it also benefits your overall health and immunity, as well as your inflammatory response. Inflammation is such a huge problem in our world right now (it's what causes almost all disease), and bone broth can help lower the inflammation levels in your body.
  5. I stole this last one from my favorite doctor, but had to include. Bone broth also helps the detoxification process, because it is a source of potassium, glycine, sulfur, and glutamine - all of which aid in cellular and liver detoxification. 
bone broth

Is bone broth worth the hype? I think it is. I've noticed a big difference since I started drinking it, in my skin as well as my gut, but you do need to drink it regularly. Issue is, it's really not easy to make it in my tiny NYC kitchen (nor do I feel like it's safe to be simmering something on my stove for days at a time). I know I could make it in a slow cooker - which I will try some day when I actually purchase a slow cooker - but I'm all about quick and easy. 

This is where Kettle & Fire steps in. Kettle & Fire is my favorite source for bone broth. It comes in disposable cartons that you can heat the broth in, portioned out so that you can enjoy one full carton at a time. They make it so darn easy to consume bone broth on a regular basis - which you should be doing if you want to see the benefits - without all the hassle of having to make it yourself. Plus, it tastes delicious, and I always add extra ingredients to mine for the additional health benefits. In these photos, I'm drinking mine with some crushed garlic and turmeric. Yum!

I want you guys to reap the benefits also, so today, I'm giving you 20% off Kettle & Fire! Just use code CASUALCLASSIC20 at checkout. Let me know how you like it! xo

The Deliciously Ella Sweet Potato Brownies

The Casual Classic | Sweet Potato Brownies

I finally hopped on the bandwagon and tried the famous Deliciously Ella sweet potato brownies that everyone seems to rave about. Honest opinion? I wasn't obsessed with the flavor and texture of them, but these are almost completely added sweetener free and pretty darn healthy. That is the appeal of them though, right? Eating dessert without actually getting the bad side effects of it? I just think they taste a little more like a Luna bar then a brownie, but I'd make them again. That icing though... I'm planning on making just that and eating spoonfuls of it. It was AMAZINGGG. 

The Casual CLassic | Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet potatoes are the star of this recipe as they are the base of the brownie. Nothing like mixing some healthy starch and fiber into dessert right? This recipe also calls for almonds and coconut oil, so they're also a very good source of healthy fats. They're super simple to make and full of good for you ingredients... Read on for the recipe if you're willing to give them a try.

Ingredients:

  • Brownies:
    • 2 medium sweet potatoes
    • 12 medjool dates
    • 6 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup ground almonds
    • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup ground oats
    • 6 tbsp cacao powder
    • a pinch of salt
  • Icing:
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil
    • 2 tbsp almond butter
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp cacao powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and steam them until they are soft. I believe you could also boil them in water until soft too if you'd like.
  3. Place cooked sweet potato and pitted dates in a food processor together and blend until well mixed.
  4. Mix remaining brownie ingredients in a bowl together and stir.
  5. Next, pour the sweet potato/date combo into the bowl with the remaining brownie ingredients and mix well. 
  6. Grease or line a brownie pan with parchment paper, and pour the brownie mix into the pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until you can pierce the brownies with a toothpick and it comes out dry.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10-20 minutes - do not touch it! It is important for them to cool down before you cut them up.
  9. To make the icing, simply put all the ingredients into a bowl and melt them in the microwave (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Stir well and place in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to harden it up a bit so you can spread it! 
  10. Allow the brownies to cool before icing, otherwise it will melt fast! Or just eat the icing on it's own like I plan to do. :)