Raw Mango Cheesecake

Hello All,

Its been a while since I posted a raw dessert recipe and today I’m gonna share one of my favourite cheesecake recipes of all time!

raw mango cheesecakeMost homemade raw cheesecakes use pretty much the same ingredients – cashew nuts, sweeteners, lemon/lime and some fruit. But a while ago, while surfing through the AMAZING Detoxina’s blog, I realised she used zuchinnis in her cheesecakes! So I decided to give it a shot and the result was a texture and taste more similiar to the normal cheesecake than my previous recipes. No kidding !! I’ve since used zuchinnis in many of my cheesecakes recipes whilst playing around with the measurements and quantity…..and today’s recipe is by far the one I’m most satisfied with and its super easy! Sorry no step by step pictures for this post because I forgot to charge my camera battery :X

raw mango cheesecake

RAW MANGO CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS

Base
½ cup raw almonds
½ cup raw pecans
2 TBS agave nectar
1 TBS coconut oil
1/2 TSP vanilla extract
1/4 TSP sea salt

Middle
2 cup raw cashews
1 cup zucchini, peeled and chopped
5 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS coconut oil
1/3 cup agave
1TSP vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Top
1 heaping cup mango, chopped (use ripe mangoes)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

raw mango cheesecake

HERE’S HOW
Base
1. Pre- soak the almonds and pecans for around 4 – 6 hours
2. Process the almonds and pecans until the nuts are broken down into very small bits and crumbly.
3. Add in the agave, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla and continue processing.
4. Transfer the mixture into your cake tin and press the down the base firmly. Try to make it as even as possible.
5. Leave the cake tin the freezer.

Middle
1. Blend all ingredients using a high speed blender till smooth.
2. Pour slightly more than ½ of the mixture into the cake tin and let it set back in the freezer for another 45 min – 1 hr.
Top
1. Add mangoes and turmeric to the remaining mixture in your blender’s container. Blend till smooth. Don’t worry you won’t taste the turmeric (won’t that be weird!) , it’s basically a natural yellow food colouring.
2. Pour the mango layer into the cake tin and let the cake set in the freezer for at least 5 hours.

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Thaw for 15 min before you cut and serve. Garnish with cube mangoes and mint!
I really hope you enjoy this recipe and do share with me what you think after you’ve tried it!

Juice Fast day 6 & 7

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Day 6

Still high on energy today! Could feel that my skin was cleaner and I even used less foundation =) The day went pretty much like the previous 2 days, made the same juices at work and running on the healthy fuel. In the evening, I went to catch the Aerosmith concert at Gardens By the Bay. May I just add that it was one of the best live concerts I’ve been to!! Steven Tyler still has it and boy I was so amazed that at his age he can still reach those high notes and survive with such flamboyant stamina on stage. Back to topic, I was determined not to break my fast…left work at 6pm and drank a huge 1L worth of green juice to survive for the night. But the concert lasted longer than expected, I finally left Gardens By the Bay at 1130pm after hours of screaming, jumping and rubbing against sweaty bodies. Was soooo famished! My friends and I walked to the food court at Marina Bay Sands and everyone ordered supper. Sadly the fruit juice stall was closed and I was sooooo hungry that I caved. Ate an apple :(. Chewed it really slowly and it tasted like heaven. Oh well, I tried my best!

Day 7

Last day of my fast!! Woke up feeling really tired because of the concert, in fact, my body was actually aching like I did some sorta workout haha. I think today was probably one of the more challenging days during the fast because I was so tempted to eat (Esp after tasting that apple yesterday) and I had to keep reminding myself “ok, last day , almost there, hang in there”. So point to note, if you’re doing a juice fast, try not to eat anything inbetween because it makes it tempts your tastesbuds and makes it harder to stick to the fast thereafter. So glad I made it through the day and I can’t wait for tomorrow! Side track a little, met a few different groups of vegans and vegetarians at the cafe today…and it made my day! Really happy to get to know more like-minded people who share a similar passion for healthier food and conscious living=)

