…or maybe the most delicious and healthy vegan recipe for an unforgettable white chocolate experience without sugar, gluten or baking. The truth is that raw vegan desserts are our favorites, especially when we are talking about cheesecakes with a creamy stuffing and a base of crunchy nuts and dried fruits. What I like the most is the unlimited variety of ingredients one can use in the creamy stuffing – nuts, fruits, nut-butters, zests etc – making each time a totally different dessert. The only thing we need is a relatively good blender!
This time, the basic concept of my recipe was to make a dessert with a rich white chocolate taste and the amazing aroma of vanilla. These two ingredients may have a prominent position in our olfactory and tasty memory, but on the other hand, we don’t meer them that often in the plant-based kitchen. However their combination is something I always considered magical and that’s why I planned to use it this time in order to make a white chocolate vanilla raw vegan cheesecake. You may ask yourselves how can we make a raw vegan dessert with the taste of white chocolate and the scent of vanilla? Simply by using raw cocoa butter and the small black seeds of a natural vanilla bean in its preparation! Relatively small amounts of these two are enough!
Indeed, the result was even better than what I could imagine! The cream is just mouthwatering with a sweet taste thanks to the agave syrup, a beautiful vanilla aroma, a silky, creamy texture and an intense chocolaty flavor thanks to the cocoa butter whick makes this cake unbeatable! Raw nuts , ground together with sweet dates make the crispy, sweet, dense base that holds the cake and adds taste and texture to the recipe.
for the base
- 1 cup dates (medjool or other varieties, without sugar or glucose)
- 1 cup walnuts or almonds, shelled
for the white chocolate cream
- 2 cups cashews, soaked for 6-8 hours and drained
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 100 g (about 1/2 cup) cocoa butter melted
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 vanilla bean, the seeds or 1 tbsp homemade vanilla extract
for the decor
- mixed nuts and seeds
- mixed dried fruit
1. For the crust: Wash the dates, drain and pit them and put them in the food processor along with the nuts. Process for a few minutes until a soft dough is formed. If you do not like the small pieces of nuts in the base, process the nuts until they become powdered and add the dates afterwards.
2. For the white chocolate cream: Put in the blender half of the cashews, lemon juice, agave nectar, water, vanilla and the melted cocoa butter and blend for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is creamy and uniform. Add the rest of the cashews and blend for few more minutes until they are incorporated in the mixture and the texture of the cream is smooth and homogeneous.
3. Assembly: Line a cheesecake pan of 20-22 cm diameter with greaseproof paper and spread the crust mixture over the bottom. Press with your hands to distribute equally and form the crust. Pour the white chocolate cream on top of the crust and refrigerate for 8-12 hours to set.
4. Before serving garnish with chopped nuts, seeds and dried berries. Keep in the fridge.
Making smoothies is a fantastic and easy way to… drink your vegetables! Although I am a person who loves eating raw salads and I try to have at least one big green salad daily, sometimes I just don’t have the time or maybe the only thing I want to do is to have a refreshing smoothie and relax on the couch.
Vegans should consume even more green leafy vegetables in order to fulfill their daily needs in several vitamins and minerals such as calcium. So, if you aren’t exactly a “green salad” person or you want to reassure that you consume enough greens, one or two green smoothies daily could be a wise and definitely healthy choice.
Since red is my favorite color, today for my smoothie I used a whole beet (root and greens) blended with some fresh, fragrant strawberries. Beet greens are actually the most nutrient-dense part of the plant since they are rich in minerals such as calcium and vitamins, while beet roots give their subtle sweet taste together with considerable amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In order to make my energizing smoothie even more nutritious I added some flaxseeds and 2-3 medjool dates for their sweet taste. Beyond its great taste, this smoothie can serve as a nutritious and filling snack between meals.
- ¼ cup raw beetroot peeled and chopped
- ¾ cup tender beet greens, chopped
- 1 ½ cups strawberries fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup water
- 2-3 dates or 2-3 tablespoons raisins
- 1 tbsp flaxseed
- Wash the dates or raisins, remove the seeds, soak them in ¾ cup of water for half an hour or more and keep the water for using it in the recipe. If you have a really powerful blender you can skip soaking and add all the ingredients in the container.
- Add all the ingredients in the blender and blend at high speed for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Serve immediately.
Note: If you like frozen smoothies, put the strawberries in the freezer for at least two hours and use cold water or maybe some ice cubes.
“…Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever…”
(4 mini cheesecakes)
For the base
- 3 tbsp dry grated coconut
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 3 tbsp raw almonds
- 3 Medjoul dates, pitted
- 1-2 tbsp orange juice or water
For the filling
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for 4-6 hours and drained
- ½ cup coconut oil melted
- 150 gr strawberries, washed, stems removed
- ½ tbsp raw, finely grated beetroot
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup raw agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
For the décor
- 4 strawberries halved
- extra grated coconut
- Lay a tray with greaseproof paper and place over 4 small metal rings for mini cheesecakes. Alternatively you can use 6-8 cup muffin pans lined with paper cups.
- Prepare the base: In the food processor, process the almonds until powdered. Add the grated coconut, the flaxseed and the dates and process for one minute until the “dough” forms into a ball.” Divide it into 4 parts, place one on each metal ring and press with our fingers to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Prepare the filling: Blend the drained cashews with the strawberries and the lemon juice. Stop blending every few seconds and clean the walls with your spatula until all the solid parts are blended and a smooth cream has been formed.
- Add the agave syrup, melted coconut oil and beetroot and continue blending until homogenized.
- Pour the cream mixture into each metal ring or muffin cup and with a spatula flatten their surface.
- Decorate with strawberries, dried coconut or other topping of choice and leave in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours until set.
- Serving: Using a knife, remove the metal rings. Transfer them in a serving plate and enjoy.
Note: In order to make their texture even more interesting, you can add in the base mixture 2-3 tbsp dried buckwheat sprouts. Dried buckwheat sprouts are crispy with an almost neutral flavor and thus they give a sense of crisp wafer in the base without altering its taste. We can find them in some organic or vegan food shops and if we have a dehydrator, we can also prepare them by ourselves.