You know I love you, right? Like, really love. I had you in mind when I made this cheesecake…. Ok, so maybe I had myself in mind a little, but, you’re going to love me right back for bringing this recipe into your life. Somewhere out there in the vegan world, there are many (brilliant) vegans who have been making raw cheesecakes for years. This is my first. And it was much easier than I could have imagined. I am by no means a vegan, in fact I’m about to eat some local, organic bacon for breakfast (YUM!) – but I am all about eating real, unadulterated, unprocessed food. With a spark of creativity, and a food processor, you can make cashews into cheesecake. Pure genius. And it sure plays nice with my dairy intolerance.
Sometimes food just really wows me. It leaves me speechless. This is one of those times. You’re going to bite into this and swear it’s the most decadent cheesecake you’ve ever had… wanna know a little secret? You’re eating nuts and coconut. That’s really the gist of it, and it’s the most delicious gist. Ha! Tricked ya…
I have never, ever in my life been an expert baker. I will toot my own horn for a nanosecond and say that in the kitchen? I am kind of awesome
most of the time. When it comes to measuring utensils and ovens? I tend to screw up (read: my boyfriend bakes better than I do). I need to be able to see my food and hear it sizzle and crack on the stove while I sneak bites in between. And give me a VitaMix? Oh, easy peasy lemon squeezy. So if you’re anything like me, and if precise measurements of baking soda and cream of tartar freak you the eff out — fear not, this is a RAW dessert. No oven needed.
I have to warn you in advance… you may never want to eat real cheesecake again. That stuffs for bloated bellies and insulin junkies, anyway.
2 cups almond meal (the coarse, gritty stuff with specks from the almond skin)
1/2 cups dates (about 4 large dates), pitted and stems removed
2 tbsp really good maple syrup (no processed sugar-free crap, please!)
2 tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth, scrape sides of processor as needed for even consistency. Then spread and pack down all of the crust mixture into a tart pan with a removable bottom. If you don’t have a tart pan, like myself, you can cut parchment paper to perfectly fit the bottom of a glass pie dish so the removal of the pan is easier. Or you can use organic coconut oil spray to slightly grease the bottom of the pie dish. The removal is a bit tricky, so I highly recommend a tart pan.
Once the crust is evenly pressed down in your pan or dish, place the crust in the freezer to set while you make the filling.
3 cups raw cashews (soaked and covered in a bowl of water for 3-4 hours)
3/4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (usually about 3-4 lemons)
2/3 cup really good maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
seeds from 1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean pod (or any vanilla bean will do)
Blend all ingredients, EXCEPT coconut oil, in food processor until smooth and creamy. Then you can add coconut oil, and pulse until fully incorporated. Take crust out of freezer and immediately pour filling into pan until even. Place pan in freezer and allow to set for ~8 hours or overnight.
2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup dates
dash of maple syrup
Place all ingredients in food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour over entire cheesecake if desired or individually. Keep in refrigerator.
When ready to serve, defrost cheesecake in refrigerator for 15 minutes beforehand. I preferred to keep ours in the freezer to preserve freshness. Ours only lasted 2 days! If you keep it in the fridge, I would say it should be eaten within 4 days.
This cheesecake recipe is vegan, paleo, gluten-free and raw.
On a closing note, I think I’ve discovered that it’s my innate purpose in life to make the lives of others healthily sweet. And in case you were wondering, yes, that is a HUGE teaser for a project/company I’m about to launch in a few weeks… stay tuned, sweet friends.
You know you love me… xoxo.
(I couldn’t help myself)