what i’m about to say might shock you…
this recipe does not contain any pumpkin in it!
i know i have been on a total pumpkin kick lately…which is surprisingly quite odd for me. i hate pumpkin pie and never had a desire to think outside the “pie”–if you will. :) this past month was actually the first time in my life to ever bake with pumpkin, so i kinda went a little crazy! i’m not done yet though…i’ve got plenty more deliciousness for all you lovers of pumpkin! but for now, how about some raw, paleo, strawberry “cheesecake”?!? (a.k.a: cheese-less cheesecake!)
my sweet friend missy celebrated a birthday this week. we had a double date set up with our husbands, so i planned to surprise missy with a healthy twist on one of her favorite desserts: strawberry cheesecake. missy and her husband both follow a (primarily) paleo diet. missy, by choice to live a healthier lifestyle; her husband, by competitive male instinct to “out-paleo” his wife! hey, whatever works–right? :)
i did not want to mess this cheesecake up…so i searched the web for “paleo strawberry cheesecake” and was shocked i was unable to find anything worth while! i was forced to get creative. especially since i could not use any cheese in the cheesecake! i will go ahead and confess that my creativity is not always successful (or delicious), but this one turned out amazing!! despite the nuts in this recipe, it was surprisingly not “nutty” tasting at all! the result was a very rich, decedent, delicious dessert! best part…no oven necessary!
happy birthday missy!
scrumptious strawberry “cheesecake” (raw paleo recipe)
okay, i’ll break it down into the 3 separate layers…
- 1/2 cup dates (place in freezer for about 20 minutes before processing)
- 1 cup raw, unsalted macadamia nuts
- 1/4 tsp salt
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 cups raw cashews (soak for about 5 hours–or overnight…this removes any graininess of the cashews…you could also use 2 cups of raw cashew butter)
- juice of 1 lemon
- seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (slice open length of bean and scrape out all the seeds with a knife)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/3 cup raw honey (for vegan variation, use agave instead of honey)
- leave 1/4 above (center) mixture in food processor after processing
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 to 1.5 cups fresh strawberries (if using frozen strawberries, make sure to combine the honey and coconut oil with 1/4 center mixture first to prevent the coconut oil from hardening before mixed!)
you will also need:
- good food processor
- round spring-form pan
- using a food processor, process the crust ingredients until it forms a huge ball of dough…it should be similar to the texture of cookie dough.
- press dough evenly into the bottom of your spring form pan and place in the freezer while you make the center layer.
- process the center ingredients together in the food processor and process until it reaches the consistency of a smooth nut-butter
- spread 3/4 of this mixture evenly in your pan over the crust and place back in the freezer while preparing the top layer
- process the remaining center mixture with the honey, coconut oil, and strawberries until smooth
- pour evenly into pan and return to freezer. i froze it over night, but i’m sure 5 hours would be sufficient.
- let cheesecake thaw about 30 minutes before cutting and serving!
i got most of my ingredients at central market…both the nuts and vanilla bean from the bulk foods section. it was an easy one stop shopping trip!
(being that this was a surprise gift, i didn’t get to shoot any pictures of the inside layers until we were at the restaurant)