I’ve been wanting to make a raw cheesecake for a really long time now. Ever since I heard about Beet Jar Juicebar + Takeaway and tasted one of their amazing cheesecakes, I knew I had to give it a try. What I love about raw cheesecakes is that they don’t require any bake time (obviously), all of the ingredients are raw and all natural and they come dairy-free! Sounds good to me.
Raw cheesecakes are hands down my favorite vegan desserts, despite being so pricey at many vegan/raw eateries in the city. I remember going to Chicago Raw last semester and completely falling in love with their tiramisu. Loaded with dates, almonds and espresso it was a total killer and since becoming dairy-free, that raw tiramisu reeled me in. Mm mm yum.
I have been looking for a recipe that only asks for minimal ingredients due to the fact cashews are super pricey (along with other nuts) and I like to use my coconut oil sparingly since I use it for so much (baking vegetables, make-up remover, etc). Luckily, through many Pinterest searches I came across Wholly Vegan‘s blog. She serves up so many grand dishes on her blog including Quinoa and Kale Tofu Bites, BBQ Kale Empanadas and her No-Bake Mini Strawberry Cookies-n-Cream Cheesecake which I adapted for this recipe.
I let this baby sit in the freezer for about 17 hours (mid day to the next morning) but you can definitely freeze it for half the time and it would turn out fine. I poured the ingredients into a small glass dish even though the original called for using a mini pie pan but as usual, I don’t own of those. Gotta make do with what’cha got! But no worries, I just shoved a knife around the edges and it popped right out. Getting a good photo was difficult due to the fact the texture of the “cheese” part itself is exactly like ice cream so moving it around caused it to melt.
- CRUST: ¾ cup slivered almonds
- 6 soft pitted Medjool dates
- 1.5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp water
- Pinch of salt
- FILLING: ½ cup cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours)
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- TOPPING: A few strawberries (or berries of your choice)
- Let your cashews soak in a bowl of water for at least 4 hours before you start the rest of the cheesecake. Soaking them in hot water is recommended.
- Put all of your ingredients for your crust into a food processor and process away!
- Drain your cashews and place them into a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) with the rest of the filling ingredients.
- Squish the crust mixture down into small cupcake liners or a small pie pan.
- Pour the blended filling mixture on top of the crust evenly distributing to each cupcake liner (if you do a pie pan you'll have no trouble).
- Slice up your strawberries on top so they cover the whole cheesecake.
- Freeze for at least 8 hours and then nom nom nom!
While I tried to recreate Wholly Vegan’s recipe, I took out putting some of the crust into the filling and I also did not put any of the crust on top. My only fault in this procedure was blending my crust mixture in my Vitamix and not a food processor. Figuring it would work just as fine – it didn’t. My crust had chunks of almonds but because I used slivered almonds and not whole, it was completely okay. I love how creamy the texture of the filling was due to the combined cashews and bananas. I’ve made smoothies before with cashews and bananas and I don’t know what it is but it is SO creamy and sweet, two reasons alone to eat all of the cashew and banana combos in the world.
Alongside being completely dairy-free, this little cake of cuteness is also gluten-free. No graham cracker crumbs or nothin’ just wholesome dates, nuts, water and cocoa. I’ve never even made a real cheesecake before but this recipe seemed much more easier than the average Cheesecake Factory one you’d spend countless hours in your kitchen whipping up.
Next up on my to-do list of raw recipes will be Minimalist Baker‘s 7 Ingredient Mini Cheesecake bites. I’m sorry but who would not want to eat the whole pan? So bright and colorful. AND CREAMY! You don’t even miss the cream cheese in these nuggets.
Until the next raw dessert, get your butt to the store, buy some nuts, dates and coconut oil (Trader Joe’s has great prices) and get blending!