Saturday, August 22, 2009

First raw cheesecake!

My recipe is easy enough. I read several recipes online, just to see what they all have in common.. here's what I found out: nuts/seeds, limes/lemons plus a sweetener. So, I took my favorite ingredients and put them all together in this recipe! It's actually in the freezer right now, so I don't know exactly how it turned out yet.. (we'll have to wait and see!)

Prepare in advance:
2 c cashews, 1/2 c pine nuts soaked overnight (or for at least a few hours.) This will become the meat of the pie.

Crust ingredients:
Blend 1 c almonds, 1/2 c macadamia nuts in food processor until very fine. Then, add 3/4 c dates and blend. Spread around your lightly-oiled springform pan. You can spread the crust around the bottom only or come up the sides of the pan for an inch or more. It's your choice.

Pie ingredients:
The 2.5 cups of soaked cashews and pine nuts
Up to 1 inch vanilla bean (use only the scraped out seeds)
Dash of sea salt
Medium lemon and lime, juice and pulp (amount approx 1/2 c)
1/2 c raw agave
1/2 c oil
1 T + 1 t ground flax seed
Plus, 1 T water (if pie mixture is too thick while blending)

While transitioning into raw foods, you'll probably want to use the rest of your regular ingredients around the house - like olive oil, vanilla or other alcohol-based flavors and processed sugars, if you have any. So, when you're starting out feel free to substitute any of those ingredients for the raw ingredients above. In fact, I used cold-pressed olive oil for the oil in my raw pie because we still have a ton of it in the kitchen.. and honestly, I that's one area of raw foods that I'm still figuring out. As someone who has never liked coconut oil - I'm finding out that tons of raw food recipes use raw coconut oil in them. I suppose I'll have to learn to like it or find another raw oil to use in its place! We'll see...

Anyway, back to the cheesecake!

Start by blending the almonds and macadamia nuts for your crust in the food processor. Blend until they are very fine. Only then will you add the dates to the mixture. Blend until this becomes sticky and smooth. Then, just spread it around your springform pan.

Now, you'll want to blend all of your cheesecake ingredients in the processor until VERY smooth. This may take several minutes and you will probably have to use a spatula to push all of the pie mixture to the bottom of the processor a few times. Just keep checking on it every few minutes, pushing the mixture down as necessary and blending again. Do this until the cheesecake mixture is smooth, smooth, smooth. You could use a blender, if it's strong enough. (I recommend using a blender, actually.. I thought my foot processor would make it smoother than my blender.. but I don't think it worked. I'll try the blender next time.)


The last step is to pour this mixture onto the crust. That's it! **You may notice that I've also pushed the edges of the crust down to the height of the pie. When I put the crust into the springform pan I wasn't sure how much pie mixture I would have, and I accidentally made the crust go too far up the side of the pan. So, after pouring the cheesecake into the crust I just used my finger to press down the excess crust all the way around the cheesecake.


Now place in the freezer to set. It will be ready as soon as it's cold.. which should just be a few hours. I noticed while I was pouring the cheesecake into the springform pan that my mixture is really very thick. I think this will make a great, filling (but heavy) cheesecake.

I can't wait to try it! When it's ready, I'll remove from the freezer, let it thaw a few minutes before removing the edge of the springform. Then, just slice and serve with lots of fresh fruit on top! I may even spread a little agave nectar or maple syrup on top of the fruit.


Raw desserts are especially easy to make.. once you have your kitchen set up for raw foods, that is. (But I'll post more on that in a bit. Sorry, I probably should've started with that!)

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