Raw Lemon Berry ‘Cheesecake’

I have eaten my fair share of vegan cheesecake at restaurants and made by a wonderful friend who has trained as a raw vegan chef, but only recently attempted to make my own.  Why it has taken me so long to make an attempt, I have no idea, but I’m so glad that I did!

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After a massive Google search for recipes, I came across a fabulous blog called Sweetly Raw that is filled with stacks of recipes for raw cheesecake and other desserts in any variety you can think of. I had great success following her recipe for raw chocolate cheesecake and wanted to try another variety, so loosely followed her recipe for a lemon berry swirl cheesecake, but tweaked it a little to give it a chocolate crust.

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I thought it would be impossible to make a raw cheesecake without access to a vitamix, and though a ridiculously good blender would have made the job easier my trusty food processor still did a decent job.

It is a bit of a process to make raw cheesecake, and the amazing and nourishing ingredients don’t come cheap, but it is all worth it when you are eating a slice of deliciousness knowing that you aren’t putting any nasties into your body.

Seriously yummy and full of good fats so the smallest slice is super satisfying.  Totally made up for the copious amounts of wine and easter chocolate consumed over the long weekend… right?

Crust:
1 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon raw cacao
6 medjool dates
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
A pinch of raw Himalayan salt

Filling:
2 cups cashews
1 cup macadamia
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup or equivalent of your sweetener of choice
4 cups mixed berries

To make the crust, grind the nuts and coconut in the food processor until they are in fine pieces. Then add the cacao, vanilla, salt and dates (make sure you take the pits out first and if you have an average food processor add them one at a time).

Press the crust into the base of a spring form cake dish, it should stick together, and put it in the freezer while you make the filling.

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For the filling, take the nuts (presoaked if you prefer) and grind them for ages until the pieces are as small as possible. Add the lemon, honey and coconut oil and continue blitzing until smooth. Lastly add the berries (I used frozen ones that I had let defrost) and blitz until you have a smooth filling. Add the filling to the top of your crust, smoothing out the top, then return it to the fridge or freezer to solidify. If you use the freezer it will need time to defrost before eating – we were taking it to a friends place so I thought it would travel better if frozen.

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When ready to serve, slice it into pieces with a sharp knife and serve cool.

Recipe inspired by: Sweetly Raw (if only I could do swirls like she can!)

Photos from: my phone

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