Dessert Recipe: Raw and Vegan Strawberry Coconut ‘Cheese’cake

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Unless you are talking about fresh fruit, the term healthy dessert can sometimes feel like an oxymoron. There are recipes, like this Raw and Vegan Strawberry Coconut ‘Cheese’cake, that promise a tasty treat with a few surprise ingredients.

Ingredients

2 cups (500 mL) raw cashews
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pitted dates (about 5)
1 lb (500 g) frozen, thawed (or hulled fresh ripe) strawberries
1 large fully ripened avocado from Mexico, halved, pitted and peeled
3/4 cup (175 mL) coconut oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
1/3 cup (75 mL) raw agave syrup
1/2 tsp (2mL) raw vanilla extract
12 fresh strawberries, sliced (garnish)

Crust

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped or sliced raw almonds
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp (125 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pitted dates (about 5)

Procedure:

  1. In bowl, place cashews and dates. Pour in enough water to cover; let stand for 1 hour. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, mist 24, 1/2 cup (125 mL) ramekins (or silicone molds other similar-sized freeze-proof molds) with cooking spray. Line each with plastic wrap, leaving enough to create a bit of an overhang for ‘handles’.
  3. Crust: In food processor, add almonds, shredded coconut and salt; pulse until in coarse crumbs. Add dates; pulse until well combined. Divide and press into bottoms of ramekins.
  4. In high-power blender, or in clean food processor bowl, add drained cashews and dates, the strawberries, avocado, coconut oil, lemon juice, syrup and vanilla. Process until very smooth. Pour over bases; freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
  5. Remove from freezer 30 to 60 minutes before serving (or, move to refrigerate up to 1 day ahead); remove plastic wrap, plate individual cakes, and let thaw. To garnish, top each with sliced strawberries.

Makes: 24 mini-cake servings.

Tip: Dip bottoms of ramekins in hot water to help loosen and remove cakes. Alternately, make and serve in mini-mason jars (no need to use cooking spray).

PER SERVING (1 mini-cake): about 239 cal, 5 g pro, 19 g fat (8 g sat. fat), 18 g carb, 4 g fibre, 30 mg sodium. % RDI: 3% calcium, 10% iron, 31% vit C.

I always think of avocado as an ingredient in homemade guacamole and since I’m not really a fan, I’ve never tried avocado. But cheesecake, even faux cheesecake might change my mind. I love that these are individual sized cheesecakes too. If you’re looking at getting the kids to eat different food, perhaps hidden in a tasty dish like this Raw and Vegan Strawberry coconut Cheesecake might work? Will you be giving it a try? Have you ever used avocado in dishes other than guacomole?

Recipe and image reprinted with permission from www.missavacado.ca.

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