Raw Vegan Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake

Looking for a tasty special occasion cake? But you don't want to use 10 pounds of sugar or consume a bunch of empty carbs? Well this is a cleaner version of a 'cheese'cake. I don't want to use the word healthy because this is a very rich dessert. It's high in fat from all the nuts and coconut cream but these are the healthiest versions of those fats that you can consumer in a treat like this so seriously, no need to feel bad about it. I also say special occasion for two reasons: I don't want to get into the habit of always making this because it is super tasty and secondly it's a little time consuming and requires a little preparation ahead of time.

You will need a spring form pan that comes apart to get the cake out, I use a 9" spring form for a large cake. You can also make mini cheese cakes by using cupcake cups. If you don't have a spring form you can use parchment paper to line your pan so you can easily pull the frozen cake out.

What you'll need...

For the base:
3 cups of seeds + nuts (your choice): almonds, cashews, macadamia, hazelnut, walnut
 1 cup packed pitted soft dates
 6 TBSP raw coconut oil
 3-6 TBSP maple syrup (sweeten to your taste)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cardamom, optional
 1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt

For the filling:
3 cups raw cashews, soaked 6-8 hours in filtered water
 One can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated so the cream hardens
 150 ml coconut oil
 3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
100 ml lemon juice
 lemon & lime zest
 shredded coconut for garnish

First things first; soak your cashews in fresh clean water. The closer you can get to 8 hours the better, it will make your filling much smoother. Also, be sure to drain the old water and give it a nice rinse before using. Throw a can of coconut cream into the fridge - this will help separate the fatty coconut part from the liquid watery part. You will use just the cream part later.

For the base: add all nuts to a food processor and pulse a few times to roughly chop the nuts. Add pitted dates, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, pink salt and vanilla to the container. Pulse until you've formed a nice sticky texture but not so much that its turned into a paste: you want to leave it a little bit chunky. Grease a spring-form pan and/or line with a sheet of parchment. Press the base mixture into the pan, forming a nice dense base crust.

In a high speed blender, add soaked cashews, coconut cream, melted coconut oil and lemon juice (blend before adding frozen berries as they will harden the coconut oil before blending and create chunks). Blend until smooth then add the frozen berries if that's what you're using. Before you go pouring this into the pan, give it a taste test. Is it sweet enough? Tangy enough? Adjust to your taste before pouring the mixture on top of your base. Place on a flat surface in the freezer and leave for 6-8 hours or overnight to harden. When you are ready to devour your cheesecake pull out of freezer at least an hour before you plan on eating it, enjoy!

Garnish with blueberries, shredded coconut, lemon + lime zest