I won’t lie. I’m fascinated by raw desserts. They are definitely one of my favorite things to make. Not only are they really easy to prepare, but I’m yet to make a raw dessert that wouldn’t turn out to be delicious. Like this raw lime cheesecake.
If you’ve never tried making raw lime cheesecake, try it. You won’t regret it. You only need good quality – preferably organic – ingredients. The main ingredients for raw desserts are pretty much the same – nuts, seeds. fruit, maple syrup, raw honey, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. While it’s not much, the combinations are very versatile.
I don’t know if you can recreate any dessert using only raw ingredients, but cheesecake definitely does have a healthy raw version. I’ve played with various flavors, but this raw lime cheesecake is one of my favorite.
Tips for Making the Best Raw Lime Cheesecake
Dates – I feel like I talk about dates all the time. However, for this raw cheesecake, I’m not gonna stress how important it is to use Medjool dates. The reason is that the dates in this recipe simply bind all the crust ingredients. They don’t need to be pureed into a perfectly smooth paste, like in these truffles or fudge. If course, Medjool dates are the best, but go with any dates you have on hand.
Almonds and walnuts – I used a mix of almonds and walnuts for this crust, but it really doesn’t matter what type of nuts you use. You could use either (almonds or walnuts) or swap them for different nuts altogether. Pecans or hazelnuts are particularly delicious!
Cashews – vegan or not, cashew cream is beyond delicious. I use cashews for the majority of my raw vegan cheesecake recipes because they have a neutral (slightly sweet) flavor, a wonderfully smooth texture, and are naturally high in fat. Mixed together with come thick coconut cream, the cashews mimic the taste and the texture of a cheesecake very well.
Coconut oil – coconut oil really helps bind and set the cashew cream, giving it that smooth cheesecake texture that melts in your mouth. So don’t leave it out! Using coconut oil is also one of the reasons you should keep this cheesecake in the fridge or the freezer because coconut oil melts at a room temperature.
Liquid sweetener – granulated sugar won’t seamlessly mix in to the cashew-coconut cream, leaving you with a gritty texture. So use a liquid sweetener instead. All maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup work great.
Limes (or lemons) – cheesecakes are super versatile when it comes to flavor – strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter, caramel … the sky is the limit. Just don’t omit the lemon juice regardless of the flavor you choose. Lime juice provides a tangy, tart flavor you expect from a good cheesecake.
Soak the cashews – when you soak cashews for at least 8 hours (or overnight), they become soft and create the perfect base for creams when blended. If you don’t have 8 hours, soak the cashews for 15 minutes in very hot but not boiling water. To use the hot water method, boil water then remove it from the heat for two minutes, then pour over the cashews.
Chill the coconut milk – if you’re using full-fat coconut milk (as opposed to coconut cream), stick the entire can in the fridge overnight. Chilling the canned coconut milk encourages separation of the cream and liquid. Be sure not to shake it.
Use a high-speed food processor – a powerful machine (be it a high-speed blender or a food processor) is almost always required for raw desserts. I find that food processors work the best for crusts made from nuts while blenders excel at making smooth fillings. However, you could make the filling in a food processor as well. (I did and it worked perfectly fine).
Use a spring form – spring form is just a cake pan with removable sides. Having the ability to remove the sides of the pan preserves the integrity of the cake’s edges. The spring form also allows the cheesecake edges to set properly while cooling without having to worry about the cheesecake sticking to the pan. Don’t forget to grease the pan with coconut oil before adding anything to ensure it slips out easily.
Smooth the filling out – I love using offset spatulas for smoothing out creams and icing. The size of the spatula you use depends on the size of the cake. The spatula should reach to about the center of the cake when held steady and comfortable. For the smoothing process itself, hold the spatula in the same place to an angle to the cake, tip at the center, and use the other hand to rotate the spring form pan. You could use a turnable, but it’s not necessary.
Chill and cover – chilling helps the cheesecake to set and firm up so it comes out of the spring form pan with ease. A few hours in the fridge (or the freezer) is all it takes. Be sure to cover the cheesecake with a piece of plastic wrap or foil to ensure the cashew filling stays fresh and doesn’t dry out.
Although you might not believe me when I say that this raw lime cheesecake tastes like the real thing, I assure you – it does! The texture is so rich and velvety that even a small slice is very satisfying. The crust is delicious on its own as well. You can freeze this crust-free-filling for tons of different raw vegan desserts. Once you taste it, you’ll be hooked.
Tools You’ll Need
1. Food Processor (Breville Sous Chef) | 2. Blender (Vitamix Pro 750) | 3. Spring-Loaded Pan (9 Inches. Norpro. Glass and Silicone) | 4. Measuring Cup (4 Cups, Pyrex, Glass) | 5. Mesh Strainers (Set of 3, Cuisinart, Stainless Steel) | 6. Can Opener (Zyliss, Stainless Steel) | 7. Offset Spatula (Wilton, Stainless Steel) | 8. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel) | 9. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel)
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