Raspberry Lemon Cashew "Cheesecake" (raw, vegan, paleo)

For so many of my dairy-free clients, giving up cream in their coffee is one thing, but eliminating the joy of cheese, and so many dairy-based desserts and treats, is a whole other story. Luckily, one brilliant soul discovered some time back that soaked and blended cashews make a rather cream-cheese-like product, perfect for things like…you guessed it…cheesecake! There are endless iterations of cashew cheesecake out there, but this version has a lovely, light, almost mousse-like texture perfect for hot summer days when you still want something sweet, but not overly heavy. Plus the seasonally appropriate raspberries and fresh lemon juice give it a delightful zing, that in my humble opinion, couples wonderfully with a refreshing sparkling adult beverage of choice ;)

 

 

Raspberry Lemon Cashew “Cheesecake” (raw, vegan, paleo)

 

Prep time: 10 minutes (plus soaking time for cashews)

Setting time: At least an hour (overnight is best)

Makes about 12 servings


Ingredients:
 

Crust...

  • 1 cup raw almonds (pecans or walnuts will also work…or try a mix of all three!)
  • 1 cup soft pitted Medjool dates
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Filling...

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours (overnight is best), and rinsed thoroughly
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut cream (the thick top of the can)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)
  • Optional: Fresh raspberries and lemon rind for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with coconut oil and sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness. Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands, or pressing against the side of the food processor. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect.
  2. Scoop out crust mixture into a  7" or 9" spring-form pan, depending on how tall you'd like your cheesecake (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout.
  3. Place pan in the fridge to let the base set while making the filling.
  4. Rinse food processor well.
  5. In a powerful blender, place all filling ingredients except the coconut cream and raspberries, and blend on high until very smooth (this might take a couple minutes so be patient).
  6. Pour the mixture into the clean food processor, and blend in the coconut cream until fully integrated with the cashew mix.
  7. Pulse in the raspberries until combined (you can leave it slightly chunky /“swirly” or mix them in completely).
  8. Spoon the mixture overtop of the crust in the spring-form pan and smooth the top with a spatula or spoon. Feel free here to press in some extra raspberries into the filling, or decorate the top with raspberries or whatever else you like!
  9. Place in the fridge to set (overnight is best, but an hour or two should do it).
  10. Once set, carefully remove the frame of the spring-form pan. You can either cut the cheesecake right on the bottom of the pan if you don’t mind scuffing it up a bit, or gently slice it off with a large knife and place on a cake plate for serving.