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Reflections

Can’t believe its been a week! I’m proud of myself for persevering through the whole week and sticking to the fast because this was a personal challenge that was really hard for me *pat on back!*

For me, this fast was as much a mental one as a physical one. It took alot of will power and exercising mind over matter to get through the week. With all that spare time on my hands from not preparing my normal meals, I learned to listen to my body more and a few truths about my eating habits and self began to surface. I realised that I’m a classic emotional eater. I don’t eat because I’m hungry…I eat because I’m happy, sad, excited, stressed…and worse of all, bored(gasp)! Some of my bad habits that I never noticed before- how I would involuntarily open the fridge each time I come home, how I NEED to have something to munch when I’m watching tv/shows, how I reach for an icy cold sweet drink after exercise… Funny how what started out as a juice fast became so much more.

Everyone’s body reacts differently to the fast. Here are some advs and disadvs of my fasting experience:

Advs
– High energy levels
– Weight loss (around 1.5kg)
– Clearer skin
– Mental clarity
– Better sleep
Another advantage was that my tastebuds have been “reset”. I read that when you’re on the fast, your system reboots itself and you start craving for natural whole foods. Like how I’m craving for fresh fruits and raw foods now!

Disadvs
– Constipation (No fibre perhaps? My coworker on the other hand went to the toilet daily while on the fast)
– Detox symptoms for the first few days…includes insomnia, lethargy and feeling like crap
– Fuzzy teeth
It also limits your social interaction (for me at least). I had to say NO to a few dinners because I didn’t want to make myself feel miserable and my friends feel too awkward over my fast.

Would I do this again? Definately! Who knows, maybe next time around, I may challenge myself to go for 10 days! Overall it has been a great detox expereince and I highly recommend everyone to give it a go! I don’t have the strongest will power, but if i can do it, im pretty sure you can too=) Also wanna thank everyone who has dropped me comments of encouragement throughout my fast….it has motivated me lots!

Now, for an early night and a brand new week tomorrow. Bye!

Raw Chocolate Ganache Tart – BEST RAW CAKE EVER

Heelllo all, Happy Sunday! Its been a crazy busy week for me and I’m in serious need of a good night’s rest….hopefully your week has been less tiring.

Anyway, today’s recipe post is gonna BLOW YOUR MIND! Im sure of it cos it blew mine right outta the window!

Presenting, the Raw Chocolate Ganache Tart     IMG_20130517_191923

HOLY SHIT, this is the best raw chocolate cake I’ve made and one of the best I’ve tasted….!! Please forgive my crude language and excited exclamation marks, its a natural response once you’ve had a bite of this rawsome goodness.

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Got recommended this recipe by one of the instagrammers I follow (@cheryleatsveg). I never fail to get motivated and inspired by the raw/vegan community on instagram.  So I modified the recipe a little because I’m using a smaller springform pan and luckily for me, it turned out really well too. If you are using a larger pan, you can try the original recipe here.

RAW CHOCOLATE GANACHE TART by Laura Coexter

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INGREDIENTS (7,28″ pan)

THE BASE
– 1 cup almonds or hazelnuts (I used almonds)
– 70 g dates, pitted
– 1/2 tsp salt

THE FILLING
– 1 1/2 big ripe avocados ( I used 3 small ones because its quite hard to get the real large ones in SG. I might probably add another 1/2 in future)
– 70 g cacao powder
– 1/3 cup coconut oil
– 100 g raw coconut sugar
– 1/2 tsp vanilla essences
– Pinch of salt

HERE’S HOW
1) In a food processor, blend the almonds. Add dates and salt and blend till the mixture turns dough like. Add in 1 tsp of coconut oil and mix it in with your hands.

2) Press the dough into the pan to form the base. Leave in the freezer to harden overnight.

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3) Place all the filling ingredients in a food processor and process till smooth. Taste as you go along, I had to add more salt to bring out the chocolately flavour. Pour the ganache over the base and send it back to the freezer for around 2 – 3 hours.

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And tadahhhhhh! Enjoy a slice of heaven =)

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Raw Sunflower Pate

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Other than raw desserts, my other all time fav dish to make is…DIPS!

