This week I thought it was appropriate to share a fun patriotic-inspired treat that you could take to any BBQ or picnic on the 4th! Not only is this dessert festive, but it is super simple to make, doesn’t require you to ever heat up the oven and it is sure to please everyone — restricted diets or not.
Since I cut most dairy from diet last year, there are a few things I miss from time to time. A rich and creamy cheesecake is certainly one of them. This “cheesecake” has a smooth and creamy flavor, with a bright tanginess you would find in most traditional cheesecakes. The crust is super simple and compliments the filling perfectly. The best part about this crust is, besides being raw, is how super versatile it can, you can use whatever nuts you have, I went with 1 cup raw macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup raw almonds. Plus it would be great for many other pie recipes, too.
I had a lovely reader, Rina from Cali Mac Nut Company, send me some of her beautiful raw macadamia nuts and I couldn’t wait to find a delicious use for them. This cheesecake seemed like the perfect use.
Keep in mind that this recipe makes a 9″ springform pan, so if your pan is smaller you will have a larger/taller “cheesecake” or you can just cut the recipe down a bit. It’s up to you. I added fresh berries to the top of this for obvious reasons, but a drizzle of melted dark chocolate would also be so incredible overtop.
[print_this]No-Bake Vegan “Cheesecake” – Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-free
Makes 9″ Springform Pan
Serves 8 to 12
- 8 medjool dates
- 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts or any combination of these will work, too)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, in liquid state
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (honey would also be really nice, just not vegan)
- 6 tablespoons water (you may want a little more if it is too thick)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Fresh strawberries and blueberries or other berries for topping
**DO AHEAD** Soak the cashews overnight the night before you are making this. Soak the dates for about 1 hour before you make the crust.
Line the bottom of a round 9″ springform pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, process the nuts, salt, coconut, lemon zest and spices until you have an almost flour-like consistency, leaving some bits of the nuts make for a nice texture. Add the dates and pulse until combined into a sticky and chunky mixture. You aren’t looking for this to be smooth, you should still see flecks of dates and the raw nuts. Press mixture into the prepared springform pan, then cover with plastic or foil and freeze until ready to use.
Once the cashews have soaked, discard the soaking water, give them a quick rinse and add the cashews to the container of a high speed blender or food processor. Add the coconut oil, lemon juice, maple syrup (or other sweetener), vanilla and water. If the mixture is too thick, add just a little more water, one teaspoon at a time. It should be a very thick mixture so don’t add too much. Once blended, pour the cashew mixture over the crust and freeze overnight, or until solid.
When ready to serve, allow the tart to thaw for 15 minutes, then top with freshly sliced strawberries and the blueberries. [/print_this]