Raspberry & Lemon Mini Vegan Cheesecakes

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Ingredients for the base:

  • 3/4 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/8 cup organic, naturally sweetened dried cranberries* (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-3 tablespoons of water

Ingredients for the cheesecake filling:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, previously soaked
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • juice of 1 organic lemon + zest**
  • 1/2 cup pure light maple syrup
  • + fresh organic raspberries and extra lemon zest for plating

 

Method:

 

  1. Make the crust first: In a food processor, pulse all the almonds until a fine grind forms. (While it’s mixing you can pick the dates or prepare the other ingredients). Add in the dates and cranberries (if using), and pinch of salt. Continue mixing and check with your fingers if the mixture sticks in your fingers. (Be sure to turn off the mixer each time you check, and always form a habit of scooping with a spoon first!) If it’s too dry, add in water one tablespoon at a time. Mix again, check again. Once it sticks together and still falls off your fingers – it’s perfect.
  1. Using a cupcake pan preferable a silicone one, press the mixture into the bottom evenly and set aside.
  1. To make the filling: Soak the cashews for 1 hour in hot water at room temperature or overnight (6-8 hrs) in the fridge, strain well. Add all the ingredients into a clean food processor again: cashews, warm but not hot coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, water. Mix on high for about 5 minutes until a very smooth mixture forms.
  1. Pour over the bases in the cupcake pan. Tap the pan gently to let it settle. Place straight into the freezer for about 1-2 hours before serving. These defrost in just about 5-10 minutes in the refrigerator, and much faster at room temperature so give them enough time to defrost slightly before serving. Top with fresh raspberries, lemon zest and mint leaves to serve. Enjoy!
  1. (If you want to keep them frozen for longer and just have them ready whenever the occasion calls for a great impromptu dessert. Simply freeze for 1-2 hours, then be sure to wrap the pan with plastic wrap as tight as possible and return to the freezer for up to 1 month.)
  1. If using cranberries, keep an eye on the ingredients as they could be artificially sweetened and coloured and have lots of sulphites. I used organic cranberries that are sweetened with grape juice. I find they compliment the taste of the lemon and raspberries really well. Don’t have them on hand? Simply add 3 extra dates to the base recipe.