Last week I made a Paleo Coco-Pine Chocolate cheesecake for a special occasion. This recipe drew an overwhelming 3000 hits over two days and the feedback on this cheesecake has been heartening. I was challenged to make a cheesecake using an alternative sweetener to raw honey or maple syrup, and, this cheesecake, using pitted dates, is the result of that challenge.
The coco-pine filling from my original cheesecake was inspired by my mom, and this time I opted to omit coconut cream or coconut milk from this cheesecake and use raw cashews and macadamia nuts, which gelled beautifully with the coconut oil and fresh strawberries in this version of the cheesecake. Securing fresh strawberries at R8.99 a punnet yesterday, motivated me to try out a Strawberry cheesecake. The base of the cheesecake includes raw pecan nuts, desiccated coconut, organic cocoa powder and dates. My eager and excited 10 year old son assisted me in making the base – he worked industriously and got it right!
Made the night before and refrigerated works best in this cheesecake. The recipe is a simple and flexible one, and, one that is as successful as the Coco-Pine Chocolate Cheesecake. An indulgent alternative to the processed flours and refined ingredients version, this is a cheesecake that is worth the make, for those following a gluten free, and / or, vegan lifestyle.
This recipe is adapted from my raw nutrition to go to recipe book, The Magic of Superfoods, by Peter and Beryn Daniels.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE COCONUT BASE
2 cups raw pecan nuts (other raw nuts may be used, however, Pecans add a fabulous taste, combined with dates)
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
2 tblsp raw cacao or cocoa powder (Preservatives free and sugar free)
8-10 pitted dates
2-3 tblsp coconut oil (melted)
¼ tsp Himalayan or Sea Salt
- Add all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until the dates and nuts are finely chopped and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Add the ingredients to a flax pan or a springfoam baking tin and using the back of a wooden spoon, press and pack the mixture in tightly. Using a fork, pierce holes randomly on the base and refrigerate while the filling is being worked on.
FOR THE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE FILLING
1 cup raw cashew nuts (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
1 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
3 cups fresh strawberries (hulled and chopped)
1 cup extra virgin coconut oil (melted)
¼ – ½ cup pitted dates (chopped – to suit individual tastes in sweetness)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tblsp vanilla extract
Berries for garnish
- Strain off the water from the raw nuts and add them, together with the dates into a food processor and blend well until smooth.
- Thereafter, add the remaining ingredients and pulse well to combine. The mixture will resemble a thick paste and will have the consistency of nut butter.
- Remove the base from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Note that there will be about a cup of filling remaining for you to use as desired. You may, if you want a cheesecake with more filling volume, use a deeper flan pan or springfoam baking tin, and use up all the filling, for ultra cheesecake indulgence
- Refrigerate for the minimum of 2 hours, or, overnight to allow the filling to set. The coconut oil serves as gelatine in helping this “cheesecake” set once refrigerated. You may also freeze for about 1 hour, if you’re in a hurry to eat this decadent delight.
- Once the filling has set, remove from the freezer or refrigerator, garnish, slice and serve.
- Frozen, this cheesecake may be stored for up to one month – a delightful treat in frozen cheesecake too!