About four years ago I wrote a blog titled “The Day My Oven Died”. It focused on my attempt to make a raw carrot cake and how bad it tasted. The remainder of the article focused on the paucity of nutritional value of a raw diet. I still maintain that that a raw diet is not the key to nutritional balance and that the raw carrot cake was indeed disappointing. I have however developed a love for raw cheesecakes.
My first attempt of a raspberry cheesecake was poorly received and met with comments such as, “you used to make such good desserts and then you became a nutritionist”. It’s hard not to be deflated by lack of praise but I continued to experiment and research different recipes. I do believe I’ve nailed it and really encourage you to give it ago as they are a fantastic alternative to the traditional cheesecake.
The Raw Food diet is on the surface a philosophy for glowing health. If you take a look at the advocates for this diet they truly look radiant. You just need to look at the raw food guru David Wolfe. Despite the bad man perm, he is a true living testimonial of the benefits of a raw food diet. However in this video attached he clearly is also a man obsessed with his blender and addicted to the caffeine high in the overuse of cacao.
Raw cheesecakes are gluten free, dairy free, free of refined sugar and vegan. For me personally, as a Coeliac the gluten free is essential, dairy has a limited tolerance and refined sugar is limited as much as possible. In recent years I have developed a love for desserts that satisfy a sweet tooth but also nourish the body.
Raw cheesecakes are definitely a healthy alternative as they are full of:
Vitamin E: nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E which is essential for many of our bodies functions such cardiovascular health and repair of our collagen fibres. Vitamin E also is one of our key fat soluble vitamins that acts as a vital anti-oxidant.
Lauric Acid: found in coconut oil and cream is beneficial for gastrointestinal health, and is anti-microbial.
Magnesium: nuts and seeds are a great source of magnesium which is required for 300 biochemical functions in the human body.
Good Fats: raw cheesecakes are jam packed with good fats that protect our cells, feed our brain and make our hair, skin and nails glow.
Raw desserts are often give a bad rap by dieticians and weight loss experts due to their high calorie content. It is true that they are calorie dense, but they are low GI so they don’t spike your blood sugar levels after indulging. The high fat content means that they offer more satiety so you don’t need very much to fill you up. It is my advice to make a small cake, you don’t need a large slice and overindulging is not the purpose of a healthy treat.
Making a small cake also makes it less expensive, some recipes call for 4 cups of nuts and that really does make it a pricey treat to create. I still find that this little cake goes a long way.
For further information and consultation on your diet, nutrition or how to make a yummy cheesecake make an appointment with Holy Mackerel Health today.
Raw Passionfruit Cheesecake
INGREDIENTS: Remember to start this recipe in advance as the cashews need to be soaked for a minimum of 3 hours. If you don’t have brazil nuts or pecans you could substitute them with macadamias and almonds.
1/3 cup of brazil nuts
1/3 cup of pecans
1/3 cup of shredded coconut
4 Medjool dates soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
1 tablespoon of Food to Nourish Luscious Lemon Spread (see notes below for alternatives)
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil
1 cup of cashews soaked
1/3 cup of coconut cream
2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon of Food to Nourish Luscious Lemon Spread
1/3 cup of passionfruit pulp
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
3-4 passionfruit pulped
*1 teaspoon of Great Lakes Gelatin
Line a small round or square tin with baking paper, mine is 12 cm in diameter. In a food processor Place all base ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Press down on the base of tin, refrigerate.
Drain cashews and process until very smooth. Add the rest of the remaining filling ingredients and process until well combined and smooth. Be patient this does take a little while. Fill on top of the base and refrigerate again.
For the topping pulp passionfruit and mix gelatin through the pulp. Top the cheesecake with passionfruit and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight for best results. Slice into small slices and enjoy its divine.
Food to Nourish Luscious Lemon Spread is found at health food stores or online. If you can’t find it use lemon curd but it won’t be vegan or paleo.
Great Lakes Gelatin can be found in health food stores. If you are making a vegan version use agar agar or a teaspoon of chia seeds.