VEGAN + CHEESECAKE. They don’t really go together, unless you’ve joined the cashew brigade and realise how amazing and versatile these nuts are. Read on.
CHEESECAKE. Do I need to say anymore? Home made are the best, I am often disappointed by store bought ones – too rich and sweet and often not quite the right texture.
What about Veganism? It is both an ideal and a way of eating, but for me it has it’s challenges and drawbacks – mainly because my husband is a carnivore and whilst I do take some measures to reduce animal products, I’ll be honest in saying that I haven’t (and may not) go the whole hog (pardon the pun).
My brave and beautiful sister however, having been a vegetarian for 8 months, has now also decided to be vegan. In her gigantic open-hearted and gentle way, she has come to a point where the impact that her food choices have on animals is not aligned with her personal values, so she has cut them out of her diet. My initial reaction was “you’re getting a green smoothie for your birthday lunch!” She laughed and I was teasing, but I soon found out that a lot of things that I make are almost vegan, and with a few tweaks I could easily make vegan versions of things. Seems like a small sacrifice.. animals everywhere are rejoicing!
PLUS – food becomes so delicious and varied. Plates come alive with colour, flavour, texture, smells and LIFE.
For me right now, making a few simple changes like using more nut milk, not eating pork, only eating eggs from our beloved backyard chickens, and including a few more vegetarian meals sits well with me. We all do what we can, and I’m in no way suggesting or hoping to influence your current way of eating. You have to do what’s best for you!
Alas, I’m rambling! This began as a post about blueberry cheesecakes not food choices and morals..
I guess I just wanted to celebrate the choices of my amazing sister, and you will probably see recipes here with less animal products or vegan versions in my support of her new path.
If you’re like me and aren’t ready for drastic measures.. there’s a few things you can do to reduce your impact on our animal kingdom, and help the planet too. I’ll be writing about that very soon.
To cut a very long story short.. I made these for my sister’s birthday recently and they were a hit!
Blueberry Vegan Cheesecakes
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight or for at least 3 hours
2/3 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup (the base is quite sweet so don’t overdo it)
1/2 cup coconut cream
8 fresh medjool dates
1 cup almond meal – or whatever whole nuts you like
- Line a muffin pan with strips of baking paper that stick out the sides, so you can use them like tabs to lift the cheesecakes out of the tin.
- Add pitted dates and almond meal into a food processor and blend until they are a fine crumb texture. It should stick together when you press it between your fingers. If not, add another date or two.
- Evenly spread spoonfuls of the mixture into the muffin tin, pressing down to form the base.
- Next, drain the water from the cashews and put all the filling ingredients into the food processor and mix until very smooth. This may take several minutes. I find that if the cashews are room temperature, it works better.
- Evenly spoon the ‘cheesecake mixture’ into the muffin tray and smooth over.
- Cover and put in the freezer for at least two hours.
- Take out 20-30 minutes before serving and gently lift out by the baking paper edges.
Serve with a few fresh berries or some cashew cream! (Simply soak some cashews and blend with some water, vanilla and a touch of sweetener)
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Like this recipe? Find more in my Food to Live for Recipe Ebook.