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

Zoodle Bolognese

The Casual Classic | Meat Sauce

Two posts in one week!? I'm on a role lately! Meat sauce is one our go-to recipes because you can throw it on top of so many different things - zucchini noodles (aka zoodles), spaghetti squash, gluten free pasta, grains, or just eat it by itself. Zoodles are another favorite of mine because they're an amazing pasta substitution - they have a great texture, flavor, and I actually like them more than pasta honestly. 

The Casual Classic | Zoodles & Meat Sauce

You will need a spiralizer for this recipe if you plan to make the zoodles, or you could just sub a different type of pasta. This recipe is mainly for the bolognese anyway, so pick whatever base you'd like! This meat sauce is seriously good for you. It has a little health and anti-inflammatory boost with the turmeric, coconut oil, ghee and kale additions (I know, you wouldn't even know it was in there, and you can't taste it!). It's definitely a recipe you won't feel guilty eating! The recipe is really pretty large, so you can throw the leftovers in the freezer and enjoy at a later time.

The Casual Classic | Zoodles & Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 24oz jar or 2 12oz jars of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 package (1 lb) of organic beef, turkey, or bison (whatever you prefer)
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 bunches of curly kale
  • 1 red onion
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil (or half and half)
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 12oz can of tomato sauce (optional. I add this sometimes because I like mine a little "saucier" - the recipe is decently chunky without)
  • Touch of parmesan (optional to sprinkle on top if desired)

Directions:

  1. Chop the carrots, onion, and kale, or even blend in a food processor (you want them to be chopped very fine). Mince all the garlic cloves too.
  2. Melt the coconut oil, olive oil, and ghee in a larger pot over medium heat.
  3. Add chopped vegetables and garlic to the pot and cook for a few minutes until onions are translucent. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on top.
  4. Add the meat, break it up a bit so there are no large chunks, and cook until it is brown/cooked through.
  5. Top with the crushed tomatoes, turmeric, salt and pepper, and stir well so everything is mixed.
  6. Simmer for about a half hour (and by simmer, I mean that the sauce will have little tiny bubbles coming up through it, so that could be low/medium heat actually).
  7. Top the zoodles, noodles, spaghetti squash or whatever you choose as a base with the meat sauce, and you're good to go! 

Oil Pulling

Let's talk about oil pulling. I'm sure you guys have probably seen it around the internet lately, as it has really taken off. It was new to me a couple years ago, but I hadn't yet developed my addiction to coconut oil, so wasn't really into swishing it around my mouth for 15 minutes a day, until recently. 15 minutes!? You may think that sounds crazy, but that is about the time you are supposed to oil pull for. You of course can work up to this time, but first, lets talk about what oil pulling is exactly, and the benefits of it.

Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice and has been around for ages, and has a ridiculously impressive line of benefits. Simply put, it is an oral detoxification procedure, or a way to detox via your mouth! Some of the benefits include:

  1. Removes bacteria and promotes healthy gums
  2. Reduces inflammation
  3. Whitens teeth
  4. Gets rid of bad breath
  5. Prevents cavities
  6. Increased oral health
  7. Overall detoxification
  8. Healing of chronic diseases (read this book)

But oil pulling doesn't just affect the health of your mouth, it really has full body benefits. By reducing inflammation, it is a wonderful thing to do if you have any types of health issues of ailments (or even if you're generally healthy!). In doing my research, I found a ton of testimonials from people claiming that it helped to clear up skin ailments, headaches, hormonal imbalances, asthma and more! I for one have been through a few health issues in the past, from hormone imbalance to psoriasis, so I am the perfect candidate for this (and since then have healed myself by doing a variety of natural practices like this as well as taking supplements, but we'll get into that in another post).

You can use coconut oil or sesame oil for this, but I highly recommend coconut oil because it is shown to balance hormones, kill candida, balance blood sugar, improve digestion, and it's antibacterial! Here's how you do it:

  1. You absolutely should be doing it first thing in the morning, before you eat, drink or brush your teeth. I get it over with right when I hop out of bed.
  2. Put about 1-2 tablespoons of oil in your mouth.
  3. Swish around for about 15-20 minutes, but no longer than that. If you do, you can actually reabsorb some of the toxins back into your body. You also can start slow, with 5 minute increments until you can build up to about 20. It's not the most fun process, and your jaw can get sore if you're not used to it.
  4. Spit the oil into a trash can or the toilet. Do NOT spit in the sink as it will clog your drain!
  5. Rinse with warmer water or even salt water. 
  6. Brush your teeth as you normally would!

I recommend doing this about 4-5 times a week or really as often as possible. I, myself, like to do morning workouts, so I can't always squeeze it in before those as I am not a morning person and can't get my butt out of bed early enough! I'm working on it though.

If you're really interested in oil pulling and the benefits, I highly recommend reading Oil Pulling Therapy. Enjoy!