OKay, so its not really a “dish” per say but I simply loveee making it. One reason is because dips are so versatile! They can be used as a sauce, a spread, a paste or simply as in tasty dip to dunk your plain vege sticks in (in my case, I sometimes eat it out of a bowl, like rice. disgusting right hahaha)

I have to share this really delicious and EASY raw pate (spreadable paste) that I just made. So pleased with the way it turned out! Brought it to work to let the chefs and colleagues try and they loved it too!

RAW SUNFLOWER PATE
RAW , VEGAN, GF

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
13 pcs of sundried tomatoes (mine were pretty small pieces)
2 tbs olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon + lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp agave
1 tsp tamari
Generous pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

HERE’S HOW

1) Soak sunflower seeds for at least 4 – 6 hours or overnight.
2) Soak sundried tomatoes in olive oil overnight (if so, use only 1 Tbs of olive oil later on) or in hot water for 5 – 10 min to allow it to soften
3) Process all ingredients together till it becomes a pastey texture. Taste as you go along and stop when you find the consistency you like best. I personally like mine a thick and not that smooth.

Too dry? Add a little water or olive oil.

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Used it a a spread for a mini tapas lunch I made for myself – with homemade raw almond bread , tomatoes, avocado and alfafa sprounts. Sadly the bread wasn’t fantastic, but I’ll get a post up once I perfect the recipe

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Such a satisfying meal. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ps/ second batch of sunflower seeds soaking while I’m typing this post.

My new journey

Hello,

Wanted to take a break from all the recipe posts and add a more personal one today=) Wordy entry ahead!

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It has been slightly more than a month since I started my job at The Living Cafe – a restaurant in Singapore than specialises in raw cuisine. And I wanted to share how that experience has been so far!

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THE HOW AND WHY
Before joining The Living Cafe, I was working in a corporate job which i LOVED – awesome boss, great colleagues, good work environment and my work place even had a kitchen area where I could blend my smoothies every morning haha. But ever since I started getting serious about raw foods, I would spend all my free time reading up/trying recipes/conceptualizing recipes/spreading the word to my friends & family etc.. and I just knew that this was something I wanted to pursue and where my passion lay. It wasn’t easy to leave because I was happy in my job and had a comfortable lifestyle…but when I hit my 26 birthday, I had a sudden epiphany ( or maybe it was my quarter life crisis lol) If not now, then when?! There will always be what-ifs, and buts and the fear of failure…there will never be “the perfect time”…you just have to take that leap of faith and pursue your dream.

So early this year, I traded high heels and dresses for kitchen boots and aprons…and off to the kitchen I went!

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THE LEAP OF FAITH
It has been a really fantastic journey so far. Im learning so much, getting exposed to so many new ingredients (today i just tried kefir for the first time!) and ways of using them. Working alongside real chefs who give tips like TASTE TASTE TASTE. And words like “dehydration”, “nut milk and “juice fast” are thrown around casually without people raising their eyebrows in curiosity. I’ve been doing the juices, smoothies and breakfast items and helping here and there with the raw pastries so far. Later on I’ll be moving on to the salad bar and raw desserts! YAY! So excited!

I’ve worked in F&B before doing part time waitressing back in school, but this time, i was on the other side of the restaurant and its a whole other world there! When the restaurant is busy…it becomes HELLS KITCHEN! Haha okay I’m probably exaggerating and my chef is definitely no devil like Gordan Ramsey. But I can finally understand why the chefs in Hell’s Kitchen sometimes forget to add this or that ingredient or mess up an order because that really happens when you have orders piling up and customers waiting. Whole different ball game of stress as compared to the corporate world – but i sure as hell won’t miss following up on emails and attending long meetings haha.

