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Cashew Cheesecake

Updated July 07, 2016
This image courtesy of Colin Ericcson

This rich cake is particularly delicious served with fresh berries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I like to save this for special occasions. You will need a high-powered blender to achieve the smoothest consistency possible.

Makes16 servings

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Healthy, Kosher, Lactose-free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

EquipmentBlender, Food Processor

Taste and TextureCreamy, Nutty, Sweet

Type of DishDessert

Ingredients

  • High-powered blender
  • 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan
  • 4 cups raw cashews, soaked (see Notes) 1 L
  • 1 cup filtered water 250 mL
  • 1 cup raw agave nectar 250 mL
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil (see Notes) 250 mL
  • 1 tbsp raw vanilla extract 15 mL
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 10 mL
  • 2 cups whole raw pecans 500 mL
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted soft dates 60 mL
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt 2 mL

Instructions

  1. Filling: In a high-powered blender, combine soaked cashews, water, agave nectar, coconut oil, vanilla and lemon juice. Blend at high speed until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

  2. Crust: In a food processor, pulse pecans, dates and salt until smooth (no large pieces should remain). Press into bottom of pan, ensuring that there are no gaps.

  3. Assembly: Pour filling over crust and freeze for at least 2 hours or until firm in the center. This dessert can be made ahead and kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.

  4. When you are ready to serve, remove from freezer and set aside to thaw for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan sides and slice. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Variation

  1. Blueberry Cheesecake: Before processing filling in Step 1, set aside 1 cup (250 mL) of the soaked cashews and ¼ cup (60 mL) of the agave nectar. Add to blender along with ½ cup (125 mL) blueberries. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate. When cake is frozen, spread mixture evenly over the top. Freeze for 3 hours, until top is frozen. Proceed to Step 4.

Tips

  1. To soak the cashews for this recipe, cover with 8 cups (2 L) water. Set aside for 1 hour. Drain, discarding soaking water, and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear.

  2. To check if the cake is frozen all the way through, insert a tester such as a wooden skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready to be thawed.

  3. For decades, coconut products (coconut oil, milk and flesh) have been painted with the anti-saturated fat brush, based on the assumption that saturated fat increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. However, recent studies have found otherwise, so long as the coconut products are unprocessed. In fact, an impressive benefit of coconut products is their ability to boost HDL (“good cholesterol”), which helps to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Coconut is high in a type of saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are unique in the sense that they are burned for energy and are less likely to be stored as body fat.

  4. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. It has a melting temperature of 76°F (24°C), so it is easy to liquefy. If you have a dehydrator, place the required amount in a shallow dish and warm at 100°F (38°C) for 15 minutes or until melted. If you do not have a dehydrator, place a shallow glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.

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Vegan recipes like these always amaze me! Who knew cashews could be such a good replacement.

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