When going vegan, the alternative to dairy is usually nut mylk. These nut mylks are, unfortunately, usually expensive (on average at least $4-5 for 1 litre) and the cost can really add up. Now that I make my own mylk – being simpler and much cheaper – I have a lot of nut pulp left over. I freeze these pulps in snap-lock bags, and when I get enough of the stuff, I like to make things with the pulp. Today I’m going to show you how to make several raw cheezcakes using your nut pulp, and hopefully you can see how easy it is to get two uses out of the nuts you buy. You also get the added benefit of delicious and healthy desserts.
These are your basic flavour options for cheezcakes – vanilla, berry or chocolate. Or perhaps I’m getting confused with Neapolitan ice-cream? Anyway, you can always mix and match your options, and flavour however you like. The cheezcake pictured above used a combination cherry and chocolate, so there’s definitely a myriad of options at your fingertips!
The recipes featured below are simple and can be used as a basic template for your creativity! More complex varieties are scattered around my blog under the ‘Raw Cakes’ heading. FYI, the recipe amounts for the following recipes are made for a 20cm cheezcake tin.
A basic base is just that – basic 😉 To make a base, you can either use something crunchy or smooth. Sometimes I prefer the crunchy base, and have even roasted the nuts before use for added flavour. Other times, as pictured here today, I’ve just used nut pulps I had on hand (hazelnut and almond). Using whole nuts that are blended into broken pieces makes for a better textured crust in my opinion.
1 ½ cups nuts (whole or pulped)
1 cup dates, pureed
½ tsp salt
¼ cup desiccated coconut OR
¼ cup cacao powder
All that needs doing here is to combine in a food processor. The mix should stick together and be almost like a muesli-bar in its texture. Press this firmly into the base of a lined cheesecake tin, and store in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
The simplest of the cheesecakes, you can easily add flavours and colours in to the filling. To make this luminous yellow, I used grated turmeric (which lends this anti-inflammatory properties) and I flavoured with citrus. The green cake uses spirulina powder. Feel free to add a few drops of food flavouring or you can enjoy as a plain ole vanilla cheezcake.
2 cups cashews (make your mylk and reserve the pulp)
2 TB coconut oil, melted
2 TB liquid sweetener
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend all of this up into a consistent liquid-like product. Pour over your base and freeze until firm.
This cake should be firm but not solid.
For beautiful colours, fresh or frozen berries are a great additive to cheezcakes. They also sweeten and add flavour. There are many berries to choose from – mixed, blueberry, cherry, raspberry, strawberry… You can be creative with multi-layered cakes and colours. The purple cake above used blueberries, and the pinky-red cake used cherries.
2 cups cashews
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup liquid sweetener
2 TB lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ – 1 cup berries
Having made your mylk, add the remaining ingredients to the pulp in your blender. Allow to mix until the berries have broken down and the colour is homogenous. Pour over your base and freeze until firm. Serving with fresh berries on top looks pretty.
By far my favourite option. Chocolate is very much my favourite food, and when you use raw cacao in things the healthy wonder powder is a lovely friend. I would love to have a chocolate base, chocolate filling and a chocolate topping. I have also made a superbly decadent chocolate cheezcake which can be found here, if you’re more experienced.
2 cups cashews
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup liquid sweetener
½ cup cacao powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TB maca powder (optional & per your taste)
Place your nut pulp into a bowl. Stir through the oil, sweetener and vanilla. When combined add in the cacao and stir well. Once all lovely and smooth, pour over your base. This should be solid in about 2 hours, but check by tapping on the top.