It was physically tiring initially because you’re standing all day and you have to get down and dirty. Literally. I mop the floors, scrub my station, clean the sinks, carry out trash etc all in a days work. But once you get the hang of it, its all pretty okay=)

THE CHALLENGES
There have been quite a few challenges-
From simple ones like learning how to cut fruits properly with minimal wastage and learning to hold the knife correctly…
to the more complicated ones like adjusting to this new lifestyle change and fencing off disapproving comments/looks from naysayers who can’t seem to understand what possessed me to “waste” my degree (in dramatic cases, my life) and work in the kitchen. Okay, to be fair, some are genuinely worried about how I’ll get by (like financially) and what my plans for the future are. You know, the typical Singaporean questions!

THE LESSONS LEARNT
I guess the most important lesson I’ve learnt is to stay humble and have a positive attitude. I came to the kitchen armed with some raw food knowledge..but I had to start learning the basics all over! Even things like making nut milk which I’ve been doing at home for quite some time. Sometimes I get a little impatient wanting to do more; but I keep reminding myself that everyone starts off as a beginner and there is no shortcut to success.

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THE FUTURE
My dream is to one day set up something of my own and share this amazing cuisine with as many people as possible. Shake off the misconception that raw and vegan foods = salads and sad looking skinny people! Right now, I’m just going in faith and allowing God to show me the way. So wish me luck!

Just wanted to end off with this beautiful quote and some pictures of my time at the cafe!

The guilt of following your heart is a weight you can bear if your dream is strong enough . Its the price of admission to fulfillment -Danielle LaPorte .

Cacao butter…..in all its 24 KG glory!
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My best friend at work – the green juice!

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Trying new raw food ingredients like Pili nuts for the first time

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Biggest spinach leaf ever!

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And….the highlight so far has definitely been the World Flavours Tapas Event we held at the restaurant. We invited world renowned raw food chef Elaina Love from Pure Joy Academy to “cook” alongside us!  Such an privilege=)

Elaina Love and I !

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preparing for the tapas night!  2013-04-30 20.16.27

Trio of lentils with coconut mint and tamarind almond relish 2013-04-30 19.27.58

Raw lemon and raspberry parfait IMG_20130430_213327

Curried flavour raw kale chips IMG_20130430_202858

Raw Enchilada Tamale Spirals with a pine cream sauce  IMG_20130430_201711Raw pot stickers with hosin sauce – basically dumplings! LOVED THESE!! The skin is made of avocado, how ingenious is that?  IMG_20130430_192432Raw phad thai salad with zucchini and bean sprout noodles IMG_20130430_192022DRUMROLL PLEASE – RAW TIRAMISU. OH. MY. GOD. This is heavenly!!! The top layer tastes like mashmallows…..but its actually coconut whipped cream!  IMG_20130430_185253

Took this photo off The Living Cafe’s facebook page to show our small but happy kitchen team!  393020_646987851984429_1411155817_n

Do say hi if you dropby =)

Raw Napolenta Pizza Crackers

When I visited Whole Foods in London, I bought this DELICIOUS raw Napolenta Pizza Crackers. Its an Italian styled tomato olive and herb flax cracker..and I’ve been kicking myself ever since for not buying more!!

Neopolitan pizza

Since Wholefoods doesn’t ship overseas, I had 2 choices – Head back to Wholefoods in London/US (um…and incur a big credit card debt) or try to recreate this at home. Obviously chose the latter of course. Note to self though, the next time i visit a Wholefoods store overseas, I need to buy extra luggage for the goodies I’m going to lug home.

I kept the box with the list of ingredients so I went about guessing the right amounts for each. After abit for trail and error, I’m kinda pleased with the results!

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RAW NAPOLENTA PIZZA CRACKERS
RAW,VEGAN, GF

INGREDIENTS
1 cup cashews
6 – 8 pcs sun dried tomatoes
1 whole tomato
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup olives
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 cup water
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 – 2 cups flax seeds ( depending on how thick you want it)

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HERE’S HOW
1) Process all ingredients except the flax seeds and sunflower seeds. But not too find because it’ll be quite nice to have pieces of cashews , tomatoes and olives in the crackers. Add more herbs or salt as you see fit.
2) Stir in the sunflower seeds and flax seeds and let it marinate overnight.
3) Spread the mixture on your dehydrator tray for around 16 hours, then flip it over and dehydrate for another 16 hours.

