I’ve had a packet of organic schizandra (or schisandra) hanging out for over a year in my kitchen apothecary, and I hadn’t really felt drawn to making anything with it until recently. Schizandra chinensis is the fruit-bearing magnolia vine and its berries have a tangy, unique flavour that makes it a bit difficult to incorporate into a lot of different recipes, but yesterday I had an “a-ha!” moment when I found that it created a perfect contrast to the earthy beets in this no-bake schizandra carob beet velvet slice! Schizandra is known for having five tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, pungent, and sour, and makes for a great source of beneficial lignans!
The schizandra carob beet velvet slice is totally raw, plant-based, doesn’t go near an oven, and has an amazing spongy texture that holds up due to the combination of dates and nuts with melted grass fed butter (or coconut oil) that keeps it together when refrigerated. The tangy, probiotic citrus macadamia nut frosting is simply incredible and complements the earthy beetroot cake and hints of complex tartness from the schizandra.
Schizandra, the ‘beauty berry’
- a ‘beauty berry’ used by ancient Chinese royalty to promote graceful aging, physical radiance, and as a reproductive tonic
- balances nervous system
- improves brain function
- elevates immunity
- increases alertness and energy levels
- prevents adrenal fatigue
- stabilizes blood sugars
- supports digestion
- wake and sleep patterns
- promotes circulation
- hormone balance
- liver detoxification and purification; protects liver from environmental toxins
- supports all five major organs
- increased intracellular glutathione levels
- supports qi (life force), with a positive impact on several meridians in the body, including the heart, lungs, and kidneys
- has adaptogenic properties, helping the body resist the effects of stress, bolstering the body’s defenses against dis-ease. Adaptogens work at a molecular level by regulating a stable balance in the HPA axis which is involved in the stress response. They work by “hacking” the stress response in the body.
- neuroprotective elements
- anti-fatigue properties
- can help with breathing problems
- promotes youthful exuberance
- antidepressive effects
- stimulant for central nervous system
- increases mental work capacity, enhances attention, and prevents stress and fatigue
Schizandra may not be appropriate for people with conditions such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or hyperchlorhydria (high stomach acid). Schizandra may also cause a reduced appetite and may not be appropriate if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Discuss its use with a trusted practitioner and as with anything, heed your intuition before you integrate it into your life!
How to make this Schizandra Carob Beet Velvet slice:
- Line a brownie pan or loaf pan with unbleached, biodegradable parchment paper.
- Blend the beetroot base in a food processor or high speed blender. It surprisingly turns out so similar to a typical baked cake-like texture! Press the cake into the prepared pan.
- Make the macadamia nut frosting by blending the ingredients into a soft, smooth mixture.
- The schizandra carob beet velvet slice is ready to serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Schizandra Carob Beet Velvet Slice with Probiotic Mac Nut Frosting
- 1 cup organic Medjool dates or dried figs
- 2 tbsp filtered water
- 1 cup chopped medium organic red beets
- 1 3/4 cups organic almond meal
- 1/4 cup ground organic flaxseed
- 1 tsp organic schizandra powder
- 1/4 cup melted grass fed organic butter or coconut oil
- 1 tsp organic vanilla bean
- 2 tbsp organic ground carob
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup raw organic macadamia nuts, soaked at least 6 hours and drained
- 1/3 cup grass fed organic goat kefir or coconut kefir
- 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
- 1 tsp organic vanilla bean
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup melted grass fed organic butter or coconut oil
- Line an 8×4 inch (1.5 L) loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving extra parchment paper on the two long sides for lifting the cake. You can also use a brownie pan. Melt all of the butter together then cool back to a room temperature liquid: 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup combined.
- Make the cake. In a food processor, reduce the dates and the filtered water into a chunky, yet uniform paste. Scrape the sides down if needed. Transfer the date paste to a small bowl. To the food processor, add the beets, almond meal, flax seed, schizandra, 1/4 cup grass fed butter, vanilla, carob, and sea salt. Pulse to reduce into a smooth mixture, scraping the sides down if needed. Add in the date paste and pulse again to combine.
- Press the cake mixture into the parchment-lined loaf pan until it is evenly thick. Place the cake in the refrigerator until you're ready to frost it.
- Make the frosting. Rinse out the food processor to remove any red bits of cake. In the food processor, combine the mac nuts, kefir, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and sea salt. Blend until the mixture is reduced into a fine creamy consistency. Add in the remaining 1/3 cup of melted grass fed butter and blend to combine.
- Scrape the frosting into a bowl, and place the frosting in the refrigerator for 1 hour to firm up.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the surface of the cake. Transfer the cake back to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up. Once ready to serve, lift up the parchment paper to remove the cake, slice, and serve chilled for optimal texture! Sprinkle the top with extra carob and schizandra, if you'd like.
- Dairy-free friends, use cold-pressed virgin coconut oil and coconut kefir as substitutes for their grass fed dairy counterparts.
- You can peel the beets if you prefer, but I simply rinse them! Dirt contains B vitamins and minerals, and it’s good for you.
- The secret to the spongy texture of the cake is through the combination of nuts and dates with grass fed butter or coconut oil which holds everything together once refrigerated. Feel free to use blended activated raw nuts or seeds of your choice.
- Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week.