Would you believe me if I told you that a cheesecake without any cream cheese is delicious? Skeptic? I was too, until I tried this… all the goodness without all the guilt. Get your belly ready 😉
When I’ve told others about this raw cheese-less cheesecake, the first thing they’ve asked is, “Then what it is it made out of?!” You can imagine the crooked faces I get when I say it’s all fresh raw natural ingredients- nuts, lemon, vanilla beans, honey, and berries. But yep, it’s true… all natural, all in their raw form, all absolutely delicious. How could those ingredients end up tasting like cheesecake you ask? It’s rather surprising, but all it takes it the combo. of fresh lemon juice and vanilla to create that delicious cheesecake flavor. Those two ingredients along with the creaminess of cashews does the trick. Who would’ve thought?!
I’ve heard of raw cheesecakes, and I have definitely tried raw treats and been surprised by their deliciousness, but I honestly didn’t think a cream-based dessert could be this good… not without dairy anyway. That all changed a few weeks back when I was cruising through my neighborhood market and a girl offered me a sample of raw cheesecake. I tried it, gasped, and was hooked. Just like that.
I use a springform pan for this… it allows the cheesecake to stay together while freezing, but then be easily cut and served with its removable bottom. (They are the pans that have the detachable bottom.) If you don’t have one, you can make this in a standard pie pan and then scoop it out as you would any pie. Having one helps though, I think! (You can buy them at stores like Marshall’s & Ross for fairly cheap!)
The beauty of this recipe, beyond the taste and guilt-free aspects of course, is the ease. No baking required, no water-baths, no worrying about timing. You just blend the ingredients, place them all in the freezer, and enjoy. The toughest part is planning to soak the nuts overnight before making it… and that’s just a matter of placing some nuts in a bowl of water. Can’t get much simpler really 🙂 What I will say though, if I have to choose a con, is its cost. Buying these ingredients, if you don’t already have them lying around, can add up… so definitely visit that bulk section if your store has one! The market around here has coconut oil, cacao, honey, cashews, agave, almonds, dates, etc. all in bulk, so one can just buy what they need… it can help the wallet a wee. Never bad to save money…
for the crust…
2 cups almonds (whole & raw), soaked overnight
7 dates, whole with pits
1/4 cup raw coconut flakes (not sweetened)
for the filling…
3 cups cashews (raw, halved or whole), soaked overnight
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (3 large lemons)
1/4 cup honey, raw preferably
1/4 cup raw coconut oil
1 vanilla bean (about 6-7 inches in length)
for the topping…
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cacao powder
3/4 cup frozen cherries
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
*if you live near a grocery store with a good bulk section, you can buy
many of these ingredients in small amounts to help with the cost…
**if you are in need, you can purchase a Springform Pan
for a good price through Amazon (click the link) or at most stores
The day before you make the cheesecake, soak almonds and cashews in water
overnight- you want them completely immersed
They will absorb the water and expand- heads up 🙂 (you can see the expansion below)
The next morning, you’ll be ready to concoct and create your masterpiece!
Using your fingers, open up dates and remove seeds
Place the soaked almonds (pour out any excess water from the soaking),
dates, and coconut in a food processor
Blend until smooth
Empty “dough” into a springform pan (nonstick)
Press the almond crust down, creating an even smooth crust along the bottom of the pan
Now make the filling…
To get the vanilla out, cut down the center of the vanilla bean (lengthwise),
but don’t cut all the way through- you just want to open the bean up
Scrape the vanilla out using the flat/dull side of a knife
You’ll get roughly a tsp vanilla from one bean
Juice the lemons…
Place the soaked cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla in the food processor (if using the same processor used to make the almond crust, clean it out before making the filling)
Blend until smooth and creamy
Pour the filling over the almond crust
Place the cheesecake in the freezer, uncovered, for about 5-6 hours
About 15 minutes before eating, make the topping…
Add cacao powder to honey
Stir until blended and all cacao lumps are smoothed out
Remove the cheesecake from the freezer
Top with frozen berries and cherries
Then drizzle the cacao sauce over the berries and cheesecake
Remove the springform pan
Let the cheesecake and berries soften a bit, about 10-15 minutes, cut, and serve!
To store, place remaining cheesecake back in the freezer- it will keep well for days,
being eaten and refrozen again over and over… if it lasts that long that is!!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!!
- for the crust...
- 2 cups almonds (whole, raw), soaked overnight
- 7 dates, whole with pits
- ¼ cup raw coconut flakes (not sweetened)
- for the filling...
- 3 cups cashews (raw, halved or whole), soaked overnight
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (3 large lemons)
- ¼ cup honey, raw preferably
- ¼ cup raw coconut oil
- 1 vanilla bean (about 6-7 inches in length)
- for the topping...
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- ¾ cup frozen cherries
- ¾ cup frozen raspberries
- .*if you live near a grocery store with a good bulk section,
- you can buy many of these ingredients in small amounts to help with the cost...
- The day before you make the cheesecake, soak the almonds and cashews in water overnight (in separate bowls)
- The following morning, they'll be ready to go!
- To make the crust... remove pits from dates
- Place the soaked almonds, dates, and coconut in a food processor and blend until smooth
- Empty the "dough" onto a nonstick springform pan... press it down to make a smooth firm crust
- For the filling... remove the vanilla from the bean pod by slicing it open lengthwise, making sure not to cut all the way through the bean- you just want access to the paste in the center. Using the flat side of a knife, scrape the vanilla out (you should get about 1 tsp)
- Place the soaked cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla in the food processor
- Blend until smooth and creamy
- Pour the filling over the almond crust
- Place the cheesecake in the freezer, uncovered, for about 5-6 hours
- About 15 minutes prior to eating, make the topping... stir the cacao powder and honey together until clumps are smoothed out
- Top the cheesecake with the frozen berries and cherries
- Drizzle the cacao sauce over the berries and cheesecake
- Remove the cake from the pan and allow it to soften for about 10-15 minutes
- Cut, serve, and enjoy!
- (Keeps well in the freezer for up to a few days)