Due to having family members with certain health issues, I thought I’d investigate the health benefits of the clean living, raw, paleo cuisine. I really don’t like saying diet as I love to explore all kinds of foods/desserts and alternative ways of presenting them. I like to have my finger in every pie, so to speak. I was intrigued with the vegan way of making a cheesecake. No cheese to be found but a lovely velvety smooth ‘cheese’ made out of soaking raw nuts preferably overnight. You can use any raw nuts, but in this recipe I have chosen to use cashews. You can also switch it up with peanut butter swirled on top or any fruit of your choice also raw cacao powder mixed in the filling to change it to a chocolate cheesecake is yummy too. The other great thing about this dessert is no baking with water baths, apart from 5 minutes baking the base, but that’s optional. It’s great for the kids as it’s packed with fibre, protein, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, electrolytes and so much more. I made the cheese cake in tiny cup cake pans and one small spring form baking pan but you could make it in one large spring form pan or larger cup cake pans, totally up to you. Once made, store cheesecakes in the freezer, keeps up to 3 months, just pop them in the fridge to gently defrost to get that nice smooth consistency.
Ingredients for base:
- 1 cup pitted dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then completely drain)
- 1 cup raw almonds, walnuts or macadamia nuts (I used almonds raw, with the skin still intact)
- Add dates and nuts to food processor and blend until small bits remain, the mixture should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates, it too wet, add more raw nuts.
- Lightly grease a cup cake pan with organic coconut oil. Cut strips of baking paper and lay in the slots to make removal easier later. Spoon enough of the base mixture and press down with fingers. Set in the freezer to firm up a little.
- If you wish to make more of a crust just pop in the oven at 180°C for approximately 5 minutes otherwise you can leave as is.
Ingredients for filling:
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 4-6 hours or overnight then drain
¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup organic coconut oil, melted in a double boiler
½ cup + 2 tablespoon of full fat coconut milk
½ cup of raw honey or maple if you want to go all vegan
I teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries (put through a strainer to remove the seeds)
¼ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries
- Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking.
- Divide filling evenly in each cupcake tin and tap to release any air bubbles. Put into the freezer for ½ an hour just enough to firm a little so when you put some of the raspberry puree it doesn’t sink. Swirl in the puree using a toothpick then put back in the freezer.
- Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosen going around with a knife. You can pop them back in the freezer once covered and take them out whenever you want just leave them in the fridge so you have a smooth cheesecake.
- With the blueberry cheese cake, scatter the blueberries and drizzle remaining raspberry puree.