(Photograph by Hannah Kaminsky)
This recipe comes from one of my longtime blogging friends, Gena Hamshaw, of Choosing Raw. Her debut cookbook, which hit shelves last week is also titled Choosing Raw. This book is a gorgeous collection of fast and healthy eats that truly includes something for everyone. I’m partial to the Blueberry Cheesecake recipe featured in the book, and Gena (and DaCapo Lifelong Books) has been generous enough to share.
Raw, Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake
If you think authentic cheesecake flavor is impossible without the cheese, think again. Raw cheesecake happens to be one of the most authentic tasting raw desserts, thanks to the magical combination of cashews and coconut oil. The cheesecake is easier to prepare in a high-speed blender than a food processor, but the processor can work if that’s what you have. Just be sure to soak your cashews overnight!
If you don’t have cashews, macadamia nuts are a perfect substitute.
Makes 1 9-inch Round Cake, or 8-10 Servings
- 1 1⁄2 cups almonds
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 cups pitted Medjool dates
- 3 cups cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2⁄3 cup melted coconut oil
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1⁄2 cup agave nectar
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1. Place the almonds and sea salt in a food processor and grind roughly. Add the dates and process until the mixture is well processed and sticks together when you squeeze a bit in the palm of your hand. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
2. Use a high-speed blender or food processor (high-speed blender is preferable, but a food processor will work as well) to process all the filling ingredients thoroughly, until they are silky smooth. If you’re working with a processor, you may need to stop often to scrape it down. Pour the mixture over the layer of crust and use an inverted knife to smooth it over. Place the cheesecake in the freezer for an hour, then transfer it to the fridge and let it set overnight.
3. When the cheesecake has set, blend 1 cup of blueberries, the lemon, and the agave
nectar in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the remaining whole blueberries. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake (or you can spoon it over individual slices). Serve.
Cover and store the cheesecake in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 10. If you freeze the cake, defrost the slices in the fridge for several hours before serving.
From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014.