Raw Vegan Kiwi-Cashew-Cheesecake
I really developed a taste for kiwis since that kiwi loaf recipe. I remember a time in my younger life (not that I am old now but you know, back in the day) – I think it lasted about one week – when I was CRAZY about kiwis. One day, I came home from school and ate eight (!) kiwis. I simply couldn’t get enough. I used to have this every now and then, but always with different foods. Paprikas, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados, carrots, apples, bananas, pears. For a few days in a row, I would have a crush on one of these foods and crave it non-stop. So that time, the kiwis were my target. Nowadays, I can still eat a whole bunch of kiwis but I prefer disguising them as any sort of cake. And I’ve got to say, they do make a scrumptiously delicious topping on this very special raw and vegan kiwi cheesecake!
why we soak our cashews
For the creamy filling of the cheesecake, it is important to soak the cashew nuts. This step should not be skipped for two reasons: First, it is much easier to turn them into a creamy filling once they’re soaked and second it is a healthier way of consuming them. Here is why: Seeds, grains and nuts have powerful nutritional profiles but they contain natural toxins that protect them yet harm us. To make use of their health benefits and avoid being affected by such toxic compounds, it is recommended to soak them before consumption. That the soaking technique does to the nuts, seeds and grains is this: anti-nutrients such as phytic acid – which are compounds found in plants that reduce our ability to absorb essential nutrients (calcium, iron, zinc or magnesium) – are removed. Nuts also contain enzyme inhibitors (enzymes are biological catalysts that accelerate chemical reactions – many molecular actions cannot function without them) which are neutralized through soaking them first. Nuts and seeds are oftentimes difficult to digest and soaking can aid not only the digestive process but also the nutrient absorption. Additionally, we all know that certain nuts such as almonds, peanuts, pistachios, cashews are high in protein and soaking them makes these proteins more readily available for your body to take in. Go on and soak your little nutty friends, throw ’em in a blender and turn them into a deliciously nutty base for a spectacular kiwi cheesecake! Am I exaggerating? I don’t think so.
Prep time: 30 min
Cooling time: 6-8 hours
For this recipe you will need:
For the base:
¾ cups almonds (whole or ground)
12 dates, pitted
3 tsp cinnamon
For the filling:
½ cups cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 ½ cups coconut cream
¼ cup agave syrup
juice and zest of 2 organic lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
3 kiwis, peeled and thinly sliced
- Add the almonds, pitted dates and cinnamon to a food processor and blend on high until a sort of paste has formed. You might have to scrape down the sides of the mix so that the blender reaches all the bits. This process may take up several minutes.
- Next, press the nut-and-date mixture into a round spring form. I find it easiest to line the form with baking paper first and to press the base on with a piece of parchment between my hands and the dough. This way, it doesn’t stick or come off. Make sure to distribute the mix evenly and without holes (come on, do your best, for yourself and the cheesecake!).
- Dispose of the soaking liquid, thoroughly rinse the cashews in cold water and place in a food processor, along with the coconut cream, agave syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt. Blend on high until a smooth consistency has formed, with all ingredients well-combined.
- Add the melted coconut oil last and make sure that it has cooled off a little while still liquefied. Blend again and make sure that the cashews are completely broken down. We are looking for the ultimate creamy consistency, folks!
- Pour this lemony filling onto the base and spread it out evenly with a wooden spoon or spatula (how well-equipped is your kitchen?).
- Right, before we can call it a kiwi-cheesecake, we do need to add some kiwis. For that, skin your kiwis and cut them into thin slices. Scatter these on top of the filling in any way you like, I chose to do it in nice and neat circles.
- Refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours before this cake turns firm enough for us to call it a cheesecake. With kiwis. A kiwi-cheesecake without cheese! ♥