Dairy Free Cheesecake

From www.foodfanatic.com, by Shashi Charles
Dairy Free Cheesecake

Dairy Free Cheesecake Photo

When my daughter was a toddler, her favorite nut (other than myself) was the mild cashew nut.

If I gave her a bowl of cashews and berries, she was one happy camper! Back then, I had no clue that cashews came from cashew apples!

Actually, I don't recall even knowing what a cashew apple was, when I found out where cashews came from. I thought they might have something in common with Wood apples, which were plentiful in Sri Lanka; but, good ol' Google told me I was wrong. I've looked for cashew apples in grocery stores I frequent, but, just like wood apples, they seem elusive.

Dairy Free Cheesecake Picture

Over the years, I have fueled my daughter's love of cashews by making trail mixes, stir fries, and curries, for her.

But, a couple of years ago, stumbled on cashew cream. Cashew cream is made in many different ways, but, the way I make it is to blend soaked cashews with some almond or cashew milk and voila - a delicious and versatile dairy free "cream". I've experimented with cashew cream and made curries with it as well as chocolate pudding. It can even be used to make cashew cheese!

Dairy Free Cheesecake Image

And today, I used cashew cream as the beginning foundation of this gluten free, no-bake, strawberry and blueberry "dairy free cheesecake"! This luscious, yet healthy cake is jam-packed with strawberries and blueberries in addition to cashews. Coconut oil, sugar and vanilla are the only other add-ins.

Dairy Free Cheesecake Pic

It stores well in a freezer or a cooler, till it's time to eat it. That makes it the perfect dessert for any picnics during these warm summer days. When I first made it, I froze it and took these pictures after about 30-40 minutes of thawing. I refroze a few slices and they thawed out wonderfully too. That makes this a make-ahead treat too. Win!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups cashews, soaked overnight and divided

For the Blueberry Layer:

  • 1/2 cup cashew milk, heated up for 40 seconds in microwave
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

For Strawberry Layer:

  • 1/2 cup cashew milk, heated up for 40 seconds in microwave
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted

For Garnish:

  • white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Begin by warming your overnight-soaked cashews in the microwave for 40 seconds. You will divide them in half, using 2 cups in the blueberry layer, and 2 cups in the strawberry layer.

For the Blueberry Layer:

  1. Place 2 cups of heated cashews, heated cashew milk, fresh blueberries, sugar, vanilla and melted coconut oil together in a powerful blender. Pulse until well incorporated and creamy.
  2. Pour into a foil-lined cake pan and freeze for 30 minutes.

For the Strawberry Layer:

  1. When the blueberry layer is frozen, make the strawberry layer.
  2. Place 2 cups of heated cashews, heated cashew milk, one pound of fresh hulled strawberries, vanilla, sugar and melted coconut oil together in the blender and pulse until creamy.
  3. Pour the strawberry layer on top of the blueberry layer in the cake pan. Allow the cake to freeze for an hour.

To Serve:

  1. Top with berries and white chocolate chips, cut and enjoy.

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