Today I am so excited to share this wonderful cheesecake recipe with you all! This was the first vegan, nut-based, dairy-free dessert that I ever attempted, so it is very near and dear to my heart. I also consider it to be my best creation. It probably even trumps most of my favorite pre allergy-free desserts.
Sometime last year my friend and I went to this healthy, little organic restaurant and for dessert we ordered a dairy-free cheesecake. When the server told us it was made of cashews, we figured he meant the crust was made of cashews and the filling made of tofu. No, no. He assured us that the filling was made of cashews. This was our first introduction to cashew cream.
I was blown away.
When I got home I searched the internet for anything resembling what we ate, and although I didn't find a recipe for our particular kind of cheesecake, I discovered that this whole cashew thing was pretty big among vegans and the like.
Determined to recreate what we had tasted at the restaurant, I combined and tweaked a few cheesecake recipes until I came up with this.
If you'd like to view some of the recipes that inspired mine, they can be found here, here and here.
I hope you enjoy this spring treat!
2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup whole dates, pitted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/8 tsp sea salt
zest from lime, lemon and orange
3 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4-7 hours
1/2 cup raw honey
2/3 cup coconut oil, in liquid state
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
juice from one orange (approximately 1/2 cup)
2 tsp zest from orange, lemon and lime
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling, blend the cashews in a food processor for about 15 seconds. Then add the rest of the filling ingredients and blend until completely smooth. I always blend a little longer than I think it needs. Pour into a bowl and set aside in refrigerator.
For the crust, blend the almonds, cranberries, coconut and salt in the food processor. Add in the dates in small amounts until the crust begins to hold together. Press into the bottom of the springform pan. Then pour in filling. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, let thaw for 30 minutes.