No-Bake Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes (Paleo, plant based)
A healthy ode to the totally delicious classic dessert, No-Bake Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes are a naturally-sweetened, Paleo and plant based treat that you can feel great about enjoying on the regular.
You know how some recipes have beautiful, deep, heartwarming stories behind them?
Yeah, this isn't one of them......
You see, my husband loves me and our daughter more than life itself. But, to be totally honest, strawberry cheesecake comes a close second in his heart. It's his favorite. His one true foodie love.
Which is pretty much why I made this recipe. Because I love my man and wanted to make him his favorite dessert (just a bit healthier)....and also because, I too, happen to love cheesecake myself......and I also had a bunch of raw cashews I didn't have any plans for.
Hmmm, I guess in some ways that is heartwarming and beautiful.....but in many ways, it is just me finding an excuse to make us dessert and then tell you guys about it.
But onto that recipe....
Cashews are the magical ingredient in this cheesecake ode. When soaked and then blended, raw cashews have this heavenly way of taking on the creamiest, most lovely consistency. True story. Its crazy, lovely and slightly addictive all at the same time. I want to make all the creamy things out of soaked cashews now....so brace yourself, friends.
Other than those glorious soaked cashews, it doesn't take much to make these No-Bake Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes awesome. Just a quick spin in your food processor or blender with naturally sweet and tangy strawberries and a hint of maple syrup, these suckers come to life in minutes. Topped with a simple chocolate crust (because chocolate makes all desserts better), these little sweet gems hang out in the freezer for a few hours until firm...so no baking is required. My favorite kind of recipe....especially in the summer.
Ingredients For Strawberry Filling:
- 8 oz whole raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries (if using frozen, thaw first)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2-4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup water
Ingredients For Chocolate Crust:
Directions for Strawberry Filling:
1. A few hours before making the mini cheesecakes, place your cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Let them soak for about three hours (or overnight).
2. After the cashews have soaked, drain them and dump them into a blender or food processor. Blend on high, using a prod to keep the mixture moving until cashews are broken down and have a creamy texture.
3. Add strawberries, lemon juice, vanilla, water and maple syrup to the blender. Blend on high again until the mixture is well pureed and has a smooth texture and even color.
4. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with liners.
5. Distribute the strawberry cheesecake mixture evenly between the twelve muffin cups, about 1/4 cup in each hole. Tap your pan down on the counter so the mixture settles flat in the cups.
6. Set the muffin pan in the freezer to set for about an 30-45 minutes. After they cheesecakes have set, they should be slightly firm to the touch.
DIRECTIONS FOR CRUST:
1. In a double boiler or on low heat in the microwave (about 45 seconds), melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. Stir often to prevent burning.
2. Add the almond meal to the chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Spoon one to two teaspoons of melted chocolate over each cheesecake and carefully spreading it out to cover.
4. Set the muffin pan back in the freezer for about 15 minutes to let the chocolate set. The chocolate will be hard to the touch when ready.
5. Peel away the liner right before eating and enjoy immediately! Keep leftovers in freezer covered for up to two weeks. When ready to enjoy, thaw in fridge overnight or on counter for about 30 minutes.
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