Raw strawberry dreamcake
Whoever came up with the basic raw cheesecake recipe is a genius. I’m constantly amazed, not only by its short ingredients list, but also by its versatility. You soak some nuts, blend them with some sweetener and coconut oil and whatever flavour options you prefer, and then you throw it in the freezer. This dessert is seriously hard to mess up.
I recently had a reader ask if it’s possible to make a raw cheesecake like my raw chocolate chili cheesecake that is free of coconut and cashews. Although both cashews and coconut oil are main ingredients in most recipes, I was determined to create an alternative.
Here’s the deal: a raw cheesecake means that all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes present in the whole foods you use to make the cake remain intact. Instead of a plateful of empty calories, you actually have a handful of fruit and nuts that are doing your body some good. Coconut oil is important in helping raw cheesecakes firm up because it solidifies at temperatures below 25 C. Cashews are also a staple because of their bland flavour. Soaking them is a pretty common practice: it neutralizes their enzyme inhibitors, makes them easier to digest and also softens them for easier blending. In this case, macadamia nuts came to the rescue and proper proportions made it so that the cake could sit at room temperature sans coconut oil without melting into a nutty mess.
For those who are sensitive to cashews or coconut, this is a dreamcake come true. I chose to make a vanilla and strawberry combo, but please don’t let that stop you from experimenting. If you like blueberries, use ‘em. If you’re a chocolate lover, throw in a tablespoon of raw cacao. The sky is the limit. I made this recipe for two mini cheesecakes, but you can always double the ingredients for a larger cake. Enjoy!
Raw strawberry dreamcake
Yield: two mini cheesecakes
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw pecans or walnuts
- 2/3 cup chopped dates
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
- 1/3 cup raw agave nectar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- In a food processor, process the almonds and pecans to a coarse meal. Add the dates and salt and process to combine. The mixture should stick together when press between two fingers. If it seems a little dry, add a teaspoon or two of water.
- Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of two mini 4.5-inch springform pans. Set aside.
- In a food processor or high-powered blender, process the macadamia nuts, agave nectar, lemon juice and vanilla bean seeds until smooth (this may take a few minutes).
- Spoon about 1/3 cup of the mixture into each of the springform pans and smooth out the top.
- Add the strawberries to the remaining mixture in the food processor and process until smooth.
- Add the mixture to the top of the vanilla filling (there should be enough for about 1/3 cup each) and smooth out with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the pans in the freezer for at least 2 hours or more to set. This tart can be frozen for several weeks. Just wrap the pan tightly in plastic wrap and tin foil. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.