Yes, it's vegan. It's also raw, and healthy. But you know what else this dessert is? Fast, easy and down right delicious! Turns out, when you soak raw cashews in water overnight, they get soft and turn to "cream" when pureed in the blender. Add some water, vanilla, coconut oil, honey (or agave) and lemons to achieve that "cheesecake" tang and you have a dreamy, creamy filling. Add fresh berries to that and you've got a dreamy, creamy, berry flavored filling. Add a crust of carmely dates and walnuts and hold on to your seats because it's going to be one one healthy, insanely good ride. You'll do the happy dance. If you have one, that is. I certainly do not. I prefer high pitched shrieking, myself.
Cheesecake good for you? Well, not as an I'm going to eat this everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner sort of way, but definitely in the replacing the heavy, sugar laden, animal fat, normal cheesecake you would usually consume sort of way. I'll let my friend over at My New Roots give you the breakdown. This is what she says: "Here's the deal: this cheesecake is raw, meaning that all the powerful vitamins, minerals, and enzymes present in the whole foods you use to make the cake remain intact. Instead of an atom bomb of empty calories in your belly, you actually have a handful of fruit, nuts, and raw honey swimming around, and your taste buds are none the wiser." Pretty neat, huh?
I'm headed out of town this week, so I have scheduled a post or two while I'm gone. I'll miss your blogs but catch up when I get back!
Well, what are you waiting for? Go buy yourself some raw nuts and get on it!
Raw Cashew Dreamcake
adapted from My New Roots
1 cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1 cup soft Medjool dates
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
juice of 2 lemons
seeds from 2-whole vanilla beans (or 2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract)
2/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup raw honey (solid or liquid) (Vegans, use agave nectar)
2 cups berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries)
Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and chop until they are your desired fineness (longer for finer pieces, and shorter for chunkier pieces). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of the mixture and pressing it together. If it sticks and holds together, your crust is perfect. Scoop put crust mixture into a 9" springform cheesecake pan. If you don't have a spring form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap and press firmly making sure that the edges are well packed and the base is even throughout. Rinse food processor well.
Warm the coconut oil and honey on low heat in a saucepan until melted and whisk together.
In the most powerful blender or food processor you own (I used my Vita-Mix) place all filling ingredients, except berries, and blend on high until very smooth (this may take a couple minutes so be patient).
Pour about 2/3 of the filling into the spring form pan over the crust and smooth with a spatula. Just eyeball it. Add the berries to the remainder of the filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour out the berry filling on top of the plain filling and smooth with a spatula on top. Place in freezer until solid.
To serve: remove dreamcake from the freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth sharp knife under hot water water and cut into slices. Serve on it's own or with a garnish of fresh berries. Store leftovers in the freezer. A quick note: The cheesecake will freeze solid. To achieve that creamy texture, you have to let it thaw for 30 minutes before cutting.
Your cheesecake will be thicker than mine. I didn't quite have all the ingredients to make a full recipe.