Though I’m not a big fan of sweets or dessert in general, I’m a sucker for cheesecake (and I used to make a ton of them). As I’ve mentioned before it must be because the base is made with cream cheese – which is generally categorized as a savory ingredient.
As I started thinking about my love of cheesecake I started to realize how sad it must be for vegans who have been missing out all these years. Cheesecake is the king of all desserts but unfortunately it’s essentially 90% dairy based so that’s a no no for vegans.
There had to be a way though. A way for people of all dietary restrictions to be able to enjoy the satisfaction of a well made cheesecake.
What replaces the cream cheese you ask?
I know I couldn’t believe it at first either.
It’s true though. Blended and processed nuts really do make a great substitute for dairy products – I tried this already in a butternut squash gratin and it was fantastic.
The key in this recipe is to really blend the nuts though. They need to be silky smooth otherwise the texture will feel grainy. So make sure to blend once, twice, three times, as long as you need to to get that texture as smooth as can be.
From there on out it’s more nuts! Nuts in the crust too of course. No graham crackers or sugar here.
So not only it this recipe vegan, but it is also gluten and refined sugar free.
Unfortunately this recipe does not work for those with nut allergies. Those of you hopefully aren’t also vegan as well so you can enjoy the traditional cream cheese loaded cheesecake.
Overall I fully enjoyed this cheesecake. Of course it doesn’t taste exactly like standard cheesecake but it’s the next best thing.
Oh and D didn’t even notice that he was eating vegan cheesecake.
Helpful Kitchen Tools for this Recipe:
• KitchenAid KFP7I5 7-Cup Food Processor, White – a food processor is such a useful kitchen tool, perfect for pesto and cheesecake crusts, and this model is my favorite
• Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan, 10 Cup, 9 Inch – a springform pan is a must for cheesecake and a good sturdy one prevents the cheesecake from leaking
- For the crust:
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
- 4 dates, pitted
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons water
- For the lemon filling:
- 1½ cups raw macadamia nuts
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½-2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- For the strawberry topping:
- ½ cup strawberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup of the filling
- In a food processor, process the almonds and coconut until coarse. Add the dates, vanilla and salt and process until well combined.
- Press the dough onto the bottom of a springform pan. Place in fridge.
- For the filling:
- Ina blender blend the macadamia nuts, almond milk, lemon juice, agave and vanilla until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure the nuts are well blended otherwise the cheesecake texture will be gritty.
- Set aside ½ cup of the filling, pour the rest into the springform pan with the crust. Gently tap the pan to remove any air bubbles.
- For the strawberry topping:
- Using a blender, blend ½ cup of the reserved filling with the strawberries and lemon juice until smooth.
- Pour the strawberry topping on top of the cheesecake.
- Place the cheesecake in the freezer to set for 2 hours, or until the middle of the cheesecake is firm.
Recipe from A Dash of Compassion