Raw blueberry cheesecake with crumb topping

Raw foods are a growing trend these days, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with the new concept of germinating, sprouting, processing and dehyrating. It seems raw foods are mainly a focus for the health-conscious crowd and more open-minded foodies, but for me, it’s also a way to learn a new and fascinating approach to vegan dessert-making. It certainly has opened up a whole new world of ingredients and processes that are unlike anything I have tried before. After years of practising precision and care required to bake deliciously moist vegan cupcakes and flaky pie crusts, I have realized a handful of this and a dash of that can take my desserts to a whole new level–and without even turning on the oven.

When my sister came to visit a few weeks ago, she brought the perfect gift for a newbie raw foodie: a dehydrator! I went to work on a new batch of goodies, which required some prep time–germinating walnuts and almonds for several hours and sprouting buckwheat and sunflower seeds for about three days. But when all is said and done, it was just a matter of throwing the ingredients into a food processor and then placing them on the teflex sheets of my dehyrator. By the time I came home from work the next day, I had a beautiful assortment of healthy snacks just waiting to be gobbled up.

The goodies included raw granola made of buckwheat and sunflower sprouts, pumpkin and poppy seeds, apricots, dates, bananas, currants, lavender, ginger and cinnamon; soft banana bread chips made of almond flour, walnuts, dates, bananas and cinnamon; and rosemary crackers made of flax seeds, almonds and rosemary (to go with my homemade raw cilantro salsa).

I’ve also discovered that raw is the way to go if you’re looking for a delicious and interesting take on cheesecake. I was never a fan of regular cheesecake even in my pre-vegan days, but a raw cheesecake can take a gourmet dessert to a whole new level, and it’s healthier to boot. I had some raw blueberry filling in my freezer that was left over from the blueberry pie contest I participated in last month, so I had a good excuse to throw together a raw cheesecake with a nutty topping for added crunch.

If you’ve never tried making a raw cheesecake before, I highly recommend it. All you need is a food processor or high-powered blender and a springform pan–oh, and some room in your freezer. You don’t need to hunt down any rare ingredients for this recipe. The lecithin granules can be found at bulk or health food stores. If you can’t find them, it certainly won’t ruin the recipe–they are used as an emulsifier and add to the creaminess factor of the cake, but it still works without them. Enjoy!

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | A Dash of Compassion

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Raw blueberry cheesecake with crumb topping

Yield: one 8-inch cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the filling:

  • 3 cups cashews, soaked overnight
  • 3 cups blueberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 15 dates, soaked for 1 hour
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 tsp dried lavender (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp lecithin granules

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup oat groats
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions:

For the crust:

    1. Process the almonds in a food processor until they become a course meal. Add the rest of the ingredients and process to combine. The mixture should stick together when pressed between your fingers. Press the crust into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and place in the freezer to firm up.

For the filling:

    1. Rinse cashews and dates and blend them in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the coconut oil and lecithin granules, and blend until smooth. Finally, add the coconut oil and lecithin granules and blend to combine. Pour onto prepared crust and place in the freezer.

For the crumb topping:

  1. Chop the walnuts and dates briefly in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse lightly to combine. Crumble the topping evenly onto the cheesecake filling, pressing gently. Keep the cheesecake in the freezer until ready to serve.

      

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11 Responses to “Raw blueberry cheesecake with crumb topping”

  1. VeganLisa — September 4, 2010 @ 1:05 am

    Beautiful! Your recipe sounds like a dessert I would adore. I'm glad you're enjoying your dehydrator. I look forward to checking out all your amazing raw creations.xo

  2. Nicole — September 8, 2010 @ 12:04 am

    Thanks, Lisa! I'm loving the dehydrator. More raw dessert creations are definitely in my future :)

  3. tovie — January 29, 2012 @ 8:12 pm

    This was amazing! Sorry to say, I got sidetracked and totally forgot the crumb topping, but it was great without it.

    • Nicole — January 30, 2012 @ 11:07 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the feedback.

  4. Natalie — February 4, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

    What is the calorie amount per serving?

  5. Jordan — February 5, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

    Can I make this into a lemon cheesecake as well? I assume raspberry or blackberry would be the same process, but would you change anything in this recipe, maybe consistency will be off or too much nuts in the filling mixture?

    I made the blueberry last week and it kept for so long in the freezer, even though I ate it practically every night! So so so delicious, thanks a ton for sharing!

    • Nicole — February 6, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

      I think you could use other berries without a problem, but I haven’t tested that option out myself. If you want a lemon cheesecake, I’d suggest trying this recipe: http://www.adashofcompassion.com/2012/04/raw-raspberry-lemon-dreamcake/

  6. Carey Huyser — April 13, 2014 @ 12:08 am

    I’m going to make this tomorrow! Yum! But what is the lecithin for? Any subs? I have never bought it…

    • Nicole — April 14, 2014 @ 9:57 am

      Great, Carey! As I mention in the post, lecithin granules are used as an emulsifier and add to the creaminess factor of the cake, but the recipe still works without them so no need to substitute. Enjoy!

  7. haleh — November 27, 2014 @ 3:07 am

    This cheesecake is absolutely delicious. Unfortunately for me the steps mentioned didn’t work very well and the measurements were a bit off. There were a lot of cashews so I had to split it into 2 different batches which was annoying. I have a very large food processor. Also the cashews and the dates get really clumpy and dry so save the juice from the soaked dates cuz you’ll need to break up the clump. I actually recommend making it backward… starting with the blueberries so you have liquid to break down the nuts and dates.

    The 2 tablespoons of lavender might be too much for some. My husband said it tastes like soap. : BUT it gives a gorgeous flavor. I’m gonna add 1tbsp next time.

    For some strange reason then bottom layer became powder. I think I may have used to little dates. In the recipe dates are mentioned as quantity as well as cups which is confusing so not sure if that had anything to do with it.

    I will definitely make this again but it needs fine tuning.

    • Nicole — November 27, 2014 @ 9:35 am

      Thanks for your feedback, Haleh. Sorry to hear some of the components didn’t work well for you. Other readers haven’t had any issues so I’m not sure what the cause was. But this recipe can certainly be tweaked to your preference if you decide to make it again. :)
      Also, just a note to let you know the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of lavender, not tablespoons.

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