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THINGS TO NOTE
– This recipe makes quite a big quantity of crackers, so half it if you want less
– I made 3 different trays of with different thickness. One of the trays was super thick because i wanted it to be more like a pizza/bread base. I also made different shapes lol so go have fun with the shapes, thickness and size! If you are making the crackers thinner, won’t need to dehydrate it for so long.

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Raw Vegan Pancakes for a Rawsome brunch!

Raw pancakesBrunch is possibly my favourite meal of the day and I think it should be associated with everyday of the week and not just the weekends! Back when I was working in corporate, I used to go for brunch regularly during the weekends. Catching up with friends/loved ones or even relaxing alone over a lazy late morning meal does wonders for the soul.

Unfortunately, ever since I started my new job, my weekends are all spent working. To make up for that, I’ve been trying to create little weekday “brunches” for myself since most of my shifts start in the afternoon.

raw pancakes

I’m a big pancake fan so I wanted to recreate this brunch favourite as a raw dish. This is actually my second attempt making raw pancakes. The first attempt was actually supposed to be romantic breakfast surprise for the bf but sadly it turned out horribly wrong and the pancakes looked more like flat sticky dough. But luckily my second try proved successful!

RAW PANCAKES WITH MIXED FRUITS
RAW, VEGAN (GF POSSIBLE)

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INGREDIENTS
1 large ripe banana
1/4 cup oat flour (just grind raw rolled oats in a high speed blender. Use buckwheat flour if you want it gluten free)
2 Tbs flax meal
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 strawberries
1 large banana
Agave
Cacao nibs for topping

HERE’S HOW
1) Place the bananas, oat flour, flax meal, milk and cinnamon in a food processor and process till it
2) Use a 1/4 cup to pour and form pancake circles on a dehydrator tray. This should make 5 pancakes
3) Dehydrate for around 4 – 6 hours, then flip it over and dehydrate for another 4 – 6 hours. You pancakes should stil be moist, not crispy. Use a spatula to do this carefully so you don’t ruin the shape!
The dehydration duration really depends on your dehydrator model. I’m using the Ezidri Dehydrator and it doesn’t dehydrate evenly which is why I need 6 hours. So the best thing to do is to constantly check on your pancakes.

4) Serve your pancakes with fruits, agave and cacao nibs

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Bon appetite!

Raw Carrot Cake with cashew cream

DSCN8592Warning : Surfing Pinterest in the middle of the night on an empty stomach is NOT advisable.

Last night , I was pinning pictures of delicious looking raw cakes and got so inspired …that i drove to the nearest 24 hour supermarket to get ingredients at 1AM! By the way, I found it strangely therapeutic to grocery shop in the supermarket in the wee hours of the morning….no crowds, plenty of parking spots and I could take my own sweet time to choose my produce.  Maybe i shall do that again some time soon :|!

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So anyway, this was this recipe from The Rawsome Vegan Life that got me out of the house. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love Em’s recipes and pictures! Everytime I want to convince someone that raw foods are more than just veggie sticks and salads, i give them her blog’s url. I changed a few things in the carrot cake recipe, so I shall repost my version here:

RAW CARROT CAKE WITH CASHEW CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
RAW, VEGAN

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INGREDIENTS
Cashew frosting:
2 cups cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup agave
Water (1 used around 1/4 cup)

Cake:
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 1/2 cups oat flour or buckwheat flour if you prefer it GF.
1 cup figs (Around 12 figs? I used figs because its less sweet and i love the crunch! But you can also use dates)
1/2 cup medjool dates (Around 7 dates)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

HERE’S HOW

Frosting: Process all ingredients until smooth, adding water bit by bit. I wanted the cream to be thick, if you want it thinner, add more waster. Put in a bowl and set aside.

Cake: Throw all ingredients in the food processor and pulse till it sticks together and turns dough like.
I had to split my mixture into 2 because my food processor was too small.

