Strawberry Rhubarb Vegan Cheesecake

makes one 9” cake

Healthy desserts have a bad stigma.  I’m here to turn that bias on its head.  Why?  Because this cake rocks.
Looking back, I probably should have made it for Valentine’s Day because it’s so pink and red.  Mother’s day worked too though.

I completely took this recipe from Minimalist Baker except for the rhubarb and and strawberries.  Give them most of the credit, but I must say that my addition is absolutely divine.  I really love how tart this dessert is.  It’s not sour tart but fruity tart.  Rhubarb is great at giving this flavor.  I used frozen rhubarb because there was no fresh at the store.  However, next time I make the cheesecake I will most definitely use fresh rhubarb because it’s flavor is so much more prominent.

Make this and I can almost assure you that you won’t be let down.  It does sound really bizarre but it is stunningly 1) rich 2) satisfying and 3) so much like cheesecake.

So have your cake and get essential vitamins and nutrients!

Let’s do it.

Active time: 20 minutes  Inactive time: 4-6 hours  Total time: 6 hours 20 minutes

What you’ll need:

For the crust:

1/2 cup dates, pitted

1/2 cup walnuts

For rhubarb compote:

1 cup rhubarb, cut into half inch pieces

5 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/2 lemon, juiced

For the cashew cream:

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 4-6 hours

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/6 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk

1/8 cup agave

Soak the cashews in a small bowl with filtered or tap water for 4-6 hours.

Put the dates into a food processor and process until they form into a dough like ball.  Take the date dough out of the processor and set aside.  Process the walnuts until they turn into a meal-like texture.  Add the dates back in until they are mixed together well (you should be able to squish it into a ball).

Grease a 9” cake tin with non-stick spray or coconut oil.  Press the dough into the bottom and onto the sides until it looks like so:

Cover the crust with saran wrap and set in a freezer while you make the rest of the cake.

Put the rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice into a sauce pan.  Heat the pan on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved then turn the burner to medium-low heat and cook the mixture for around 7 minutes or until you can press it into a mush.  Place in a Pyrex dish (or something that won’t crack when transferred from hot to cold) and set in a refrigerator.

Once the cashews have soaked, drain them with a strainer.  Place the lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, agave, and cashews into a high-speed blender.  Minimalist Baker says you definitely don’t need a VitaMix, just make sure whatever blender you have works well.  Blend the cashew cream until it is really smooth.  I mean really smooth.  This is supposed to be cheesecakey…so smoooooth.

Add the rhubarb compote to your cashew cream mixture, and blend until incorporated.  You may need to add more liquid.  Don’t add water…add more oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, or agave so it blends well.

Take the crust out of the freezer and pour the cashew/rhubarb cream into it evenly.  Cover this well and freeze for another 4-6 hours.  Serve cold and enjoy!

If you don’t eat all the cake the day of, it will stay good for about three days if it is covered well and placed in a fridge!

Tips:

-You can use honey or agave in the compote if you don’t want any processed sugar involved in this decadent dessert.  I think I’ll do that next time.

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker and Epicurious

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