Incredibly Creamy. Magically Melt-In-Your-Mouth. Deliciously Dairy-Free.
Since I look and feel my best without milk products, cream, and cheese but still like foods to have a creamy texture (especially desserts, dips and sauces!), I find healthy, alternative ways to prepare them. All of the recipes on this blog are dairy-free (i.e., no milk from mammals!).
This is one of those recipes that I tried on a whim, never having made dairy-free cheesecakes before.
I know it sounds crazy to think that raw cashews could possibly turn into a base creamy enough to imitate cheesecake, but somehow it just works.
These little treats turned out SO great. I was pleasantly surprised. I would have eaten the whole pan of them on my own. 🙂
About 10 friends and coworkers and my hubby tried these and raved about them…they were shocked that the base was made of cashews!
Deliciously Dairy-Free Mini Cheesecakes…3 Ways! (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained)
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- Pinch sea salt
Part 1: Basic Filling
- 1.5 cups raw, unsalted cashews (soaked in water 4-6 hours then pour off the water and rinse the cashews)
- 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk (for the creamiest texture, scoop the cream off of the top when you open the can)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Part 2: Filling Options (You can just use the basic recipe and prepare them as is, but I made these 3 variations, and they turned out well. My favorite was the peanut butter one!)
Peanut Butter: Add 3-4 tablespoons natural peanut butter (peanuts and maybe salt as the only ingredients) to the basic filling. Taste it, and add more peanut butter until you reach your desired peanut buttery taste.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup: Follow steps for peanut butter cheesecakes above. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top (I use Enjoy Life brand) or shave some dark chocolate on top. Green & Black and Theo are two of my favorite brands of dark chocolate! Look for >70% cacao content.
Blueberry Lemon Swirl: Bring 1 cup of blueberries to a boil in a small pot, stirring constantly, smashing the blueberries with a spoon as you stir. Turn heat to medium low. Mix 1 tablespoon of water with 2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder or cornstarch and mix it in with the blueberries. Continue stirring and mashing until the mixture becomes gel-like. Set the blueberry sauce aside to cool for 10 minutes.
1) Add dates to a food processor and blend until it forms into a ball. Remove from container and set aside.
2) Add nuts to the food processor and process until finely ground. Add date ball back in and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. Add a pinch of sea salt to taste.
3) Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of the crust into the bottom of a silicone muffin pan and press with fingers, small glass or the bottom of a spice bottle (this worked best for me). Set in freezer to firm up.
4) Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. If you don’t have a Vitamix (you don’t need one!), blend them for a minute and then liquify or puree until silky smooth.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If adding peanut butter, add to the blender and mix until thoroughly combined. Leave it as a peanut butter cheesecake OR sprinkle a few chocolate chips or shavings on top.
If flavoring with blueberry sauce, wait and swirl 1 teaspoon of it on top of plain cheesecakes before freezing.
5) Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard – about 4-6 hours.
6) Pop the cheesecakes out of the muffin pan and set them out at room temperature 15-20 minutes to thaw them out. They taste best (and creamiest!) when thawed out, but they will melt if you leave them out beyond about 40 minutes, so watch them carefully!
The cheesecakes will keep in the freezer for 1-2 weeks.
This recipe is adapted from the easy vegan cheesecake recipe from Minimalist Baker.