RAW VEGAN LEMON BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

Well folks there is no gettin' around it, 2017 is here and it is REAL. Now I know we're all about a month past up-keeping our New Years resolutions and back in the whirlwind of regular life (sorry but we all know it's true)... Now despite gettin' my regular dosage of donuts and dumplings, I thought I would do my best to incorporate more natural and whole foods into my diet and recipes this year. 

 One food trend that seems to be on the rise these days is being  a "Raw Vegan". Now I'll be honest, this whole thing was confusing to me as I had a hard time understanding how one can only consume plant based items, yet still create dishes that are delicious. without cooking it,  but nonetheless I was ready to dig in deeper. SO, I figured what better way to do so than by asking my dear friend Kyjsa Brkich to show me the ropes of her raw vegan lifestyle. Kyjsa is a beautiful fellow foodie and dear friend who like myself is continuing her culinary education, expect, she will be doing so in raw vegan fashion at the Matthew Kenney Culinary School in Venice California (she's pretty cool).  

I guess first of all, I should take a minute to explain what it means to be a raw vegan. The idea behind it is that all of the foods are plant based and cooked under 120 degrees Fahrenheit which in doing so is intended to keep the food in its most natural form (and keeps the most nutrients). Now in my mind, the term "raw vegan", meant that lettuce and leaves would be the most prevalent staples (nothing against a good head of lettuce), but to my delight, Kyjsa showed me that raw vegan can be just as delicious as any other dishes. So on that note, I thought I would share one of the naturally delicious fully raw vegan treats we made and lemme tell you unbiasedly it was HELLA TASTY. SO without further ado, I give you:

RAW VEGAN LEMON BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKES.

(inspired and altered from this The Rawsome Vegan Life blog)

(Makes 6 Cupcake-size Cheesecakes)

Crust:

1 1/2 cups Walnuts

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup pitted dates

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

 

Blueberry Jam:

3 cups frozen blueberries

1/3 cup chia seeds

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

 

Cheesecake Batter:

1 1/2 cups soaked cashews

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup melted cacao butter

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 can full fat coconut milk

Crust Preparation: Grind coconut and walnuts in a high speed blender until a flour texture is created. Add dates and continue blending till think dough is formed. It should hold shape when pressed in hands. Press dough into the bottom of the muffin tin. Leave in fridge to harden. 

Blueberry Jam Preparation: Thaw the blueberries in the microwave until they are soft. Using a fork, mash the blueberries into a paste, add chia seeds, lemon juice, coconut sugar and lemon zest. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes, the chia seeds will soak up the juice and the mixture will thicken.

Cheesecake Batter Preparation: Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the think white fat from the top (do not use the white translucent liquid under the think fat) and place in blender, drain the water from the soaked cashews into the sink and add cashews, lemon juice, melted cacao butter, maple syrup and sea salt into the blender. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Scoop half of this mixture onto your crusts followed by some blueberry jam. Pour the rest of the cheesecake batter over the jam and then the rest of the jam on top. Swirl the jam with a spoon. (Optional, Lightly zest a lemon on top of the swirled cheesecakes to add colour and lemon flavour). Place in freezer or fridge overnight (or a few hours) until solid. 

Remove from muffin tin and enjoy!

Hope you guys get a chance to try this recipe out! It is SO tasty and has definitely got me appreciating the raw vegan lifestyle!

Anyways, you stay hungry and remember,

Your diet starts tomorrow!

Xo

Carly