It can be a surprise to hear that cheesecake is available on the Paleo diet. A simple trick with cashews makes a creamy and decadent filling to replace the traditional cream cheese. This dairy-free, gluten-free, raw strawberry cheesecake is an incredibly luscious treat.
Paleo cheesecake is actually very easy to make. There is no baking necessary, only blending. The bottom layer, or crust, is made of ground pecans and almonds that are mixed with dates. Once the crust is blended together, you can press it into a pie pan or springform pan – using a springform pan will make it much easier to serve the cheesecake once it’s ready. Cover the bottom of the pan with the crust, going up the sides a little as well. Place this in the freezer to harden as you prepare the filling.
Instead of cream cheese, the Paleo version of cheesecake uses blended cashews as the filling. This requires some planning ahead, because the cashews should soak in a bowl of water overnight to soften them. If you are short on time, the cashews can soak for only two hours, but the filling will not be as creamy when blended.
This cheesecake also incorporates fresh strawberries into the filling. I suggest working in two batches to blend the cashews, strawberries, and other filling ingredients in the food processor. Coconut oil is a necessity, as it helps the cheesecake to maintain its shape when it cools and hardens.
Once the filling is the consistency you desire, you can pour it into the springform pan on top of the crust. Smooth it out with a spatula and place in the freezer for at least two hours (up to overnight) to harden. The cheesecake needs plenty of time in the freezer to become firm, so that it does not start falling apart when you cut it apart to serve.
You can serve the cheesecake plainly as it is, or I also included an extra step in this recipe to glam it up a little. You can top the cheesecake with fresh strawberries and drizzle with a sweet strawberry sauce. You will be licking the spoon. There are no other Paleo desserts quite like this rich, succulent strawberry cheesecake.
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup almonds
- 6 pitted Medjool dates
- 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups cashews, soaked
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup strawberries
- 5 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- Dash of vanilla
- Place the dates in a bowl of water and soak for 10 minutes. Rinse and set aside.
- To make the crust, prepare a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil spray. Place the pecans and almonds into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the dates, coconut flakes, and salt and blend until combined. Press the mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the pan, slightly going up the sides. Transfer to the freezer to chill.
- To make the filling, drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Place the cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, honey, vanilla, and salt into a blender or food processor and blend until it reaches a smooth, batter-like consistency. Add the cup of strawberries and blend until smooth.
- Pour the strawberry filling on top of the chilled crust. Place in the freezer for at least two hours to harden before serving.
- If desired, arrange four cups of the sliced strawberries on top of the chilled cheesecake to cover it. Place the remaining cup of strawberries in a small saucepan with the maple syrup, vanilla, and 1/3 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the berries have released their juices. Strain the berries from the juice to separate into a sauce. Let the sauce cool slightly. Drizzle the sauce over the top of the cheesecake to serve. Serve cold.
- Servings: 8
- Difficulty: Medium
P.S. Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.
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