Last weekend I was invited to a Partylite event hosted by my cousin Angela. I couldn’t attend without taking a dish of some sort. And because Angela is a vegan I searched for vegan recipes. I tell you what, there’s no shortage of recipes out there and they all look yummy!
This recipe is courtesy of Minimalist Baker via Pinterest. (What would we do without Pinterest?!) When I first saw the photo I had to make them ASAP.
I chose this recipe because I am totally into clean and raw food recipes and I absolutely love cashew based desserts. [See Tripe threat slice, Raw banana cream pie and other recipes in the recipe index.]
These little cute treats are just so easy to make. And guess what? You don’t need to be vegan to enjoy these.
Note: instead of making mini cheesecakes, you can use a springform pan to make a large cheesecake.
1 cup pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained)
1 cup raw walnuts or almonds
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours (or 1 hour in boiling water)
1 large lemon, juiced (scant 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp full fat coconut milk (see instructions for note)
1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
Optional Flavor Add-Ins:
2 tablespoons salted natural peanut butter
1/4 cup wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoons bourbon caramel sauce
1) Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
2) Next add nuts (I used almonds) and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. Optional: add a pinch of salt to taste.
3) Lightly grease a standard, 12 slot muffin tin. To make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the slots. This creates little tabs that makes removing them easier to pop out once frozen.
4) Scoop 1 tablespoon of the crust into the muffin tin and press down with fingers.
To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to compact it and really press it down. The bottom of a glass works well. If it sticks, separate the crust and the glass with a small piece of parchment. Set in freezer to firm up.
5) Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. For the coconut milk, scoop the “cream” off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if the coconut milk is already all mixed together, just add it in as is. If the mixture won’t come together, add a touch more lemon juice or agave or a splash more coconut milk liquid as the liquid should help it blend better.
6) Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If adding peanut butter, add to the blender and mix until thoroughly combined. If flavoring with blueberry or caramel, wait and swirl on top of plain cheesecakes (optional).
I made 2 batches – one with natural peanut butter and one with frozen blueberries.
7) Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard – about 4-6 hours.
8) Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosening them with a butter knife. They should pop right out. Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.
Optional – you can set them out for 10 minutes before serving to soften, but I liked them frozen as well.
I can’t tell you how these cheesecakes tasted as I am still in the midst of my self-imposed ‘no sugar/sweets’ during Lent. 10 days to go! However I can say that the party guests loved these mini cheesecakes :) I need to try these! I might make them again for Easter Sunday ;)
FYI, I ordered the Partylite Rustic Swirl 3 wick jar holder (E) with the Apple Blossom 3 wick candle.
“Life tastes better after a slice of cheesecake!” ~ Jason Shaw