Assembly (just copied the text from Em’s page) : Press half the cake mix into the bottom of an adjustable spring-form pan, mine was about 6 inches. Then spread on about 1/3 of the frosting. Put it in the freezer until the layer of frosting is hard. Then press on the rest of the cake mix. I let it set in the fridge overnight, then frosted the whole thing, but you can do it right away if you want. Take it out of the pan and use the remaining frosting, cover with whatever garnishes you like.

* If there were a few things I would probably try the next time around
– Some carrots bits were a little chunky and I would probably try shredding the carrots before processing them with the rest of the ingredients
– Mixing bits of walnuts into the “dough” for that extra crunch.
– Evening out the measurement of dates and figs

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Overall , this cake was a success! Even my carnivorous siblings loved it =) Now, what are you waiting for? Head to the grocery store!

ps/ my frosting skills are still pretty amateur! But look past that and the cashew cream cheese is soooo darn addictive !

Mango Coconut Lime Tarts , Raw & Vegan

  IMG_20130417_164147 Gosh its been a really busy week! Morning shifts at work (so not a morning person:C) and planning for my bestie’s bachelorette night has kept me really occupied.

And when I’m too busy –> I don’t plan my meals –> I eat like crap –> I feel like crap. 😦 Story of my life. Does that happen to anyone else too?

Luckily, I managed to sneak in some time to make this lovely Raw Mango Coconut Lime Tart. Partly because the mangoes were on sale at the supermarket last week and I bought excessively. And partly because the weather in Singapore is EXTREMELYY HOT & HUMID and i was craving a refreshing sweet treat.

So here it is

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RAW MANGO COCONUT LIME TART
Raw, Vegan, GF. Makes 3 tarts

INGREDIENTS
CRUST
 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup cashew nuts
 1 cup medjool dates
pinch of salt

FILLING
1 1/2 cups ripe mango flesh
1/2 heaping cup of cashew
 1 tbs agave
1 tsp lime juice
 1 tbs coconut oil
pinch of salt

TOPPING
Desiccated coconut
Lime zest

HERE’S HOW:
 1) Blend all the crust ingredients and press it into cupcake moulds. I used muffin trays because i didn’t have cupcake moulds on hand. Also use cling wrap to line tray for easy removal later on.

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2) Leave your crusts in the freezer to harden.

3) In the meantime, process the filling. Taste as you go along and add a little more agave or mango if your mangoes aren’t that ripe. Pour mixture into your tarts. Leave in the freezer to harden.

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4) Serve chilled and top with lime zest and coconut!

Enjoy!

The Raw Hummus that changed everything

raw hummus Hello there,

I LOVE dips! When i eat out, I always make sure I ask for some kind of dip or sauce – chilli/ barbecue/soy sauce/ wasabi you name it. How very Singaporean of me haha..

Anyway, one of my favourite dips is Hummus. Can’t express how much i love this little dip except that I constantly have a jar in my fridge! It all started when I chanced upon Oh She Glow’s recipe for “The Hummus that Changed Everything”. And no, she wasn’t kidding because I’ve been hooked on homemade hummus ever since. Its simple, fuss free and best of all healthy!

I’ve tried making raw hummus using zucchini before, but this time I decided to try using leftover almond pulp. The result? — “The Raw Hummus that Changed Everything”! This hummus is alot more dry than the zucchini one which is more liquidy…but i just love the taste and thickness more. Just add lots of olive oil if you find it too thick. ( by the way, the picture above looks really dry because i didn’t add olive oil. Wanted to make it look more “soil like”)

RAW ALMOND HUMMUS

almond hummus

INGREDIENTS
1 ¼ cup almond pulp (leftovers from making nut milk from this recipe)
1 fat clove garlic
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. raw tahini (I used unhulled tahini which is more bitter. If you don’t like it too bitter, use the hulled ones)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paparika
1/2 tsp of salt
sprinkle of pepper

HERE’S HOW
Simply process everything together! Easy right?
Garnish with more paprika, parsley flakes and olive oil. Use it as a spread, a dip , or a dressing!

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I hope this changes your everything too =)