The creamy richness of cheesecake with healthy fats, less sugar and raw, vegan ingredients? Why not!
I still have some researching and experimenting to do to perfect this, but I think it’s a pretty solid recipe. I love rhubarb and strawberries – separate or together – so when I first spotted seasonal rhubarb at the local market earlier this month, looking so vibrant and beautiful, I had to grab some. I’ve had strawberries on real cheesecake before, so I thought making a strawberry rhubarb compote to top on a vegan “cheese”cake might be a nice complement of flavors and textures.
This is one of those vegan foods where you can’t go in expecting an exact replica of regular cheesecake. Not gonna happen. But, if you want something cheesecake-like that has a leg up on the “real” thing in terms of nutritional value (note though that this is not a “health food” per say and is not low calorie – though as with anything, you can control caloric intake based on how you portion) and also tastes great, then I highly suggest giving this recipe a try.
Keep on reading for the recipe!
Recipe: Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb “Cheesecake”
What You Need
For the crust:
- 1/3 c nuts (I used a mix of macadamia and almond)
- 3-4 dried dates
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/3 c unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 tbsp water
For the filling:
- 1 c soaked raw cashews (soak for 4-6 hours, then drain)
- 1/2 c coconut cream*
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/4 c + 2 tbsp honey (to taste)
For the compote topping:
- 4 stalks of fresh rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pint strawberries, sliced
- zest and juice of 1/2 an orange
- 1-4 tbsp honey and/or turbinado (to taste)
- 1-3 tbsp water (optional, for consistency)
- 3-4 small glass jars, tupperware, or other container(s) of your choice for the”cheese”cake (you can make this into individual portions or one larger serving)
What You Do
- To make the crust, process all ingredients – minus the dates – in a food processor or powerful blender, until the consistency only has small crumbs (I didn’t grind mine up enough to my liking – will blend more next time). Add dates, and process until mix looks evenly combined. Press “dough” into bottom(s) of container(s) from which you’ll serve.
- To make the filling, blend all ingredients until smooth. Taste to make sure no adjusting is needed (more lemon? sweetener? vanilla?). Spoon into serving container(s) over crust.
- Refrigerate or freeze until the “cheesecake” sets and firms.
- To make the strawberry rhubarb compote – which should be done in advance so it has time to cool before cheesecake assembly – put rhubarb pieces in a small/medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring. As they begin to heat through and soften, add strawberries. Once the fruit begins to soften and combine a bit – the rhubarb will start falling apart – add orange zest and juice and sweetener. Keep stirring, and taste as you go in case adjustments are needed. Simmer for about 20 minutes, and then remove from heat, cool slightly, and then cool completely in refrigerator.
- Once the “cheesecakes” are firm, spoon cooled compote on top and store in refrigerator until you’re ready to serve!
*Note: To get coconut cream, put a can (or more) of coconut milk (organic if possible -though that won’t impact how this turns out!) in the refrigerator for a few hours. Make sure not to shake it up. Once the can is cold, remove and open with a can opener. You’ll find “coconut cream” at the top of the can – scoop it out with a spoon – with a thinner liquid beneath it. Chilling the can in the fridge is an easy method of separating the coconut milk into two very different viscosities/consistencies, which can be helpful for recipes, such as this, that require only one or the other.