Good morning, lovers! Saturday is my absolutely favorite day of the week. (Wait okay, this doesn’t make sense anymore because I wrote this Saturday morning and I am posting it Monday afternoon—except it kind of does make sense because I am on stay-cation, so I am in perpetual Saturday morning mode for the next 5 days). I am totally anti-sleeping in and I love to wake up super early and be productive like a total weirdo. These past couple of weeks have been really difficult and I have been under a lot of stress. So much so that I decided to take a FULL week off of my day job next week, which I have never done in the past three years. I am really excited to spend some time at my sister’s lake house, cook, write, study wine, and finally start learning how to use my new camera. This morning I decided to kick off my mini stay-cation by whipping up a few fabulous, cheese-less, cashew, raw, vegan cheesecakes. PHEWF.
Can we talk about dates for a minute? Okay, not that type of date, although I am single and would love to go on a date, just saying!! Hehe. Okay but anyway… we use dates in our vegan pie and cheesecake crusts as an alternative to butter and sugar (yum- PS. My sister is a pastry chef and made us the world’s most amazing pie for my mom’s birthday. I literally died. LITERALLY). Dates have a lot of health benefits such as aiding in healthy digestion, boosting nervous system health, reducing seasonal allergic reactions, boosting energy and increasing stamina annnnnd helping with hangovers!
Many recipes for raw vegan-y sweets call for Medjool dates. You can find these at most grocery stores. They are large and very soft and super sweet! The bad part is they are kind of expensive for us less lucrative folk, so I tend to not use them. Instead I use Deglet Noor dates. These can also be located at pretty much any grocery store. They are drier and chewier than Medjool dates. For our purposes, honestly, they work fine in the cheesecake crust. Also, they are like a third of the price of Medjool dates.
Let’s talk cheese. The “cheese” in these cheesecakes is so good and so easy. Soak the cashews overnight if you have the time. If you are short on time, just soak them for a few hours and be a little more patient when processing them to make sure they reach ultimate smoothness potential. The recipe calls for ½ cup of full fat coconut milk, but add a little more if you feel like you are not quite at full creaminess. I usually start with ½ cup and add a couple more tablespoons to get the texture I want. You just want to avoid having soup.
Fruit toppings! So today I have some normal every day fruit laying around, you know, like guava and jackfruit, totally normal. I wanted to experiment a bit with those and then also stick to my guns with some lipsmackin’ good blueberries. Use whatever fruit you want. 1 cup of fruit to 2 tbsp agave. Let your heart and your stomach be your guide
Raw Vegan Cheese-less Cheesecakes
(makes 6 4-inch tart tins or 2 9-in pie tins)
1 cup pitted dates (I use Deglet Noor)
½ cup raw whole almonds
2 cups whole cashews soaked overnight
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup full fat coconut milk
1 cup blueberries (or whatever fruit you are using)
2 tbsp agave nectar
- To assemble the crust combine the dates and almonds in food processor and blend to create a sticky mixture. The consistency should still be a bit crumbly, you don’t need it to be paste. Spread the mixture into your pan and press down to form a solid crust. I find that this recipe accommodates enough crust for 6 4-inch tart tins or about 2 9-inch pie tins. (Does that math make sense? I don’t know). Set pie crust aside.
- Meanwhile, add cashews, lemon juice, and coconut milk to the food processor and combine until you reach ultimate smoothness. Distribute atop the pie crusts.
- Finally, combine your fruit and agave in the food processor and pulse until you achieve a nice puree. Distribute atop the cheesecakes.
- Pop them in the freezer for at least two hours to settle. Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve to make them a little easier to cut.
Now. Most important step, eat your vegan heart out. Enjoy! ❤
EAT YOUR VEGAN HEART OUT