Sugar seems to be the new 'super villain', being blamed for all our health ailments. It is true that refined sugars provide no nutritional value and may be rightly to blame for some things but when it comes to natural sugars found in whole foods, I believe it is a different story.
Sugar has been instrumental to our survival, just the right amount of sweetness in fruit signals the food is ripe and ready to eat. Natural sugar found in food like fruits, vegetables and dairy products contain many essential nutrients.
Here are a few of my go-to natural sweeteners along with my delicious Cashew Gaytime Cheesecake that is completely refined sugar free, dairy free and gluten free.
Dates - Are high in fibre which is great as fibre slows down digestion and prevents a blood sugar spike.
Rapadura Sugar - Is unrefined cane sugar which is dried at low temperatures to maintain nutritional properties and there is no other processing involved, unlike other sugars that can be highly processed, refined and bleached.
Rice Malt Syrup - There are arguments both for and against rice malt syrup. I use a rice malt syrup that is made from 100% organic brown rice and does not include inorganic arsenic from herbicides and pesticides. It is basically made through culturing rice and then cooked until it becomes a syrup. I like it as I find it provides me with a steady energy supply and does not cause any gastric distress.
Cashew Cheese Gaytime Cake
I N G R E D I E N T S
2 cups cashews, soaked in filtered for at least 4 hours then drained
1 cup organic coconut milk
1 tablespoon unhulled tahini
1/3 cup rice malt syrup
10 pitted dates, soaked in boilng water for at least 10 minutes
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup rapadura sugar
M E T H O D
1. Place all base ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combined. Spread the mixture into lined 24 inch round tin and freeze.
2. For the filling, place drained and rinsed cashews into the food processor with coconut milk, coconut oil, rice malt syrup, tahini, vanilla, dates and salt and blend until smooth. Pour mixture on top of the base and place back into the freezer for at least 2 hours to set.
3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
4. For the topping, place cashews in a food processor and blend until crumbed, mix in all other topping ingredients until combined well.
5. Spread mixture thinly onto a large baking tray and place into the oven for 5 minutes, then carefully mix it around and place back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
6. To serve, remove cake from the freezer and add topping mixture.
P.s. This cake is best stored in the freezer, you may need to let it thaw out a little before slicing and serving.