VEGAN STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
This plant based take on a classic was better than I could even predict! It has the perfect texture and sweet but slightly tart taste from the strawberries. I used a classic graham cracker crust because graham crackers can actually be vegan! Just remember to look at the ingredients. For the filling I used a combination of a lemon-y cashew cream and Toffuti cream cheese which is my favorite alternative to make authentic recipes with. You could really use any vegan plain cream cheese here but that is just my favorite. Other good brands in case you can't find that include Kite Hill and Miyokos. To make the layers in this cheese cake I took half the filling and added strawberries and raspberries, let it freeze, then added the remaining plain filling on top. It is actually so cold here in New Hampshire (and I have no space in my fridge or freezer) so I let it freeze on my porch! I hope you enjoy this vegan version of a timeless dessert, just in time for that special someone this Valentines day :)
The only tools that I used for this was a high speed blender to blend the filling, a food processor to blend the crust and a 9-in spring form pan to bake the crust in to hold it together.
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE RECIPE
Time: 4-6 hours
For the crust:
1 sleeve of graham crackers
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp melted butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp sugar
1 lemon's juice
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/3 cup melted butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 1/2 8oz containers of Toffuti Cream Cheese
1 tbsp of psyllium husk or agar powder *thickening agent
1/3 cup raspberries
Sliced or halved strawberries
Soak the cashews for the filling for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375.
Start with the crust by blending the graham crackers into a grainy powder in your food processor (don't go too far into a dust!) You want about 1 1/2 cups of the powder, I used about a whole sleeve of graham crackers for this (about 6-8 crackers).
Add the remaining ingredients for the crust to your food processor and blend till it starts to clump together. Lightly grease your spring form pan and press the graham cracker mixture into it, bringing it up the sides about an inch. Try to keep it as even across the pan as possible.
Bake for 8 minutes, then let cool completely.
For the filling first drain the cashews and then blend them with the almond milk. Then add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the fruit to the blender and blend till creamy. Remove about half of the mixture and put in a container in the fridge. Add the strawberries and raspberries to the blender and blend till there are no chunks left. Add this pink cream cheese mixture to the graham cracker crust and put in freezer for 2 hours minimum. Once that layer is frozen add the plain layer on top, smooth out with a spatula, then freeze again for 2 hours or more.
Take out of the fridge and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Run a thin knife along the side of the crust and pop off the spring form pan from the outside. Top with fresh strawberries, lemon zest, and hemp seeds.