Somehow I’ve made it over five years in L.A. as a farmers market floozy without visiting the Santa Monica market more than a handful of times. My argument against it is that over half the vendors are the same as Hollywood, which I frequent regularly, and that parking is a pain. Recently I moved from WeHo to Beverly Hills, and suddenly it’s like I’m a million miles closer to Santa Monica, so why not brave the parking (which really is no worse than anywhere else, and at least there are free lots) and revisit Produce in YogaLand?
I went this past Wednesday (just fyi, the market, followed by a stroll down Ocean Ave. then True Food Kitchen for lunch makes a really nice day date) and it was SO worth it. In addition to all the normal and wonderful autumn-in-SoCal stuff, they had organic mangoes, which I have never seen at ANY market in the Los Angeles area. I’ve never even seen pesticided ones grown locally! Years ago I read an article that they were farmed in Santa Barbara and occasionally randomly made it to O.C., but Orange County might as well be where Santa Monica used to be, aka too far away. I was so taken aback by their very existence at a close farmers market that I didn’t even think to ask how long they would be in season for.
In addition to two fabulous mangoes (they’re a little cost prohibitive, meaning two was a splurge, but goddamn they’re amazing tasting), I also have new pantry goodies I’d been wanting to use in a recipe: Dastony stone ground raw organic cashew butter and sprouted almond butter, and Imperial Tonics “Ancient Wisdom” powder that I’ve been adding to my morning Longevity in a Bottle & Cococeps beverage. Ancient Wisdom is super mild-tasting for having strong herbs in it like He Shou Wu and Astragalus, so I’ve been curious about how it would work in a raw cookie. The nut butters I was excited about just because, hey, it’s fancy raw nut butter and I didn’t have to make it. And of course, this is Hachiya persimmon season, so I don’t go making much sweet stuff without including those juicy gems. Thus, my Nod to Autumn in Los Angeles Dessert: raw, vegan, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, superfood enhanced, local organic fresh mango and persimmon cheesecake cupcakes (with a raw cookie crust, no less, which is way more thrilling and tasty and shockingly good for you than plain ole blended walnuts and dates).
Crazy Healthy Super Yummy Cheesecake Recipe:
1 1/2 cups Living Intentions Sprouted Super Flour (crazy unique superfood raw organic flour product, no substitution would work and it will change your raw culinary world so you should basically have it on hand already)
1/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup or raw honey
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
3 scoops Ancient Wisdom
2 tbls sprouted almond butter
1 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients together (everything except the nut butter, sweetener and oil), then incorporate wet. Stir with a fork until a heavy dough that is slightly crumbly forms. Dough should shape easily, but not be gooey. Add extra flour by the tbls if needed to obtain a slightly crumbly texture. Line 12 muffin tins and divide mixture evenly among 12 cups, pressing crust up around sides of each. Freeze while you make other layers.
2 small very ripe Hachiya persimmons, or 1 large
3/4 cup raspberries (frozen are fine, they’re for color)
1 cup raw cashew butter
1/4 cup chopped mango
1/4 cup milk product
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbls coconut oil
Remove calyxes from persimmons, then add all ingredients into a high power blender. Blend until creamy and smooth. Divide mixture between the 12 muffin cups, and put back in freezer.
1 1/2 cups chopped mango
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tbls coconut oil
Blend all ingredients in a high power blender until creamy and smooth, then divide between 12 cups once the persimmon layer in the freezer is slightly firm.
Garnish: drizzle cashew butter atop the mango layer and pull through decoratively with a toothpick if desired.