Baked cheesecake was never something i made much of a fuss about. Fridge-set cheesecake on the other hand… now we’re talking. Theres just something about cream cheese mixed with sugar. Its so wrong yet so, so right and combined with a crunchy gingernut or digestive base - I’m weak at the knees just thinking about it. These days, with dairy, sugar and gluten no longer part of my diet, i rarely crave a slice of cheesecake. I also rarely opt for the fruit flavour on the dessert menu, not because of the fructose but because vanilla, chocolate and caramel will always have one up in my opinion. Lemon, however, is an exception. When i first discovered lemon curd as a 7 year old, i couldn’t get enough of it and loved the confusion of its sweet yet sour taste. Citrus flavours and creamy flavours create a perfectly balanced taste sensation when combined together. So, to celebrate the first week of Spring in London, i decided to recreate these flavours using healthy, natural ingredients. I wanted to use fresh, fruity flavours that reminded me of summer. The cashews, avocado and coconut milk make this cheesecake creamy and the fresh lemon combined with organic rose extract makes it vibrant and refreshing. This “cheesecake” honestly turned out better than i thought it would. It tastes just as good if not better than a conventional cheesecake, and comes without the side effects of dairy, gluten and sugar. It is also pretty easy and quick to make - you could call it a Smoothie Cheesecake as you rely heavily on your blender for most of it. Also, with no baking required, once you’re done making the mixture you just leave the hard work to the freezer. As it is raw and doesn’t require baking, this cheesecake keeps hold of all its nutrients, vitamins and minerals without destroying anything, making it incredibly nutritious. It makes a perfect dessert but i also think it is more than acceptable to have for breakfast. It is full of healthy fats, protein, long-lasting sources of energy, fibre and antioxidants and is also incredibly alkalising. You could even leave the base for another time and make the filling as you would a smoothie or a cashew pudding. Stir through some soaked chia seeds or serve as a smoothie bowl topped with nuts, seeds and clean granola/muesli.
1 Cup Medool Dates
1 1/2 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Almonds
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Avocado Oil
2 Tablespoons Beetroot Powder
Place the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the blender if it isn’t combining properly, and blend several times until the mixture is pretty much smooth. once combined, scrape into a tart or cake tin or mini tart tins and spread along the bottom. Press down until the mixture is compact. You can spread it up the side of your tin depending on the shape or it if you want a side crust too. set in the fridge.
Fresh Lemon Juice of 1 1/2 or 2 Lemons
1 Cup Cashews, soaked briefly or overnight if you have time
1/2 Ripe Avocado
2 Teaspoons Agave
1-2 Teaspoons Rose
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
80g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil (the cacao gives it the ‘white chocolate’ flavour)
2 Tablespoons OSB Skin Food or Maca or Superfood of choice
2 Tablespoons Solid Tinned Coconut Milk, or Coyo Original
Place the cashews, lemon juice, avocado, agave, rose, vanilla and coconut milk into a clean blender. Melt the cacao butter in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once fully melted, add this to the blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. You may need to stir to encourage the mixture. Blend until fully smooth and pour this over you prepared base(s). Spread evenly over the base and set in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour. It should be almost entirely solid when you remove it, and if it seems too solid, remove from the freezer and store in the fridge to soften before serving.
OTHER FILLING SUGGESTIONS
You can omit the beetroot powder from the base or substitute it for cacao if you want to experiment with different cheesecake flavours. I love mixing the base with cacao for a Raw Cacao Torte or a Vanilla Choc Chip Cheesecake.
(makes one large torte)
120g Cacao Butter or Coconut oil
400g Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Spirulina
Handful Cashews, soaked
1 Tablespoons Organic Orange Oil or Extract (or Fresh orange juice & zest)
1-2 Tablespoons Agave (as the Cacao has quite a bitter taste)
Blend, pour onto base then freeze.
VANILLA CHOC CHIP
1-2 Fresh Vanilla Pods
100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Cacao Nibs
1 Cup Cashews
4 Tablespoon’s Solid Tinned Coconut milk
1/2 Cup Chopped Raw Chocolate or Cacao Paste (made by melting 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil or cacao butter with 2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder and leaving to set)
Blend, pour onto base then freeze.
CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL TART
1 Tin Coconut Milk
1/3 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
1-2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Avocado, optional
Heat all the ingredients in a pan. Bring to the boil and whisk like this for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat then simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking constantly. Transfer to a blender and blend until combined. Pour onto the base then freeze until almost solid.
Top with a layer of melted Raw Chocolate or Dairy Free Dark Chocolate. Either cover the whole tart of drizzle over the caramel.
Freeze again until chocolate harden.