It’s not that I’m obsessed with raw. Not anymore since better understanding the workings of Ayurveda, including at times the need for more warm and nourishing foods. However, when the Doshas are balanced and the circumstances rights (eg a hot summer day as is the norm here in Greece and Turkey), the Prana (lifeforce) and joy in a slice of this creamy wholesome treat are unbeatable. Even more so if the alternative to satisfy your creamy sweet cravings were some processed old dairy version of a Cheesecake or other.
What’s in it for you?
Cashews – This native Brazilian is full of antioxidants, a good source of phytochemical and rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium and zinc are only one way to start. What does all that help? Prevents cancer, reduces the risk of heart disease, improves bone health, makes hair colour fuller, prevents gallstones and keeps our nerves relaxed (thanks Magnesium!) and cramp free. And all this is just an intro!
Berries – is almost an equivalent to antioxidants these days, which boosts your immune system, protects your skin and gives your eyes and hair this extra special lustre. Ayurvedically speaking, sweet berries are pitta soothing, thus good to reduce inflammation, too much anger and heat in the body. Both raspberries and strawberries are made up of at least 85% water, plus quite a bit of fibre which makes them a great candidate for weight loss. Their high Vitamin C content potentially reduces arthritis age-related memory loss and eyesight problems, and aids healthy skin and hair.
Coconut Oil – Many people ask me about the saturated fat content of coconuts which they seem to be terrified of. The short explanation to sooth fat-fears is that the triglycerides in coconut oil are much shorter than this fat content in animal fats. This makes it easier to digest, absorb and utilize in the body. Moreover, it stimulates your metabolism and is an excellent nourishment for weak or sick people who struggle to digest the more complex animal fats.
Ingredients for base
1/2 cup of almonds
1/2 cup of dates
2 tbsp of coconut oil
Pinch of Himalayan salt
What do do?
Blend it all up – some like it creamer (blend more), other crunchier (blend less to leave chunks of the nuts in tact). Press into the base of a cake form and put in the fridge.
Ingredients for the creamy layers
3 cups of cashews soaked over at least six hours, then rinsed thoroughly
1/3 cup of honey (more if you like it sweeter) – Vegans use Agave or Maple Syrup (which may make your cake a little less firm)
1 cup of raspberries, strawberries or a mix thereof (I have used fresh and frozen (thawed completely before using!) – both work)
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean (optional)
1/3 cup + ¼ cup of coconut oil melted
Juice of one big lemon (absolute must to give it the tangy cheesecake flavour!)
What to do?
Blend the cashews with honey, lemon juice and ½ cup coconut oil until its really creamy. Adjust the sweetness to your liking, bearing in mind that once refrigerated it tends to taste a little less sweet than when in making. Place 2/3 of the blend on top of your base and put back into the fridge. Mix the remaining 1/3 of the creamy layer with your berries and ¼ cup of coconut oil. Blend until super creamy. Again adjust the sweetness to your liking with more honey if the berries aren’t too sweet. Place on top of the second layer once this ones hardened a little. You’ll have to wait close to an hour or so, unless you use a freezer to speed the whole process up a bit. Once all three layers are in the cake form, place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours before delving into your first slice.
Enjoy, let me know how it turned out and check out some more of our wholesome recipes inspired by vegetarians around the world and all the wonderful places we sail by and practice yoga in.