Not only is this a delicious gluten free cheesecake, but it’s raw and vegan, meaning it is 100% dairy free! Can you believe it? It looks and is very creamy. Cashews contain enough fat to provide a rich creamy texture, the same texture you used to getting when using cream cheese. I’ve made a wonderful frosting using cashews in the past and it is heavenly! This recipe is from the wonderful new cookbook, Eat Raw, Eat Well. Stay tuned in tomorrow for another recipe from this book as well as the book review and giveaway the following day. Enjoy!
For decades, coconut products (coconut oil, milk and flesh) have been painted with the anti–saturated fat brush, based on the assumption that saturated fat increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. However, recent studies have found otherwise, so long as the coconut products are unprocessed. In fact, an impressive benefit of coconut products is their ability to boost HDL (“good cholesterol”), which helps to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Coconut is high in a type of saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are unique in the sense that they are burned for energy and are less likely to be stored as body fat.
Imagine a rich creamy gluten free cheesecake that is also raw and vegan. Just incredible!
- High-powered blender
- 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan
- 4 cups raw cashews, soaked (see Tips) (1 L)
- 1 cup filtered water (250 mL)
- 1 cup raw agave nectar (250 mL)
- 1 cup melted coconut oil (250 mL) (see Tips, page 361)
- 1 tbsp raw vanilla extract (15 mL)
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (10 mL)
- 2 cups whole raw pecans (500 mL)
- 1/4 cup chopped pitted soft dates (60 mL)
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (2 mL)
- In a high-powered blender, combine soaked cashews, water, agave nectar, coconut oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Blend at high speed until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse pecans, dates and salt until smooth (no large pieces should remain). Press into bottom of pan, ensuring that there are no gaps.
- Pour filling over crust and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm in the center. This dessert can be made ahead and kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- When you are ready to serve, remove from freezer and set aside to thaw for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan sides and slice. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Blueberry Cheesecake: Before processing filling in Step 1, set aside 1 cup (250 mL) of the soaked cashews and 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the agave nectar. Add to blender along with 1/2 cup (125 mL) blueberries. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate. When cake is frozen, spread mixture evenly over the top. Freeze for 3 hours, until top is frozen. Proceed to Step 4.
To soak the cashews for this recipe, cover with 8 cups (2 L) water. Set aside for 1 hour. Drain, discarding soaking water, and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear.
To check if the cake is frozen all the way through, insert a tester such as a wooden skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready to be thawed.
You may also be interested in Raw Pecan Pie Recipe.
Excerpted from Eat Raw, Eat Well by Douglas McNish © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
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