As you may have noticed, the holidays are coming and that usually means a lot of food that might not agree with your skin so much – one of them being those tempting sugary and usually dairy filled desserts.
So I say hey… why not just make your own skin-friendly versions?
Plus, I wanted to share with you something that I discovered that I’ve been obsessed with lately, and that’s cashew cream!
This definitely wins for ‘Best Discovery of 2014’.
I had heard natterings of ‘cashew cream’ before, which is something that vegans like to use as a cheese / cream substitute. In my experience with cheese substitutes, they pretty much suck. So I never paid attention because I figured that it was probably difficult to make for something that was probably not very good.
Well I was COMPLETELY wrong on both fronts.
It’s ridiculously easy. All you do is soak cashews overnight, and then stick them in your blender with a little water. With a little more water, it becomes a thick, creamy, luxurious whipped cream (with a neutral taste), and with a little less water, it becomes a thick paste like ricotta or creamed cheese.
This stuff can be a delicious substitute for mayo, greek yogurt, dip base, creamy salad base, cream in soups, creme fresh, creamed cheese, ricotta cheese, and a whole lot more. One notable recipe I made with it was this paleo spinach artichoke dip. O.M.G. So amazing.
Here’s more instructions on making cashew cream, and all its different incarnations.
Anyway….. as I discovered, it can also be used to make a delicious dairy and refined sugar free CHEESECAKE! Hallelujah! My favourite dessert. Skin friendly edition.
So let’s get into the lesson! I chose ‘chocolate orange’ flavoured cheesecake for this, because, well… honestly, that wasn’t my first choice, but I figured I should make it kind of Christmasy. You can easily adjust this recipe to make any flavour of cheesecake you want, with any kind of toppings you want.
First of All, Here’s the Recipe:
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/16th sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder (omit for regular, non-chocolately crust)
- 1 tbsp or so of orange juice (substitute water for regular non-orange flavoured cheesecake)
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup orange juice which is the juice of about one large orange (substitute lemon juice if making regular cheesecake)
- Flesh of a couple of the orange slices that you squeezed to make the juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raw honey (or you could use real maple syrup, coconut nectar, etc. I used maple syrup and kind of wished I had used honey)
- Extra orange slices, either just cut up and placed on top raw. Or blended together to make a sauce, or reduced on stove to make a compote. Of course, this can substituted for any such flavour of topping you want.
Let’s Get ‘a Cheesecake Makin’!
Making this cheesecake overall is really quite easy, the only thing you need to really do ahead of time is soak your cashews. They require anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to soak, or overnight. Just put ’em in a bowl and cover them with clean water and that’s that.
In the meantime you can start preparing your crust, as you can just put it in the freezer until you’re ready for it. You’ll want to soak your dates in hot water for about 15 minutes in order to soften them up a bit.
Once they’re soaked, place the dates and all the other crust ingredients into your food processor, and mix until it becomes a paste.
Or if you’re like me and sadly just realized that your food processor is so bad now that it will no longer process anything at all – let alone sticky dates and walnuts – you can always just take it all out and chop it up by hand.
Alright! You did it! Now press that gooey mess into a nine inch pie pan, or a spring form pan, or whatever kind of pan you want to put your cheesecake in. Then put in the freezer till you’re ready to make your filling.
Alright let’s get this sweet cashew cheesecakey goodness going on.
Drain your cashews, rinse them, and then place them in your blender or food processor with all the other filling ingredients, and blend, baby, blend.
Keep going till it’s nice and thick and creamy and smooth.
Now pour it into your crust.
Ta da! Put some shiz on top to make it look fancy if you’re that kinda gal.
Now put that baby in the freezer and let it set up for a while. It’ll probably fall apart right now if you don’t do this. Probably takes an hour or so for it to fully set.
To make toppings for it, you can either just cut up some fresh oranges, or blend some in the food processor to make a sauce. Or cut some up, put them in a pot and cook it on the stove for a while until it reduces down into a compote. I chose this last option and kind of regretted it haha. It didn’t taste much different than just slicing some fresh oranges on it would have.
When you’re ready to chow down, take your cake out of the freezer about 15 minutes beforehand to let it de-thaw a bit. Top with your toppings, sprinkle with a bit of orange zest and perhaps a little cocoa powder, again, if you’re fancy. I only do it for show 😉
Happy Holidays from The Love Vitamin!
I have a confession to make, I made this post way before Christmas and I’m on holiday right now 🙂 We’re actually in Australia visiting Luke’s family for the holidays, and my parents came down to Australia for their first time too. So we’re up bombing around on the New South Wales coast with them.
Next week is Christmas, so I’ll be taking that off week off from blogging, although I may share with you a few photos of my “Chrissie” down under – also, please follow me on Instagram and Facebook for frequent updates of what I’m up to! Hope you all have wonderful, stress free holidays.
Lots of love,