Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sweet Treat Saturday: Dairy Free Cheesecake

Cut into pie pieces

Or cut into bars (this shape stores well minus the toppings)

We are big fans of cheesecake around here! I wanted to create a paleo version and saw that you can use cashews in stead of cream cheese! I've actually never made a real cheesecake, so this was an experiment that happened to go really well. I made a second cake with a different crust and half the honey, and it did not turn out as tasty. It was still easily edible, but not as treat like.

Printable Recipe

FIRST: Soak 2 cups of cashews in water overnight.

For the crust:
1/2 cup almonds (you can soak these and dry them before using to get rid of the anti-nutrients, but the crust may not be as crunchy)
10 pitted dates
1/4 cup coconut oil

Put the dates in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Remove and set aside. Put the almonds in the food processor and process until finely chopped as well. Add the dates back in and the coconut oil. Process until the mix starts to clump and is well combined. Line a cake pan with parchment paper and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 for 5-10 min (you can skip this step if you want a raw, no bake version). Place in the freezer while you prep the cheesecake.

Love those little helping hands! So easy a 1.5 year old can do it.

For the cheesecake:
2 cups of pre-soaked cashews
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey (we made another version with 1/4 cup honey, so try if you want! you can also swap for maple syrup for a vegan version. I'd like to try Stevia next to find a fructose free version.)
1/2-1 cup of fruit or extras (we made a blueberry version, and a plain version topped with blueberries from our blueberry picking! Feel free to add chocolate, or nuts. Anything you can think of!)

Drain your soaked cashews and add to the food processor. Add in the lemon juice, coconut oil and honey. Process until smooth. This will take some time, so be patient! Around 5-10 minutes. You may need to scrape the sides every so often. The batter should be smooth without any chunks of cashews. Add your extras at the end and pulse to the desired consistency.

Remove the crust from the freezer and carefully spread the cheesecake filling onto the crust. Smooth the cheesecake until it looks pretty and return it to the freezer for at least an hour. I recommend chilling about 4 hours. When it is done slice it up and enjoy! We had ours as pie pieces first, but then decided cutting it into bars would be best. I cut the whole cheesecake into bars and stored it in an air tight container.

All of our blueberry picking paid off with this yummy compote!

For the compote put 1 tbs of water in a sauce pan and a handful or 2 of blueberries. Cook down for about 5 min. until it becomes compote-like.

We even made a blueberry version!

Nutrition Notes: This is definitely a treat. One small piece should be the serving size. The honey makes it high in carbs and fructose. Nuts like cashews should only be eaten in small amounts. This would be a perfect dessert for a holiday meal!

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