Meet Alexandra Courts. Over a year ago or so, I stumbled upon her amazing Instagram account and started stalking her hard. I couldn’t get over her amazing cat photos (LOVE) and her on point food photography and recipes! I marvelled at all of the mouth-watering, beautiful pictures of such things as “protein nice cream sandwiches”, no-bake peanut buttercups and raw, salted chocolate caramel/coconut tarts.
This girl was gifted! I also started reading Vegan Girlfriend, the blog she is a part of alongside her friends Áine (pronounced ‘An-ya’!) Davis and Megan Stulberg.
I was also thrilled to discover that her and my sister had also become “Instagram buddies” and they lived somewhat near each other in Toronto. “That was it!” I decided. I needed to meet this girl!
While in Toronto for World MasterCard Toronto Fashion Week, Alexandra, Erika and I had a chance to meet up and talk “collaboration”! My sister is vegan, and her smart, healthy food choices were starting to rub off on me. I’ll admit, when Erika became vegan and offered to make me a vegan dinner one night, I envisioned a plate full of styrofoam topped with grass clippings. I was WRONG. She educated my ignorant butt, and I’ve been eating like a vegan queen each time she visits.
With that, I decided to start incorporating some vegan recipes into my repertoire, and Alexandra and I are thrilled to share her Pumpkin Cheesecake Blondie recipe with you!
Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake Blondies
For the blondie base….
1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
2 1/2 cups dates, soaked if desired
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
For the pumpkin cheesecake filling…
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can full fat coconut milk (including coconut oil at the bottom of the can)
2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
3/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
Blend macadamia nuts, dates, coconut and flax until thoroughly ground and incorporated. Press mixture into the base of an eight-inch square cake pan lined with wide strips of parchment paper. Ensure that base is flat to form an even crust.
Blend cheesecake filling ingredients until smooth and creamy in consistency. Add more agave if necessary to further smooth.
Pour cheesecake filling onto base and allow blondies to freeze for 1-2 hours or overnight if possible. If freezing overnight, allow blondies to thaw at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before slicing.
Garnish with toppings of choice. Pictured is a dash of cinnamon and shredded, unsweetened coconut.
Makes approximately 12 blondies.
Alexandra is a lover of the arts, cats, and food. She was raised in a small suburban town in Southern Ontario, but wasted no time in moving to Toronto in search of bigger, better things.
She became a vegetarian at the age of thirteen. Six years later, as her food intolerances and allergies worsened, she decided to adopt a fully vegan and somewhat gluten-free diet. Ever since then, she has been a healthier and happier ball of energy!
Alexandra comes from a small Portuguese/Welsh family who enjoy meat, seafood, fish, and poultry. You could imagine their confusion when she had announced her dietary transition. Nonetheless, she finds joy in cooking for herself and for her family. Alexandra wants to share with the world how delicious and nutritious vegan and gluten-free food can be!