If you need a raw vegan recipe to impress the crowd, this raw blueberry “cheesecake” is definitely a great choice! It is really creamy and rich in flavour, and will surely satisfy any palate.
Living a wholesome, plant-based lifestyle doesn’t mean that you have to give up all the goodies – well, at least flavour-wise! There are many dishes that can be made as healthier version of some well-known treats, with a taste that will satisfy even those who are in for some kind of a traditional comfort food.
That being said, I have to admit that I actually never even felt like I was missing anything once I decided to ditch all the processed ingredients and start eating only whole plant foods. There is so much diversity in terms of ingredients and what you can make from them, and it was always a real treat to be able to experiment so much and come up with all kinds of fun new recipes almost every day.
But also, simply munching on some home-grown fruit or veg was never less of a thrill for me. I just love simple foods, what can you do. I think it is something that comes naturally when you start eating only real food – your taste buds start recognising more flavours and your brain finally starts being satisfied with the simple foods, which is certainly a more natural state.
Still, you cannot just serve your guests with some chopped apples or peaches and expect them to believe that was a dessert. You need something more convincing, and that is when all those delicious cakes made from love, happiness and unicorn tears of joy (like this raw blueberry cheesecake) come in handy. There were so many times that I heard reactions like “This can’t be vegan!”, or “No way this is not unhealthy?!”, or even “Well, if it has no milk, sugar and flour, what on Earth was it made of?”.
I normally prefer to make the sweets using only completely non-processed ingredients like nuts, seeds and dried fruits (as I most often do, and still get those amazing comments); without even adding coconut oil or agave syrup . But there is nothing wrong with using some oil or sweetener on occasions, to create an even more luxurious taste and texture that no-one can resist – still in a much more wholesome version compared to the traditional cakes.
So – a cheesecake without cheese, is it possible?
No matter how you decide to call it, this type of cake tastes crazy similar to a traditional cheesecake. Cashews and lemon juice will make up that perfect combination of cheesy taste and creaminess, and with a couple more secret ingredients (actually yes, I waited for years before I decided to share some of my culinary secrets, but there you go), you can be sure to get the real deal.
Although the blended cashews in combination with lemon juice will already give you an amazing result, I like to add some more things to get that proper cheesecake flavour and texture. A pinch of salt and some nutritional yeast will do the trick perfectly – this combination will add a whole new dimension to the vegan cheesecake and make it taste like the “real thing” (i mean, this is the real thing).
Nutritional yeast is not absolutely necessary and if you can’t get any, you can leave it out. I know that it is one of those ingredients that not everyone has at home or buys on a regular basis. But at least try this trick with a pinch of salt – it makes all the difference!
For the creamiest texture and nicer thickening properties, I like to add just a bit of coconut oil to the cream. I sometimes use the flavourless coconut oil in this recipe, but if you don’t mind a mild coconut flavour, you can go with the cold-pressed one as well.
Lastly, the only thing about this cake that will be quite different from the real cheesecake is the crust. You can always use some cookies and coconut oil instead of the crust in this recipe, but I will never make it like that because, in my opinion, it lowers the quality of the entire cake.
When using such nice ingredients such as cashews for the cream, I like to make the crust from whole ingredients as well. Here I used almonds and dates, and they really make up a nice, tasty crust with caramel-like notes. I personally love it like that, and have never had anyone complain about it!
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 1 cup dates
- 2 cups cashews
- 1 lemon (for zest and juice)
- 1 cup blueberries
- 100 ml agave nectar
- 2 pinches Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- Put almonds and dates into a food processor and process them into a compact mass.
- Press this mixture into a cake mould.
- Put the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, agave, blueberries, coconut oil, salt and water into a blender and blend until you get a very smooth cream. If your blender produces heat when it works, there is no need to melt the coconut oil; if it will not heat up the mixture, then you should melt the oil first if it is not already in a liquid state.
- Pour the cream into the mould and leave the cake in the fridge overnight, or in the freezer for a couple of hours to thicken.
* this time I used farmed blueberries that are milder in taste and colour than wild bilberries that I normally use
* If you don't have a high-speed blender, you can soak the cashews in water for about 6 hours to get the creamiest texture. In that case you will not need any additional water in the recipe, and you can also skip 1/3-1/2 cup of blueberries - otherwise you may get a cream that doesn't thicken perfectly in the fridge
* When I have more time, I like to put the cake in the freezer overnight, and then let it stay in the fridge to defrost for at least a couple of hours. I like the way the cream thickens when I do it like that, and how it stays in a good shape even when it is defrosted.
* Extra tip: to get the flavour to be even more "cheesy", you can add around two teaspoons of dry nutritional yeast.