Thanks to the combined influence of Brandon from the Aardvark Kafe and Barry, the carnivore with good taste, I made a raw cheesecake tonight.
Before you run screaming in the opposite direction, WAIT. It’s seriously, seriously good! I used this recipe (via Barry), and tweaked it a bit after reading a few other recipes for similar cheesecakes. In hindsight, I’d do a coulis for the top and drizzle it on after the freezing, because while the topping tasted good, it didn’t have the texture I grew up loving on top of my mother’s cheesecakes. And for berries, I used what was in our back yard – strawberries and raspberries. You could do anything from blackberry to chocolate to key lime, if you wanted, simply by tweaking the ratio of berries to dates to get the right texture.
Let me know if you try it! This was my first raw food “recipe” (usually my raw diet involves a ton of fruits and vegetables, and absolutely zero preparation or forethought) so I’d love to know how it works for you. Michael was raving about it, so I’ll definitely be making this again. I’m thinking of sneaking it into our picnic at work and not telling anyone that it’s raw and vegan…
Vegan & Raw Cheescake
- 2 cups macadamia nuts
- 3 cups cashews
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- ¼ cup dried coconut
- 6 Tbs. coconut oil, melted (gently warmed)
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup raw agave nectar
- ½ sun-dried vanilla bean or 1tsp vanilla
- 3 cups mixed berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
Place macadamia nuts in large bowl, and cover with cold water. Place cashews in separate bowl, and cover with cold water. The soaking will make the cheesecake smooth. Soak nuts 4 hours, then rinse, drain, and set aside.
Pulse macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup dates in food processor to a sticky crumb-like consistency. Sprinkle dried coconut on bottom of 8-inch pie pan. Press macadamia nut mixture onto coconut to make crust. You can use a springform cheesecake pan if you have it, but any glass baking dish will do! The coconut on the bottom keeps the crust from sticking to the pan (and tastes good).
Place cashews, coconut oil, lime juice, agave nectar, and 6 Tbs. water in bowl of food processor. Add more water in small amounts, to reach the desired consistency. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into food processor bowl, and purée until smooth. Pour mixture onto crust, and freeze 1 to 2 hours, or until firm.
While that’s freezing, puree 1/2 cup dates and your berries until smooth. Pour over the cheesecake, and return the whole shebang to the freezer – check the consistency after an hour or so. We ate it after one hour, but you can freeze for as long as you want – just thaw it by putting it in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Top it with fresh berries and enjoy!