For the Fourth of July, we were headed up to the Olympic Peninsula to spend time with my in-laws. They live in a somewhat rural area on the Puget Sound. Everyone in the family loves to go up there because not only do we get to spend time with the grandparents but the area is filled with great outdoor activities. Our days are consumed with fishing, kayaking, crabbing, hiking, biking and walking on the beach. The other thing I love about going up there is all the yummy natural food. There are multiple small farmer’s markets within 20 minute of their house. The Sound is filled with fish and crab and the forest has wild blackberries and huckleberries. I love to take advantage of the natural bounty! Usually, when I am there in the summer, I end up making some sort of berry cobbler for my father-in-law’s birthday. Crazily enough, he is one of the few people I know who doesn’t like chocolate so I like to try find desserts that will make him happy.
Before going up there last week, I was cruising around the internet and came upon the beautiful blog, Healthy For Happy. Lisa, the blog’s author, had posted a recipe for a yummy sounding raw, lime, vegan cheesecake. I had made a raw key lime pie before using the recipe from the I Am Grateful: Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude cookbook. It was super tasty, particularly the crust. I decided to combine the two recipes to make my own raw vegan cheesecake. (I also knew that most of the people at my in-laws DID like chocolate, so I decided to make half mini lime cheesecakes and half mini chocolate cheesecakes.)
- FOR CRUST:
- 11/4 cup of macadamia nuts
- 11/4 cup of pecans
- 1/4 cup of packed dates
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- FOR FILLING:
- 2 cups cashews soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours) and then rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup
- 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
- small amount of almond milk as needed
- Juice of 1-2 limes depending on how juicy they are
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 tbs of cacao powder
- couple of squares of dark chocolate, melted
- To make the crust, put all crust nut ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor.
- Process until nuts are small and crumbly.
- Slowly add dates while continuing to process nut mixture.
- Crust will begin to stick together.
- Press crust mixture into muffin tins lined with paper liners.
- The crust should hold together well in bottom of tins.
- I made two different types of cheese cake so I had to divide all the filling ingredients in 1/2. If you are only going to make one type, you can pour all the ingredients into the blender at the same time.
- To make the filling, add 1/2 the cashews, 1/2 the vanilla, 1/2 the maple syrup, juice from 1 lime, lime zest and 1/2 the coconut oil to a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Taste to see if it is limey enough.
- If not, gradually add more juice until it tastes as limey as you want.
- Once the filling tastes as limey as you like, add lime filling to half of the prepared muffin tins.
- Clean out the blender.
- Add other half of the ingredients, plus the cacao and melted dark chocolate to the blender.
- Process until smooth.
- If not getting creamy, you can add small amounts of almond milk to help your blender process the nuts.
- Taste to see if chocolaty enough. If not add more cacao to the blender.
- Once all the nuts are ground up, spoon filling into the prepared muffin tins.
- Smooth top of the cheesecakes.
- Place in the fridge for a few hours to firm up and then ENJOY!
- You can serve them with a raspberry sauce if you like. Recipe to follow.
Here is a picture of all the nuts for the crust before they get chopped up.
Below is a pic of the nuts, processed into the crust mixture and then pressed into the cup cake pan. They are just waiting for the filling to be ready.
A pic of the muffin tin with the chocolate and lime fillings added. Everything is now ready to go into the fridge.
I have a crazy amount of raspberry bushes in my yard and last week the were filled with berries. I decided to use some of the berries to make a raspberry sauce to go on the cheesecakes. The cheesecakes are super yummy without the sauce but if you want to add a little extra zing, this is one way to do it.
- 2 cups of fresh raspberries (I am sure frozen would work too)
- 1/4 cup of agave syrup
- juice from 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- Put all ingredients in a pot on the stove over low heat.
- Stir frequently to prevent burning or sticking.
- When raspberries are broken down and the sauce starts to thicken, turn off stove.
- Allow to cool.
- Put in glass jar and store in the fridge.