If you’re looking for a vegan cheesecake that tastes even better than those traditional cheesecakes you’re used to, this recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb Mini Cheesecakes is the one. It’s no bake, can be made in less than 30 minutes and can be made as individual minis or as one 9” cheesecake.
For anyone not able to consume dairy or simply looking for a dairy free alternative, cashews are a wonderful base for a delicious and creamy vegan cheesecake. This recipe was taste tested by my neighbours and they’re both waiting for this blog post so they can get the recipe and make these sweet little cheesecakes for themselves.
Key ingredients to vegan cheesecake
Cashews and coconut manna (also known as coconut butter or creamed coconut) are the key ingredients for the beautiful creamy cheesecake filling. For a little tutorial about the differences between coconut butter/manna/creamed coconut, coconut cream and coconut milk, check out this Coconut 101 post and try out the quick and delicious recipe for Coconut Mounds while you’re at it.
A second key to creamy cheesecake is soaking the cashews. Soaking the cashews serves a couple of functions: it softens the nuts to make them creamier; and it also increases nutrient density and bioavailability.
What are “anti-nutrients”?
Cashews, just like some other nuts as well as whole grains, seeds, legumes, vegetables and fruit, contain “anti-nutrients”. These anti-nutrients serve as a defense mechanism when the plants are growing, repelling pests, bugs and other predators; however, they can also interfere with the absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients when consumed. Not all anti-nutrients are harmful. In fact, several antioxidants, like polyphenols and flavonoids, are beneficial “anti-nutrents”. Soaking and sprouting reduces anti-nutrients and increases bioavailability of nutrients.
Soak cashews either by covering with water for 2-4 hours or choose the fast method of covering the cashews with boiling water for about 10 minutes, until the cashews are tender. Drain and rinse the cashews before using in the recipe.
Why Are Cashews Good for Mood?
- Cashews are a good source of mood stabilizing nutrients: B6; magnesium; selenium; zinc; and tryptophan.
- B6 is involved in the management of mood and mental function. It is needed to convert tryptophan into serotonin and facilitates the uptake of magnesium.
- Magnesium has a neuroprotective function. Low levels of magnesium are associated with an increased risk of depression. A 1/4 cup serving of cashews contains 28% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium.
- A low level of selenium is linked to depressed mood. A 1/4 cup serving of cashews contains 14% of the recommended daily intake of selenium.
- Zinc deficiency lead to foggy thinking, memory problems and an increased risk for depression. Cashews contain 21% of the daily recommended allowance of zinc.
- The amino acid tryptophan converts into serotonin, the chemical responsible for balancing mood.
Nutrients in cashews are also important for immunity, energy production, cognition, memory, and bone health.
Now that you’ve got the healthy lowdown, go and create these delicious Strawberry-Rhubarb Mini Cheesecake beauties for yourself. If you make this, or any of the recipes on Lori Moore Holistic Health, I’d love to hear how the recipe turned out for you in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Mini Cheesecakes
- food processor
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup Medjool dates (about 10 dates)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp ground flax
- 2 cups cashews (soaked in water to soften)
- ¾ cup coconut butter/manna
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
Strawberry-Rhubarb Chia Jam
- 1 cup chopped strawberries
- 1 cup chopped rhubarb
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2-3 tbsp honey
- Soak cashews either by covering with water for 2-4 hours or choose the fast method of covering the cashews with boiling water for about 10 minutes, until the cashews are tender.
- Add almonds to food processor and process them into a coarse meal.
- Remove pits from dates. If dates are dry, soak in hot water for five minutes to soften.
- Add dates, ground flax seeds and coconut oil to the food processor and process until well combined and mixture sticks together when squeezed between your thumb and fingers.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture to each of 18 paper lined or silicone muffin tins and press down. Alternately, press into the bottom of a 9” springform pan.
- Chill while preparing the cheesecake layer.
- Drain cashews. Blend all ingredients in food processor until creamy. You may want to scrape down the sides of the food processor to be sure to get everything well blended.
- Divide evenly into the 18 muffin cups (or pour over base layer in springform pan) and chill while preparing the top layer.
- Make strawberry rhubarb chia jam: Add chopped strawberries, chopped rhubarb and lemon juice to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
- Remove from heat. Mash fruit.
- Add chia seeds and honey and stir to combine. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken.
- Pour thickened chia jam over cheesecake layer. Chill in fridge for two hours.