Raw Cheesecake, the ultimate raw, vegan, paleo, SCD, gluten-free dessert in my humble opinion, and also one of the easiest to make. It is so satisfying, nutrient-packed and divine, and satisfaction comes from just a few bites!
If you are unfamiliar with what a raw cheesecake is- imagine the richest, creamiest cheesecake you’ve ever eaten, and then take out all of the dairy products, replacing them with soaked cashews that are blended into a luscious cream. You can make this with organic mixed berries (even frozen ones), or any fruit you’d like on top. You can even skip the topping and go au-natural, but the shock of color makes this a delight on a plate that is quickly emptied.
Raw cheesecake has been on my list of “as soon as I get a Vitamix I have to try this!” recipes for ages. As it turns out, I likely didn’t need a Vitamix (though I used one!)
Filled with raw cashews, coconut oil, raw honey, and a vast dose of citrus (9 Meyer lemons!) , this is an actual good-for-you dessert… Or, at least good for me! Good enough that I ate a giant piece for breakfast!
The reason I call this “artful” is that I went out of my way to add extra handfuls of shredded coconut, the brightest topping I could find, and let the flakes, colorful drips and crumbling nuts fall as they may. The result was vibrant textures, and a very easy assembly! It is absolute eye candy.
Artfully Raw Cheesecake (adapted from Roost, a beautiful blog!)
Before you get started with the “making” take 3 cups of raw cashew pieces and cover them with water in a big bowl. I put mine covered in the refrigerator for about 5 hours, though you can get by on 3 hours.
When the soaking time is almost done, assemble the Crust:
- 1 cup raw pecan pieces
- 10 juicy sticky dates (maybe a few extra!)
- 1 1/2 cups coconut finely shredded, unsweetened (and raw, if you are going full-raw with this!)
- a dash of sea salt.
Put 1/2 cup of the coconut in the bottom of a 9″ spring-form pan (or another pan that you prefer to use). Combine all of the above in a chopper, food processor or even a high speed blender (pulse in the blender) to create a crumbly mix that sticks together when you attempt to form it with your hands. If you are still too crumby, add a few extra dates and chop to perfection!
Take the contents of the bowl and press it atop the flaked coconut in your cheesecake pan of choice. Try to get it even and you can press extra toward the sides of the pan to get the crust up the edges of the cake a bit.
Now, drain your cashews & get started on the filling.
- 3 cups of soaked cashews (3 cups measured before you soak them)
- 1/2 cup raw honey (use 3/4 cup if you are using sour lemons!) (Note: if you are SCD, no NOT use raw honey, use regular honey)
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- the juice of 9 Meyer lemons, strained. I squeeze them through a colander into a bowl and measure– -roughly 3/4 cup. if you don’t have Myer lemons that are sweet, use regular lemons and up the honey if the juice is sour.
- 3/4 cup coconut oil scooped straight out of the jar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or you can use the insides of a vanilla bean)
Put it all in your blender (yes, some people use a standard blender, but you’ll need to likely do batches and stop frequently so you don’t burn your motor out!) and whir until 100% creamy. Takes about one and a half minutes in a Vitamix, using the tamper to get the floating nuts down into the mixture.
Pour the filling over the layer of crust. Now, start your topping
- 2 cups of organic berries or another fruit you want to try (ripe persimmons are on my wish list next!) — use can use frozen fruit but thaw it slightly
- 1 tbs of coconut oil, straight from the jar.
- A few dates (depending on how sweet you’d like it)
- And a few spoons full of water or fresh juice to get this all blended- the less liquid the better!
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor of the fruit
Whir all this up in the blender and pour it on top of the filling. Use a knife to smooth it all out.
Cover and freeze this for a few hours (I do overnight) until it is solid.
To serve, pull this out of the freezer and let it defrost at room temp for a few hours. You want to be able to slice through the cheesecake, even if it is still “sightly” frosty. You can store the rest in the freezer for a few days… though I doubt it will last that long! xoxo Dana
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