I love cheesecake. Always have, always will. Something about the slightly sour, slightly sweet flavor and creamy texture gets me every time. When you pair that with the graham cracker crust, it’s the perfect match.
Unfortunately, about five years ago I cut dairy from my diet due to stomach issues, which meant no more cheesecake for me.
Or so I thought. Today I’m happy to say that after a few attempts I’ve created a great tasting dairy-free cheesecake recipe, which just so happens to be vegan and gluten free as well.
1 1/2cupspitted datessoaked for 10 minutes in warm water and drained
2 1/2cupsraw cashews*soaked for at least 4 hours
1Tbsp. vanilla bean pasteor pure vanilla extract for a plain cheesecake
1/2cuppure maple syrup
1/4cupmelted virgin coconut oilplus 1 Tbsp.
1/2cupraw cacao powder
1/2cupagave syrupor liquid sweetener of choice
1bar dark chocolatecrushed (I used dark chocolate mint)
Lightly oil a spring form pan (9-10inches) with coconut oil and set aside.
Make the crust by placing all crust ingredients in a food processor and processing until crust starts to stick together. Pour into a prepared pan and pat down evenly with your hand.
Next, make filling by placing all ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. You may need to add more water, as you want mixture to be silky smooth and not grainy. Once desired consistency is reached, pour mixture on top of crust. Store pan in the freezer while you make the topping.
Make topping by placing all ingredients (except bar of chocolate) in a clean food processor and processing until smooth. Pour topping over filling layer and place back in freezer.
Finally, shave or chop bar of chocolate into fine pieces and sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake. Place back in freezer for at least 2 hours.
Remove from freezer 15 minutes before you want to slice the cake. Store any leftovers in the freezer.
Sarah is a health food advocate and loves to spend her time whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen and then sharing either on Foodal or on her own blog "The Seasonal Diet" (www.theseasonaldiet.com). She lives in Sunny San Diego with her husband, where they enjoy running on the beach and weekend adventures.