Raw Lemon Vanilla Coconut Cheesecake

We always like to try out raw, vegan, gluten free recipes. It's pretty amazing how plants can replace sugar, cream, and butter. When it was our dear friend's birthday last month, we decided to try our hand at a raw birthday cake that was completely plant-based, gluten-free, vegan, and processed sugar-free. This cheesecake was not only delicious but also a big hit at the celebration. I altered this recipe to decrease the sugar and swap out a couple of ingredients. 

Ingredients

Crust

  • 12 pitted medjool dates
  • 2 tbls water (to help bind everything together)
  • 2 cups of your choice of nuts (I did a combo of cashews, walnuts, and hazelnuts)
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2 cups raw soaked cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups coconut oil liquified
  • 2 tbls maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Directions: First thing's first. Soak those cashews in water for 2 hours or longer. You want them to be soft and plump when you are ready to use them. Grease a pan with coconut oil. I used a 9' spring form pan. Springforms make raw desserts much easier and I can't recommend them enough. For the crust: add the pitted medjool dates, nuts, and salt to a food processor and pulse until mixture is chopped, then add the water and pulse a few more times until the mixture takes on a sticky consistency. Spread the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan and place into the freezer. For the filling: drain the cashews, then add all the contents to a high speed blender or food processor and blend away until everything is smooth and creamy. We used our Vitamix and it mixed everything like a dream. Once the filling is smooth, pour filling into your pan on top of crust and spread out filling evenly. Garnish with lemon zest, then place cheesecake into your freezer for 1-2 hours to set. Done. 

When you're ready to eat the cheesecake, take it out of your freezer and let thaw for 30 minutes or so. You can decide what temperature you prefer your raw cheesecake. Frozen, it will be harder, and as it thaws it gets softer and softer. I prefer mine to be about 30 minutes defrosted. This is such an easy dessert to make, the only drawback is the amount of time it takes with the soaking of the cashews and the freezing of the cake itself. The actual assembly is quite simple and the finished result is beautiful, delicious, and healthier. It's also a nice treat to serve with berries.