I love Idaho Falls . . . part 3 of 3

I’ve been emailed by 12 Steps to Whole Foods support groups all over the U.S., who meet monthly and make the recipes and share ideas and love and encouragement.

But in Idaho Falls, I went to have lunch with one such group, led by the indomitable Michele, who is amazing and so honest and genuine….and makes the most incredible “cheesecake.” The “advanced” group members, Mandy and Danna, each came with a LIST of questions, hehe. Bring it on. I love overachievers and list-makers.

The theme of their 12 Steps group this month seems to be Chapter 8, especially featuring KEFIR. That step is so important, and when we started doing homemade yogurt 14 years ago, everyone in my family stopped getting sick. Maybe a little thing here and there that lasts a day, but never anything requiring an antibiotic, or going deep into the lungs, or causing stagnant yellow or green mucous.

I always make my kids whole-milk kefir, and I make myself coconut-liquid kefir (which I now use in Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie, Ch. 11)….SO easy to ferment foods, just a habit you learn and adopt for life to keep your digestive system in perfect form.

Michelle’s cheesecake recipe:

Almond Flour Crust

¼ cup agave

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp almond extract

¾ tsp sea salt

4 ½ cups almond flour (almonds blended in the blender)

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl then stir in Almond Flour and press into a pie plate. Chill! Makes 2 pie crusts.

Cheesecake Filling

½ cup hot water

1 cups non-instant dry powdered milk (2 cups if you’re using instant powdered milk)

1 cup powdered raw coconut sugar (blended to powder in your blender)

8 oz yogurt cheese

¼ c lemon juice

1 t vanilla

Combine hot water, dry milk and stevia in a blender and blend until smooth. Add yogurt cheese, lemon juice and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared Almond Flour Crust. Decorate with strawberry slices, optional.

How to make yogurt cheese:

Pour yogurt into cheesecloth or coffee filter over a bowl or quart jar (allowing the yogurt to drip freely into the bowl or jar as the whey is squeezed out).   Cover and place a weight on top (either a bag of water or piece of fruit).   Allow whey to drain for 4-8 hours depending on whether you would like Greek yogurt (less thick) or yogurt cheese (like the consistency of a soft cream cheese). I place mine in cheesecloth, in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Here is how I learned to make my yogurt cheese.