Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Almond Pulp = Raw Vegan Cheesecake (The Suspense is Over!)

OK ~ I know you are all DYING to know what I used the leftover almond pulp for, and because I don't want to keep you from sleeping tonight, I will go ahead and tell you.  While I was brainstorming about what to use it for, I remembered one of my favorite things to eat from the "Raw Food Bar" at the Austin, TX Whole Foods ~ Raw Vegan Cheesecake!  Last month, as I was checking out with two pieces for my birthday ~ one for me and one for my sister the cashier said...

"Oh, is this that vegan cheesecake?"

"Yes!" I enthusiastically responded.

"Is it any good?"

"You wouldn't believe how good it is.  I'm not even a vegan, but I get a piece almost every time I come here!"

"Huh." he replied skeptically.
From looking at the list of ingredients (How in the world does one make vegan cheesecake? ~ And please, oh please let it NOT be from tofu!) I knew it was made from nuts and nut milks.  (Whew!) Well, I figured my almond pulp could somehow fit into this equation, so I started researching raw cheesecake recipes.
Most of the recipes I found used cashews, probably because they are a bit softer than almonds, but I thought a combination of the pulp and some cashews might still work.  The crust is a mixture of pecans, walnuts, dates, coconut, and cinnamon.
I was so happy to see the beautiful creamy mixture that formed in my Vitamix.  It looked like the recipe was definitely going to work!
After pouring the "cheesecake" part into the crust and letting it set in the freezer, this was the end result ~ looking almost identical to the many pieces I've had at the Raw Food Bar!

And the taste?  Oh my goodness.  Would it make any sense to say it tastes more like cheesecake than cheesecake?  It was just so good.  My kids were raving and begging for a second piece after dinner ~ Robert, too.  It was a complete success, and I can hardly wait to make one for my sister, who's been steering clear of dairy lately, this summer when she and her kids (hopefully!) come to visit. There is only one little slice of this one left that I'm carefully guarding for my allergic-to-eggs-and-dairy-friend, Debbie, who will be here next week barring any more blizzards.

Lots of protein, healthy fats, and natural sugars, too ~ Wow!  Here's the whole recipe:

Raw Cheesecake

Crust:

2 cups macadamia nuts, pecans, or walnuts
12 pitted dates (double check them ~ one of mine still had a pit and got hung in the food processor)
1/4 cup dried coconut
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Process coarsely in food processor or blender and press into a pie plate or spring form pan.

Filling:

3 cups cashews (or 1 1/2 cups cashews ~ soaked an hour if you like, and 1 1/2 cups almond pulp)
2/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
dash sea salt

Place all filling ingredients in high-powered blender and process for about 2 minutes until creamy.  Pour into crust and freeze for several hours. Serve with fruit or chocolate drizzle (or both) and watch it disappear!

There you have it!  Sweet Dreams!


7 comments:

melissa said...

Booking my plane ticket NOW!!! Omygoodness! That looks awesome Mel! I'm so excited for you to have the via mix!!! God loves you and wants you to have fun things in your life!

Wish I was there with you now and you could make me some yummy almond milk to go in some coffee to go with our "almost cheesecake"!!

Love you sis!

Romy said...

The very words "vegan" and "cheesecake" in the same sentence generally make me shudder in horror... but your ringing endorsement (and the fact that Robert wanted a second piece) might inspire me to make my first-ever vegan baked good! :)

Rachel said...

This looks amazing! :)

Cinnamon said...

That looks yummy!! I wonder how my New York Cheesecake loving husband would like it? hee hee

Thank you for your sweet comment and prayers. You are such a blessing to me~

~Cinnamon

GF Gidget said...

Brilliant!

Penny said...

My son is allergic to cashews. Can I sub another nut or seed for the cashew portion of the filling?

Melanie said...

Hi Penny ~ I'm not sure about substituting the cashews. I bet you could try it with another nut or seed, but the cashews do blend nicely because they are softer than some nuts and make for a creamier blended product. Let me know if you try something else! I 'd love to know how it worked out.