We teamed up with the healthy blogger, author and Queen of Healthy Bakes for Diabetes Awareness Week to talk sweet cravings and her delicious low-sugar raw berry cheesecake
With her own healthy food range and now a best-selling book, Livia’s Kitchen: Naturally Sweet and Indulgent Treats, healthy chef and blogger Olivia Wollenberg is on a mission to show us how to create gorgeous low-sugar treats. Here’s her advice for tackling the 4pm sugar slump and who to follow for Insta-inspiration, plus one of our favourite recipes from her new book.
What inspired you to create your cookbook?
I absolutely love sweet treats and would always skip straight to that section of any cookery book, but when I discovered I was intolerant to wheat and dairy I had to find healthier ways to eat my favourite desserts. I knew a lot of other people would be in the same position so I decided to write a cookbook that would allow people to satisfy their sweet cravings, without missing out on nutrients.
What advice would you give to anyone cutting out refined sugar?
I would say that if you want something sweet then definitely have it! I will often have a bowl of fruit at 4pm or if I really fancy a treat then my go-tos are my millionaire bites or a couple of cookies – the maca and raisin ones in my book are my absolute favourites.
You have a lovely bowl of hot porridge before you. What do you drizzle over the top in place of sugar?
Definitely maple syrup and a big spoonful of peanut butter – it’s the best combination.
Who is your top foodie Instagrammer to follow?
I love the Symmetry Breakfast account. Although his photos always follow the same format, they are still so creative and beautiful.
What are the three key ingredients in your baking cupboard?
Oats, maple syrup and coconut oil! I use all three of these in loads of recipes. You can do so much with them.
Feeling peckish? Check out Olivia’s raw cheesecake recipe below.
Raw layered berry cheesecake
Makes an 18cm cheesecake
- 135g melted raw coconut oil, plus softened coconut oil, for greasing
- Fresh berries and coconut flakes (optional), to serve
Sticky nut crust
- 130g pecans
- 155g almonds
- 165g soft pitted Medjool dates
- ¼ tsp salt
- 500g cashews
- 125ml maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla powder
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 125g frozen strawberries
- 35g strawberries, thinly sliced
- 75g frozen blueberries
- 15g finely desiccated coconut
To make the crust
- Grease an 18cm deep cake tin with the coconut oil. With a food processor, crush the pecans and almonds with the dates and salt until the nuts are in very small pieces and the dates make the mixture gooey. Use your hands to check the stickiness of the mix. It should all bind together well. If not, then use a few extra dates and pulse the mix again. Press the crust into the bottom of the tin.
To make the vanilla layer
- Soak the cashews overnight or for a minimum of 4-6 hours. Drain and rinse. Add them to a food processor with the maple syrup, vanilla powder and lemon juice. Mix well for about 3 minutes until the mixture is really smooth and creamy. Add the coconut oil and mix again.
- Separate the mixture into three equal portions.
To make the strawberry layer
- Add the frozen strawberries to a third of the mixture and blend again.
- Spoon this mixture on top of the base in the cake tin, then place the thinly sliced strawberry pieces on top.
- Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, if you have time, in order to firm it up before adding the second layer.
- Once it has firmed up a little, put the second third of the mixture on top of this – the vanilla layer.
- Return to the freezer again for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
To make the blueberry layer
- Return the remaining third of the mixure to the food processor and add the blueberries and coconut, mixing well. Spoon this layer on top of the vanilla layer.
- Leave the cheesecake to set in the freezer for 2-3 hours, taking out at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh berries and coconut flakes, if using. Best stored in the fridge.
Extracted from Livia’s Kitchen by Olivia Wollenberg (Ebury Press, £20). Photography | Tara Fisher