I’ve been longing to make a raw vegan cheesecake for AGES but I eat so much fruit it rarely makes it past its original state. Recently I have been ‘branching out’ into raw (and non-raw) desserts and simple fruit drinks such as this strawberry + cream fizz and this tropical mango + turmeric pudding. I’ve seen some lovely raw cheesecake recipes on the internet, such as this, this and this. And lots of recipes using raw buckwheat groats ground with nuts and dates as energy balls, raw cookies and cheesecake bases that as a grain-avoider and huge buckwheat fan I found so intriguing but if I’m honest a little horrifying. Raw buckwheat groats?! They’re hard, surely hard to digest too, could it be good? I trust these wonderful plant-based fellow bloggers, but my mind said, like a scaredy-cat ghost might,
And then I went for it, using what I had in my cupboards, foods I love, buckwheat groats, seedless raisins, seeds and nuts, namely pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and a handful of pine nuts thrown in for their scrumptious fatty gorgeousness, threw it in my high-speed blender (I have a magimix 4200), gave it a blitz and hey-presto, it was SO GOOD! Eek-face turned into stupid grin, and my mind said
YES! YES! YES! YES!YES! YES! YES! YES!YES! YES! YES!
SUMMER IS STILL HERE!! in fact I’m hoping that September weather will give what the last few months held back somewhat in the Peaks and we can soak up some rays and keep on enjoying gorgeous summer food. This time of year is when allotments and gardens are at their most bountiful, there’s so much beautiful fruit and vegetables about I just love it. Dan and I are off camping tomorrow too, which I’ve been waiting for for SO LONG!!!!!!!!!!! Just a few days and not far away. I have a bad back, bad feet and I’m feeling the abdominal pains associated with pregnancy muscle stretching so we’ll be taking it easy. In fact if we get there in one piece, or at all, it will be a miracle, we seriously need a donkey to help us. (Oh that would be amazing, I love donkeys!) But this is last chance saloon (and the last time Dan and I will be just the two of us camping) and we are going!!! I’m so much looking forward to cooking outside. We don’t have any fancy kit just a single stove burner, so it takes a lot of… time, and pan switching. But I am so happy doing it. This time round I’ve made life so much more difficult by avoiding so many foods, but hey, if I wasn’t avoiding them I would be in too much pain to walk, so the inconvenience is well worth it. And when I get back I’m going to sit in the garden, smile, and enjoy a big slice. I’ve been feeling quite low confidence of late and this apricot and nectarine cheesecake has lifted my spirits ♥
It is by its nature a denser textured base than a traditional cheesecake, and as such needs to be thin and is best balanced out by a thick frozen cheesecake filling though also very good unfrozen also. If you like you can use dates instead of raisins and other nuts or seeds instead of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, it’s pretty versatile.
You can roll the dough into balls and have them as energy balls, maybe throw in some cacao nibs. I can see a whole world of raw cookies stretching out before me and feel a bit wild about all the possibilities! This has definitely started a revolution in my kitchen (I told you I was a late-starter! but super-enthused once bitten by the bug!).
Apricots are the most tactile fruit, so soft like a horses nose just beautiful. But, and I have never had them fresh from a tree, the ones I come across look beautiful but raw have an unappealing texture and are quite bland. Blended with the creamy filling for this cheesecake, sweetness and lime they create a lovely light fruity flavour that’s delicious. I would have used reduced sweetened apricots in the cheesecake mixture but I wanted this recipe to be fully raw and so have embraced their mellow fruitiness, but if you don’t need it fully raw then stewing and so reducing the apricot in a little sweetness would really bring out their flavour and add tang.
I have long been using soaked cashews to make cheese, but to be honest most of the time I do a quick soak for an hour or so, sometime less, with hot water. This time I went to the (albeit minimal lets face it) effort (okay, let’s call it planning) of soaking overnight and I fully recommend it. For cheese a little nutty texture can be really good but for a cheesecake a smooth creamy texture is a must I think and the longer you soak the nuts the creamier and smoother the cheesecake will be (i.e. overnight but don’t do it much longer as cashews start to discolour, and if you are keeping for longer do change the water and keep in the fridge and not more than a few days).
- 1/3 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/2 cup mixed seeds - pumpkin, sunflower
- Handful of pine nuts
- 1 1/2 cups cashews
- 6 apricots
- juice of 1 lime
- 3 tbsp natural sugar or sugar syrup
- 4 tsp vanilla essence or paste
- 1/2 cup coconut milk solids
- 20 drops liquid stevia
- Fresh fruit, I have used nectarines
- A drizzle of fruit syrup, agave or maple syrup
Combine ingredients in a high powered blender and blend for a few minutes until sticking together. Taste and see if you like the texture, I like it quite crunchy.
Add the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth and creamy, should take a few minutes or so.
Press the base evenly into the container you are using, greasing the inner surface or lining with greaseproof paper, I have used a springform cake tin. Pour over the creamy filling and freeze for a good few hours, until set, or overnight.
Top with fresh fruit, I have used nectarines. Make sure they're ripe and really sweet and flavoursome. If they need more sweetness then drizzle on some reduced maple syrup or agave nectar, or if you like extra sweetness. Freeze and serve straight from the freezer.
SONG OF THE WEEK The Kinks ‘Mr Pleasant’