Dairy-Free Cheesecake (Vegan + GF)
Makes: 16 small slices
1 cup packed medjool dates (pitted // 1 cup yields ~22 dates or 275 g // pitted before measuring)
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts (or sub raw almonds or rolled oats)
1 pinch sea salt
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight in cool water, or in very hot water for 30min–1 hour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small lemon
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened rice or almond milk (or sub light coconut, but it will take on a coconut flavor)
1/2 scant cup oil (we use 1/4 c avocado oil, 1/8 c olive, and 1/8 coconut)
1/2 cup maple syrup, agave, or honey if not vegan (use less for a more tart cheesecake)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional // for extra tang)
Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
Next add nuts, salt and process into a meal. Add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms (it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers, similar to the consistency of a Lara Bar). If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal.
Cut out parchment paper into circles the shape of your ramekins, muffin tins or pan (see notes for size options). In addition, to make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut out two strips of parchment paper per ramekin and lay them in an “X” shape at the base. Top with circle shape. This creates little tabs that make removing the cheesecakes easier to pop out once set.
Carefully press crust into serving dishes with fingers to distribute. Use a small glass or the back of a spoon to really press it down, allowing some crust to come up the sides. If it sticks, separate the crust and glass with a small piece of parchment paper. Set in fridge or freezer to firm up while you make the filling.
Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth – about 2 minutes. If it won’t come together, add a splash more almond milk.
Blend until very creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness as needed.
Divide filling evenly among the serving dishes. Tap each dish a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set – about 6-8 hours depending on size of dish. Expedite this process by popping them into the freezer for at least 2 hours. NOTE: They will come out much easier after being in the freezer!
Once set, run a butter knife along the edge and gently remove by tugging on the tabs in an upward motion. They should pop right out. If they aren’t quite set, pop them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes and they should come out easily.
Top with a coconut whipped cream, fresh berries, or enjoy as is!
If you have cocao butter or vegan cream cheese, feel free to substitute 1/4 of that for the 1/8 c coconut oil + 1/8 avocado oil.
To save some energy, you can substitute Lara bars for the crust. We suggest combining the Pecan Pie and Cashew Cookie flavors. You'll want at least 3 bars for one batch of this recipe.
If you don't plan to devour these within a few days (kept in the fridge), they will last in the freezer for a couple weeks.
Recipe inspired by Minimalist Baker