We all love dessert, and contrary to popular belief, you don't have to go without it when switching to a plant-based diet. If you're wanting to improve your lifestyle, it's all about making upgrades--from the foods you eat, to the way you move your body, to the quality of rest that you get. When you cut something bad out, replace it with something good. For example, eliminating dairy milk might mean replacing it with almond milk. Chemical-laden moisturizers might get tossed out and replaced with coconut oil. You might opt to unplug your devices at bed time and read a book instead. You get the idea!
Dessert Upgrade 2.0 Features
- This is by far my favorite dessert--raw vegan or not! You will be shocked and delighted at how good it tastes!
- It's not as daunting of a recipe as you may think. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and fun it was to whip up! Making your own fruit art design is the best part! ;)
- This crowd-pleaser is the perfect Memorial Day Weekend dessert to bring to any social gathering!
Dessert Upgrade 2.0 Bug Fixes
- For this recipe, the typical refined-sugar, cookie crust is replaced with a naturally sweet, date and pecan combination.
- The dairy-based cream cheese is replaced with a decadent, cashew cream.
- The one thing that doesn't need replacing is, of course, the fruit! You obviously still won't want to eat the entire pizza in one sitting, but your body is likely to be a lot happier with you after indulging in this not-so-guilty pleasure!
A Classic Disaster
Growing up I didn't really have any interest in helping out in the kitchen, in fact, I loathed it. I'm not sure what happened, but having your own food blog might possibly mean that you spend more time in your kitchen than you do sleeping in your bed. Apart from my extreme aversion to anything domestic in the kitchen, there was always one exception to my disinterest--fruit pizza! I always loved buying the tube of cookie dough (and inevitably eating a fair share of it raw), topping it with a sweet, cream cheese frosting, and the best part--decorating it with every variety and color of fruit imaginable! It was the best thing ever. Ever. Like, eat half now, okay, fine, I'll eat the rest now, too.
Enter: indigestion and remorse.
...and who likes acne, weight gain, bloating, and an upset stomach? The list goes on...
Does anybody else get frustrated that the best-tasting foods have to be some of the most disastrous to our bodies?! Well, it doesn't have to be that way!
Live To Eat + Eat To Live
Fast forward to present.
Suffice it to say, over the past few years, I've learned a thing or two about eating clean. There are people who eat to live and others who live to eat--I'm the latter. I eat a lot, and I needed to find a way to eat a lot without making myself sick. Switching to a plant-based, mostly raw food, lifestyle has allowed me to enjoy as much food as I care to eat while maintaining a heathy body weight, clearer skin, and better digestion. What's not to love? Plants are your friend!
Two of my favorite things about eating plant-based are:
- Pushing the envelope in regards to creativity in the kitchen.
- Feeling no remorse after a meal.
Raw Vegan Rainbow Glow Fruit Pizza
raw vegan, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, guilt-free!
Who says you have to compromise taste to make a healthy dessert?! This heavenly fruit pizza is anything but a guilty pleasure and will be sure to appeal to just about anyone--vegan or not! A creamy, decadent cashew cream sits atop a sweet, crumbly date and pecan crust that makes the perfect palette for creating your own rainbow fruit art design on top. The more colors, the better!
for the crust:
- 2-3 cups raw pecans (almonds and walnuts work great, too!)
- 15-20 pitted medjool dates
- Add nuts of choice to food processor and pulse until a fine meal is formed.
- Make sure pits are removed from dates and add a few at a time while food processor is running.
- Continue adding dates until sticky, gooey consistency is achieved. More dates may be needed depending on the size of them.
- Press crust firmly into bottom of a spring form or pie tin in one even layer.
* Note: You may want to cut a round piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of your spring form to keep the pie crust from sticking.
for the cashew cream frosting:
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
- Place all cashew cream frosting ingredients, except water, into blender. With blender on low, start to blend gradually, adding water until thick, cream cheese-like spread forms, and cashews have become creamy.
- Spread frosting over crust. If less is desired, save some as a fruit dip in a tupperware in the refrigerator.
- strawberries, oranges, mangos, kiwis, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
- Slice fruit into desired shapes and sizes and create design by pressing gently onto frosting.
- Refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.
- Freeze any leftovers and enjoy for a few weeks!
Upgrade Your Life!
Keep striving to make upgrades to your lifestyle--namely--the foods you eat, the way you move your body, and the quality of rest that you get! Don't bite off more than you can chew, literally--sustainable change takes baby steps. The momentum will build, and before you know it your upgrades will become habits--second nature--a lifestyle--and it will begin to come naturally to you! Be patient, enjoy the process, and give yourself a pat on the back every time you do something to improve your daily life!
Until next time, enjoy the long, Memorial Day weekend with friends and family, just vegging out, (and fruiting out!) with this guilt-free, crowd-pleasing dessert!
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