Cheesecake is a classic dessert favourite, but traditional cheesecake is far from healthy. Enter, the raw vegan cheesecake. The raw cheesecake has taken the blog world by storm and new recipes seem to be popping up all over the place. At first I was a skeptic; a cheesecake with no cheese? Surely not! But having tried a slice or two in my favourite health food café, I decided it was time I had a crack at making my very own.
Raw cheesecakes are essentially made up of two parts; the crust and the filling. The crust is usually a very basic combination of activated nuts and dates, pressed into a cheesecake tin. Then comes the ‘cheese’ filling, which is actually made from activated, blended cashews, which form a paste that becomes the filling. The flavour options are endless for the filling, but I decided to go with a simple lemon cheesecake recipe I found on Jess Ainscough’s blog, The Wellness Warrior. She had a week celebrating raw desserts and then posted this fabulous collection of her favourite recipes, which I do recommend you have a look at. Anyway, here is the recipe for a Lemon Berry Raw Cheesecake:
Lemon Berry Raw Cheesecake
1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup dates (de-pitted)
2 cups cashews, soaked, rinsed, drained
Juice 1 1/2 lemons (or to your liking for flavour, mine was quite lemony)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used honey, but obviously maple syrup for a vegan version)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or less for vanilla bean paste)
Fresh berries for topping, stewed in some stevia, honey or maple syrup
1. For the crust blend the almond meal and dates together until mixture sticks. Press into a cake tin or pie dish.
2. For filling, blend cashews, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla until silky smooth. Scoop and spread over crust. Freeze for at least an hour.
3. For the topping, simply throw fresh berries on top or stew in optional sweetener and pour over.
4. Defrost cheesecake in fridge for 45-60 minutes, until the centre is cold but not frozen. Serve.
Thanks again to Jess for this raw dessert inspiration!
Keep healthy, Erica xx
P.S. Confession time: I may have eaten a whole half of this cheesecake in one sitting, due to the fact that I was about to go on holidays and I didn’t want my poor cheesecake to rot away in the fridge without me…Guilty!