Today is National Cheesecake Day. We’re not sure how this holiday started, but we’re happy to celebrate it! Traditional cheesecakes are made with soft cheese, eggs, and lots of sugar, but this raw vegan New York Cheesecake recipe from Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley is made with nuts, coconut oil, and natural sweeteners, making it not only much healthier, but cruelty-free as well.
- 3/4 cup dry almonds
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 2 cups cashews or macadamia nuts, soaked for 2 to 4 hours and drained
- 6 tablespoons warm water
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Big pinch of sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pure stevia powder (or equivalent sweetener of choice), or to taste
Crust: Combine the almonds and salt in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the dates, 2 to 3 at a time, pulsing between additions until each date is well-incorporated and the mixture is crumbly but slightly sticky. Transfer the mixture to a 5- or 6-inch round spring- form pan (lined with waxed or parchment paper for easy removal, if desired). Press the mixture thinly, firmly, and evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Filling: Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Add additional water (or lemon juice, if you prefer your cheesecake quite tart), 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to help it blend. Taste for sweetness and add additional stevia as desired.
Assemble: Remove the crust from the fridge and pour the filling into it. Tap the pan on the counter several times to coax out any air bubbles. Chill the cheesecake in the freezer for at least 4 hours or in the refrigerator overnight, until the filling has set. Serve cold, straight from the fridge.
Snugly wrap leftover cheesecake in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Yield: 12 Servings
From Practically Raw Desserts by Amber Shea Crawley. ©2013 Amber Shea Crawley. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.