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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Place pan in the fridge to let the base set while making the filling.
- Rinse food processor well.
- 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).
- Pour the mixture into the clean food processor, and blend in the coconut cream until fully integrated with the cashew mix.
- Pulse in the raspberries until combined (you can leave it slightly chunky /“swirly” or mix them in completely).
- 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!
- Place in the fridge to set (overnight is best, but an hour or two should do it).
- 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.