Cheesecake was never my favorite dessert. I always found the heaviness and sweetness level not in line with my personal taste. But that all changed once I started experimenting with cashew cheesecakes. I made this for the first time for Valentine’s day, but any day can be a special occasion with this cashew cheesecake made with awesome ingredients like raw cashews, coconut milk, almond butter and raw cacao for that delicious chocolate taste.
One of my long-time friends commented that she’s missed cheesecakes since she can’t tolerate dairy. Cashews are THE answer to making a creamy replacement for dairy-based dishes. From savoury sauces to sweet cashew cream, these nuts blend into a luscious, creamy texture, perfect for cheesecake.
Now, let’s talk for just a minute about desserts in the world of culinary nutrition. I don’t believe in counting calories or in depriving oneself of foods. If a food is made with whole, unprocessed ingredients I’m on board, but that doesn’t mean it’s free reign to overindulge. Let’s not try to fool ourselves and say because it’s got the culinary nutrition stamp of approval we can eat the entire thing. A serving size is still a serving size, and we all know what a serving of cheesecake looks like on a plate. Okay, I’ll admit that this is quite a generous serving…
The combination of Medjool dates and nuts is a wonderfully versatile base for many desserts from tiny tarts to pies and cheesecakes. I love using Medjool dates because they are soft and plump with a caramel-y taste and chewy texture. You can use regular dates, but they are usually firmer, so you may need to soak them in water for 15 minutes to soften them. Sometimes my Medjool dates are somewhat dry and I have to soak them too. Dates truly are nature’s candy that are also high in fibre and contain antioxidants. One plump date stuffed with a walnut and a dab of almond butter is a two-bite taste of heaven, but I don’t recommend you eat many of them on their own because they have a very high glycemic index and will cause a blood sugar spike.
Chocolate Cashew Cheesecake
- 1 cup dates
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup ground flax can be replaced with additional almonds or other nuts
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp water or coconut water from coconut milk separation
- 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 cup raw cacao powder
- 3/4 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup honey
- Soak cashews in water for at least 6 hours or overnight. Put can of full fat coconut milk in fridge overnight (this will cause separation of the coconut cream from the coconut water).
- Remove pits from dates.
- Add dates, almonds, flax, cacao and coconut oil to a food processor and process until almonds are ground and mixture looks crumbly.
- Add 1 T. of water (or the coconut water from the can). Process just until the mixture holds together. It should stick together when you press it between your fingers.
- Press crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8-9” springform pan and press down. Refrigerate while preparing cheesecake.
- Drain and rinse the cashews. Open the can coconut milk, *DO NOT SHAKE, and remove the cream from the top. Save the coconut water to add to your smoothie.
- Put rinsed cashews, coconut cream, and all other ingredients in a food processor (or high-speed blender if you have one), and blend until mixture is soft and smooth. Stop the food processor a couple of times to scrape down the sides.
- Pour over chilled base and spread out evenly.
- Chill for at least four hours.