Cheesecake is probably my favorite dessert. If I opt for dessert, it’s always my go to when I’m at a restaurant. I never thought a raw cheesecake would ever measure up, but this recipe is fantastic!
When I think of Cheesecake, I think of my friend Jen. She was my roommate for several years and introduced me to the Cheesecake Factory. At 38 years old, I had never been to the Cheesecake Factory, can you believe it? The dessert display is magnificent! So many options. Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake, Key Lime Cheesecake, Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake, Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake…and the list goes on! We used to ooooohhh and aaaahhh at all the cakes while we waited to be seated, trying to decide which to have for dessert. They were all so gorgeous. I almost always ended up with a simple version with berries on top.
I’ve been working to get sugar out of my diet because of all the havoc it caused me. Antibiotics in large doses really took its toll on my gut and sugar only added to the problem. It’s been a process removing it from my diet and learning what acts like sugar in the body. I’m still learning and imagine that healing the body with food is an ongoing process anyway.
My friend, Pam Tomberlin, came by to introduce me to raw cooking and this recipe was in the line up. I was pleasantly surprised at the flavor. The cashews do an amazing job acting as cream cheese and the crust, although we used plum spread instead of date paste, is a wonderful compliment. Pam said the crust with date paste is sweet like candy!
Everyday Raw, By Matthew Kenny, pg 120
Lemon Macaroom Cheesecake Tartlet
Coconut Macaroon Crust:
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup cashew flour (we soak and dry our cashews, then grind for flour)
1/4 tsp sea salt or Himalayan Salt
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp date paste (we substituted with plum spread here)
Mix all ingredients together well by hand. Press into plastic lined (or not) 9-inch tart pan to desired thickness (we used a pie pan). Dehydrate 24-48 hours (Pam said that was too long and made the crust hard, so we dehydrated for about 4 hours – you could use your oven at a low temp too. You just want some give left in the crust.) Put the crust in the freezer while you make the filling or until you are ready to fill.
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp lemon juice (zest before juicing)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp maple syrup (the author uses agave, but I don’t recommend that)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutritional yeast (we left this out because we didn’t have any on hand)
1/4 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped
2 Tbsp lemon zest
Blend all the ingredients in a Vita-mix until very smooth. Fill Coconut Macaroon Crust and chill in freezer overnight (a few hours should work too). If you lined your pan, you can pop the tartlet out at this point. Wrap and store in freezer. Remove 15-20 minutes before serving.
Once the filling was blended, we tasted it. It needed more lemon. Pam, and her savvy cooking skills, suggested that we use Lemon Vitality Oil instead of more lemon juice. If we added too much lemon juice, the filling would be runny. After adding the oil and testing it a few more times, we decided it was perfect.
The recipe says it yields 4 servings, but there is no way I could eat 1/4 of this in one sitting! I ran my knife under running hot water to help with cutting a small slice. I added some no-sugar strawberry spread, a fresh strawberry and raw cream on top. This is a very satiating dessert and hits that sweet spot perfectly!
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