I've seen these cheesecakes for as long as I've been perusing raw food blogs, so why haven't I made one myself? No idea. Should have done it ages ago!
Cheesecake, a whole food? You better believe it. Not that you should it eat everyday or anything, but as far as desserts go - this is totally one you can feel good about your little ones eating. And yourself, of course. Andreas and I (without any guilt whatsoever) munched on a piece for breakfast this morning...
The preparation for this is much, much, much easier than a typical cheesecake. And pretty foolproof, if you ask me. Even if it doesn't look the prettiest, it'll still taste amazing. I'm telling you -- I tasted every part of it as I went, and was still BLOWN away when I took it out of the freezer and cut a slice. It's so much better than the "real" thing, you'll flip.
On the preparation --Do not skip soaking the raw cashews in water. Soaking increases your body's absorption of the vitamins & minerals, and neutralizes enzyme inhibitors naturally present in raw nuts and seeds (read more about that here). I recommend soaking them for at least 4 hours, if not overnight. I found that a blender worked best for the filling (made it creamier), and food processor for the crust. Also, don't substitute the coconut oil for any other oil, as it is solid at room temperature, and therefore helps the cheesecake stay firm. Berries aren't in season here (and I don't have any frozen on hand), but I imagine a raw berry sauce would be just LOVELY on top.
for the crust:
1/2 cup raw pecans (pecans don't require soaking)
a little more than 1/2 cup soft pitted dates
1/4 cup raw flaked coconut
tiniest pinch of sea salt
for the filling:
3 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked & drained)
2/3 cup agave nectar
2/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans, scraped
Begin by soaking the nuts. After they've finished soaking, prepare the crust. In the bowl of a food processor, chop the dates, nuts, coconut and sea salt. Process until it holds together when you press it between two of your fingers. Set aside. Begin the filling by slightly warming the coconut oil in a bowl of warm water (it melts at 77 degrees). Add the cashews, coconut oil, agave, lemon juice and vanilla into the pitcher of a blender, and blend well (until completely smooth). Blend a little more, just to be safe.
Press the crust evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan (don't go up the sides). Pour the filling on top and freeze for 4 hours, or over night. To serve, let the cheesecake thaw for about 30 minutes, and cut into small slivers.
for babies 12 months and older!