Blackberry Currant Layered Cheesecake
If you saw my FB post yesterday, you saw my oh-so-yummy noncheese cheesecake!
Part of what I am doing this year is a sort of gradual detox to rid my body of harmful chemicals from all the medicine I took last year through my illness. As of the first, I am eating no cooked foods. I made this as a treat for New Year’s Eve, knowing I’d have enough left for a “go-to” if I had to have a treat. I don’t usually have hankerings for particular foods anymore, but it’s not hard to want a piece of this!
And it’s pretty simple too, aside from straining the blackberries through a sieve, you can probably make the whole thing from start to finish in under 20 minutes!
To start, you will need 3 cups of soaked cashews. The best way to do this, is to purchase RAW nuts the day before, and place in a jar or bowl big enough to hold the cashews covered in water, plus an additional cup of water and still have some space left in the container. I use a 2 liter mason jar to do this, it’s just easiest for me. The reason you want to do this, is that the nuts will absorb the water and expand. It’s also important to note, to ensure you don’t get bloating or discomfort, drain and rinse the nuts and soak again halfway through soaking time. You want a minimum of 4 hours, but 24 hours is superb. The longer they soak, the creamier your cheesecake! The reason you drain and rinse is because nuts have enzyme inhibitors that are released when they touch water. Those inhibitors can cause intestinal discomfort aside from the fact they will keep you from absorbing all the goodness! So, the recipe takes a little forethought, but is quickly made!
For the pie crust:
2 cups raw nuts (I use pecans mostly, with some walnuts and almonds)
5 tablespoons cacao nibs (can use non-dairy chocolate chips)
2 T. cocoa powder
Some himalayan sea salt
½ t. vanilla
5 medjool dates, pitted (room temperature works best)
For the filling:
12 – 20 oz. fresh blackberries
This reminds me – I went to Cracker Barrel with my family not long ago, and the only thing on the menu that I could eat was the fruit bowl – fresh blackberries and pineapples. I’m not a big blackberry fan because of the seeds, but o.m.g. . . . . these blackberries were HUGE and JUICEY and so good, I had to ask the chef where he got them from locally. That’s kind of what started this whole recipe. Blackberries are super high in phytochemicals and antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber, not to mention, although we don’t eat the seeds in this recipe, the seeds are a good ratio of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids! Blackberries most certainly sit in the superfood category. OK, rambling now, I digress . . .
The rest of the ingredients for the filling are:
1 – 4oz. container of fresh currants
3 cups of soaked cashews, soaked and strained
2 cups almond milk
2/3 c. coconut oil
1/3 c. agave nectar
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cap of vanilla extract
Couple twists of Himalayan sea salt
To make the crust:
Blend all ingredients in high powered mixer like the Vitamix or food processor. Make sure dates are incorporated all throughout, and then press into your pan of choice. I used a springform bundt pan which made it easy to remove. It makes plating really pretty!
Set aside while you do the next step.
In blender, toss in cashews, milk, oil, agave, vanilla and salt and blend until smooth. While blender is running, remove stems from currants and place half of them on top of the crust, setting aside the other half for the top of the cheesecake. When filling is ready, pour 1/3 of the mixture over currants and tap the pan to remove bubbles. (To do this, gently lift pan off counter about ½”, then drop lightly onto counter to bring bubbles to the top.) Place pan in freezer while you do the next step.
Pour remaining mixture into a small bowl and set aside. Rinse out blender and place all blackberries except a reserve amount for garnish on top. Blend all blackberries until thoroughly juiced, and then press through a sieve to separate seeds from juice. Throw seeds away. Add juice back to the blender with half of remaining cashew mixture and blend.
Remove pan from freezer and very (very!) gently, pour blackberry cashew mixture on top of first layer. Again, pop pan for bubbles and place back in freezer.
At this point, you can leave remaining cashew mixture as is or you can add different things for flavor. You can add a little more vanilla extract, you can add some cocoa powder, you could add some shredded coconut, you could add some lemon juice, the list is endless for flavor combinations with the blackberries! My preference, maple syrup – although it is cooked! Once you decide to add, wait 20 minutes to pour the remaining mixture as your final layer and top with remaining currants and blackberries. Sometimes, I reserve some of the blackberry juice and use it as a topper when serving! YUM!!! Here is a pic of when I made this with pistachios on top:
Freeze at least 4 hours. Use a warm, wet cloth to wipe around edges of pan, and inside center tube to release cake from pan and turn over onto plate. Top with reserved blackberry juice, or drizzle with agave or maple syrup, whatever you want! Makes 12 servings, depending on how you cut it.
On the healthy side of things, this cheesecake is made of whole, raw ingredients with no animal products, so it is a raw vegan meal! No puss-filled dairy or mucus-y cheese … no processed powder-y flour-y cardboard crust – – –
– – – all natural, raw, organic, non-gmo deliciousness, oh my!