Raw Gluten-Free Vegan Cheesecake

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A few years ago, I could down a New York cheesecake in a New York minute (s/o to MK & A). I craved it one or two times after I went vegan but I never considered there would be a vegan option (you know- because it's make of like a million forms of milk). Within the past few months I had been seeing recipes and THEN my yoga teacher (s/o to Cory bc she's the coolest) brought some vegan strawberry cheesecakes for us to nom on after 75 mins of hot vinyasa (makes total health sense right?) and seriously my life was changed. I've been meaning to make them forever and then finally woke up this morning and decided today was the day!!! Not like I had to pep talk myself into making cheesecake... I mean c'mon it's cheesecake.


Ingredients

  • Crust
    • 1 cup pecans
    • 1 cup (packed) medjool dates- about 10
  • Filling
    • 1 pinch coarse pink himalayan sea salt (or any coarse salt will do)
    • 1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (or more for consistency)
    • 1 large lemon, juiced (or about 1/4 cup lemon juice)
    • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or maple syrup)
    • Flavor options!! 
      • Pumpkin: Add 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin, 3/4 tsp pumpkin spice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon
      • Berry: Add 1/4 cup fresh berries of your choice, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      • Peanut butter cup: Mix in 1/2 cup almond or peanut butter and top with vegan chocolate chips or melted dark chocolate
      • Banana: blend in 1 ripe banana
      • Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup cacao powder and top with cacao nibs or vegan chocolate chips. Make a chocolate oreo crust (not gf unless you buy gf oreos) by processing oreos and dates together instead of pecans.
      • ANYTHING! You can literally mix anything into these babies! 

Directions

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  1. Add dates and pecans to a food processor and mix until finely ground into bits. A very loose dough should form. If you press it between your fingers it should stick together. If too sticky, add more pecans, if too dry add a few more dates. Add in coarse salt to taste, blend, and set aside.
  2. Lightly spray a 12 slot muffin pan with oil. Minimalist Baker had a good idea to cut strips of parchment paper and lay inside the slots to give you little tabs to pull them out with after they freeze.
  3. Use a tablspoon to put a healthful scoop of crust into each slot. Then take a glass (I used a small mason jar) and pack it down as compact as possible. You can add in a piece of parchment paper if it sticks. Place in freezer to firm until ready for filling. 
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender and mix for about one minute until smooth. If your blender has a puree button use this after you have blended for a minute to make it silky smooth (mine doesn't have one and they turned out just fine!) 
  5. If needed, add more lemon juice, coconut milk, or agave to help it liquify and blend better
  6. If you are wanting plain cheesecakes, you can stop here and begin pouring into muffin tins, if you would like to flavor, you have the option to blend in now! Or if you want to keep the original cheesecake, you can just top with berries or chocolate chips.
  7. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins and tap the tin on the counter to pack down. Cover and freeze until hard (usually about 4-5 hours)
  8. Once they are ready, I usually run around the edges with a butter knife and then pull on the tabs to pop them out! You can eat them frozen (my fave) or set them out for 15 mins to thaw. They keep for 1-2 weeks.

Nutrient Facts

Serving Size: 1 cheesecake cup | Yields 14-16 servings

Calories: 236 | Protein: 3 g | Fiber: 2 g | Carbs: 25 g | Fat: 15 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Sugar: 20 g

 L-R: Original cheesecake topped with Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, pumpkin cheesecake topped with pecans, and raspberry cheesecake topped with fresh raspberries! 

L-R: Original cheesecake topped with Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, pumpkin cheesecake topped with pecans, and raspberry cheesecake topped with fresh raspberries!