As you read this, I’ll be winging my way across the Pacific Ocean to the sweet island of Borneo Malaysia for a few weeks. I’m off to visit the Orangutan sanctuaries and check out the palm oil situation over there. If you haven’t heard, there’s mass deforestation occurring at the moment due to the destructive palm oil industry. 300 entire football fields of rainforest are being levelled every hour (this is not a typo). This is destroying with it the habitat of tens of thousands of endangered orangutans, pygmy elephants, asian rhinos, sun bears, sumatran tigers, proboscis monkeys, gibbons, clouded leopards, hornbills, wild cats, and other incredible animals.
Palm oil is found in hundreds of processed foods in the supermarket (think those choccy bikkies), as well as in copious numbers of brands of skincare, beauty products, and cleaning products. To make it even trickier for us, they disguise it under up to 200 different names. Mean the while, baby orangutans are being orphaned by the thousands. I’m so excited to get over there and do more research on this issue (although know it will be incredibly sad), and can’t wait to share my findings with you afterwards.
To tide you though over though, this week I’m sharing with you my luscious Lucuma and Citrus Cheesecake. If you read last week’s post, you will now be a guru on all things Lucuma, and ripe and ready to try out a recipe with this incredible Peruvian superfruit. So here goes.
Cheesecake. Well that must have cheese in it right? Not here my friends. If you haven’t already tried a raw vegan cheesecake, you’re about to learn that cashews, sweet cashews, are a plant-powered passionado’s best friend. Once soaked, drained, and whizzed up with water, they make all manners of creamy garlic aiolis, sensational sour creams, delicious dairy-free yoghurts (try my Coconut Cashew Chia Cream if you haven’t already), and… cheesecakes.
As always, these slices of deliciousness are certified organic, plant-based, raw, dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free, and paleo-friendly. Make up a tart one sunday, devour a few slices, then pop the rest pre-sliced in the freezer for the most amazing friend’s-just-arrived-need-dessert-asap solution. Or for the perfect mid afternoon pick me up. Either way, you’ll be fuelling your body with delicious healthy organic wholefoods, no dairy, no gluten, no sugar highs or lows, and certainly no animals harmed in the process.
My favourite way to eat this tart is served with sliced banana and a dollop of Coconut Cashew Chia Cream, coconut yoghurt, or a scoop of Vanilla Bean Coconut Nice Cream (NZ only – wish I could ship these pots of gold to the rest of you!). The Lucuma matches perfectly with the tart citrus flavours, and the apricot and coconut in the base add a hint of sweetness.
Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1 1/2 c almonds soaked overnight and drained
- 1/2 c desiccated coconut
- 10 dried apricots
- 1 lime, zested
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp water
- 2 1/2 c raw cashews soaked 2 hours and drained
- 1/2 c coconut cream
- 2 lemons, juice and zest use 1 zest to top
- 4 limes, juice and zest use 1 zest for based
- 3 tbsp lucuma powder
- 4 tsp coconut nectar
- Pinch sea salt
- 3/4 c extra virgin coconut oil melted
- Line your cake tin (preferably one with a removable bottom) with a circle of baking paper, cut to fit. This will save you a lot of pain afterwards.
- Add all the dry base ingredients to your blender and blend until fine. Then add the water if needed to make the mixture stick together. When you squeeze a bit between your fingers it should stick. Pour this mixture into your cake tin and flatten down completely with the palm of your hand (wet your palm to avoid it sticking), then place in the freezer.
- Now add all your filling ingredients except the coconut oil and blend until super silky smooth. If you have a high-speed blender you'll get an even smoother result, but a food processor will also do just fine. Once blended, add your melted coconut oil and blend again until completely mixed. Taste and add more coconut nectar if you'd like it sweeter!
- Pour the filling over the base, smooth down with a spatula, then pop back in the freezer and leave overnight to set.
- In the morning, remove, top with the reserved zest and slice. Keep some in the fridge for the week, and put the remainder back in the freezer for dessert emergencies.
This cheesecake will keep in the fridge for at least a week, and in the freezer for up to 2 months. Then when you feel like a sweet treat, simply remove a slice from the freezer, leave for 5-10 minutes to defrost slightly, then serve with a dollop of dairy-free yoghurt or cream and some sliced fruit. Deee-sert is served.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.