It is funny how two things completely unrelated can somehow come together and bring something wonderful into your life. Even though belly dancing and vegan cooking have very little to do with one another, they both played a part in helping me come across Vegan Chickie’s recipe for this amazing raw vegan raspberry cheesecake. Chickie in the blog name caught my eye since Chicky by Oojami is one of my all-time favorite belly dancing songs. (Check out the Belly Dance Superstars dancing to it HERE if you are curious about the art form).
Having a cheesecake recipe sans cow milk and processed vegan cheese sounded right up my alley. I have experimented some with raw foods, mostly with cheeses, breads and desserts though. I am still a novice in this area. I do know that raw foods are made from whole foods that are not heated to more than 115˚. Also, raw foodists claim a raw diet provides the body with what it needs to be full of energy and to live a radiantly, healthy life.
I would love to do more raw “cooking” with a dehydrator, but for now I am sticking with simple recipes like this one (or I dehydrate with the old open, warm oven method). This cheesecake came together surprisingly fast. The nuts make it a little pricey, but thanks to couponing and Publix’s big sale on Cascadian Farms organic frozen fruit a few months back, I was set for the sauce. The longest part was waiting for it to set in the freezer.
The kids and I gave this cheesecake (especially with the raspberry sauce) two thumbs up. So, if you have considered raw “cooking,” but just did not know where to start, I recommend here. The cheesecake was delicious.
Raw Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake
For the Crust:
2 cups raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup dates, pitted (medjools)
1/4 cup dried coconut
For the Cheese:
3 cups chopped cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt (optional)
For the Raspberry Sauce:
1 bag frozen raspberries (or whatever berries you prefer)
1/2 cup dates
1. To make the crust, process the macadamia nuts and dates in the food processor. Sprinkle dried coconut onto the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. Press crust onto the coconut. This will prevent it from sticking.
2. To make the cheese, blend the cashews, lemon, agave, gently warmed coconut oil (do not use microwave), vanilla, sea salt (if using), and 1/2 cup water. Blend until smooth and adjust to taste. Pour the mixture onto the crust. Remove air bubbles by tapping the pan on a table. Place into the freezer until firm and then top with Raspberry Sauce.
3. Remove the whole cake from the pan while frozen, and place onto a serving platter. Defrost in the refrigerator.