A question I’m often asked when people find out that I’m vegan is, “But don’t you miss cheesecake”? You can insert lots of other food names into the ‘cheesecake’ space here, and honestly, my answer will always be a resounding “No”. And the reason is quite simply, because anything you can eat, I can eat – better!
Honestly, not only do so many things taste better when they are veganized, they’re also much healthier and contain a powerhouse of nutrients. Regular cheesecake, for example, is filled to the brim with fats and sugars, but this gorgeous Raw Cheesecake recipe I’m about to share with you contains an abundance of nuts, fruits and healthy oils. You can have your cake and eat it, without a smidgeroo of guilt.
I was lucky enough to meet the creator of this amazing recipe, Saskia Fraser, at The Yoga Show in 2014. Sampling her sweet and savoury samples at the show really turned my food world upside down. I often find that when I bake, things have a tendency to go a little skew once they enter the oven zone. Maybe I’m just unlucky. Fortunately for me, Saskia’s book, Raw Freedom, has allowed me to make some amazing recipes that all go perfectly for me, as they don’t involving cooking!
Saskia kindly gave me permission to share my favourite recipe from her book here, so here it is in all its glory:
1/2 cup freshly ground almonds
1 pinch mineral salt
1/4 cup pitted medjool dates
3/4 cup cashew nuts
2 teaspons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla essence (or seeds from 2 vanilla beans)
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
100g raspberries (I used blueberries)
2 tablespoons raw agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 – Crust
Mix the ground almonds and salt together, and sprinkle a fine layer over the bottom of two small chefs rings/cake tins.
Mix the remaining almonds and salt, with medjool dates (until dates are completely chopped) and divide between tins/rings.
With wet hands, press the mixture into the base (and up the sides if you wish – I only made a flat base, as you can see in the image).
2 – Filling
Blend the cashew nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, vanilla essence, nutritional yeast and two tablespoons of the coconut oil, until smooth and creamy. Fill the crust cases and place in the fridge to set.
p.s when I licked my fingers at this stage, I let out a yelp of joy as it honestly tasted like lemon cheesecake.
3 – Topping
Blend the berries, agave syrup, vinegar and remaining coconut oil. Pour over the cheesecake and arrange a few extra berries on top.
Leave to set in the fridge for around 2 hours, if you can wait that long!
You can see from the original image at the top of this post that my cheesecakes weren’t quite as picture perfect as the book image, but they tasted amazing! The ingredients list is long and there is quite a bit of blending to do, but it’s actually really easy and most definitely worth it. So healthy, and you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
They are really filling, so despite being a self-confessed cake monster, half of one of these actually does the trick. I’m so pleased to have found an easy dessert to make, and one that’s so good for me too.
Thanks again to Saskia Fraser for the wonderful recipe book, Raw Freedom.