Hi friends! I have been off the food blogging grid for a good three weeks, busy performing in the law school musical (yes, at Texas Law that’s a thing!) and volunteering at South by Southwest. These raw coconut and raspberry cheesecake bars miraculously happened in the midst of it all and I’m sooo excited to share them with you guys! This recipe has been tasted by eight people (non-vegans and total foodies), all of whom were so impressed and couldn’t believe it was vegan, plant-based and healthy. I know there are plenty of other delicious vegan coconut cheesecake recipes out there, so why make this one? Because this recipe is completely raw, unrefined, enzyme-rich and living!These raw coconut and raspberry cheesecake bars have an almond, coconut and date base, and a creamy coconut cheesecake layer topped with raspberry chia jam. They taste so much like real cheesecake, I couldn’t believe it myself! Unlike many raw cakes that melt when fully defrosted, the consistency created by the cashews and coconut meat ensures that these cheesecake bars don’t melt at room temperature, making them the perfect raw dessert to bring to parties or events. This three-layer recipe takes about an hour from start to finish, but a chunk of that time is spent waiting for the cheesecake to freeze before topping it with the jam.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates or pitted dates soaked in warm water for 10 mins
- 1½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 6 oz or 180ml young coconut meat (about ½ cup; 3 inner-eco smoothie packs)
- ½ cup cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, melted
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup purified water
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 2 small lemons)
- 3 tsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- ¾ tsp pink himalayan salt
- Raspberry Chia Jam
- 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1½ tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp water
- If using frozen raspberries, start by setting them aside and allowing them to thaw until use.
- Add all crust ingredients into a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until it all sticks together. If not sticky enough, add a couple more dates.
- Spread the crust into your form, and press firmly down to ensure that it sticks together. Place in freezer to set.
- Add all the cheesecake filling ingredients into a processor or high speed blender, and blend until silky smooth. Don't forget to melt the coconut oil in a pan (using as little heat as possible) before adding it into the processor, as it is crucial to blend it in its liquid state to achieve the right consistency. If your blender isn't strong enough to process such a thick mixture, a trick is to start with the liquids and add the solid ingredients in one by one.
- When you have achieved a smooth consistency, pour the cream over the crust and spread evenly. Place back into the freezer to set.
- As the cheesecake hardens in the freezer, use a utensil to mush your raspberries together in a bowl. Add the water and chia seeds, then set the jam aside to allow the chia seeds to absorb the excess water and form into a gel.
- After a minimum of 30 minutes, ensuring that the cake has set enough, spread the raspberry chia jam over the cheesecake layer.
- Store cake in freezer. Allow 30 minutes to defrost before serving.
One of the things that makes these raw coconut and raspberry cheesecake bars unique is that they are made with 100% young green coconut meat. I see a ton of ‘raw’ cheesecake recipes that use coconut milk or coconut cream, and while these products are much better than dairy products, I prefer not to use them because they are processed foods and most have additives, stabilisers or are sold in chemical-laden containers. If you want to eat food that is raw, living and enzyme-rich then young green coconut meat is one of the best coconut products out there. Young coconut meat contains living enzymes that aid the human digestive, nervous and circulatory systems. It is also a good source of minerals such as manganese (super anti-inflammatory), potassium and copper. Like cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, it is high in antibacterial lauric acid. Although much of the fat in coconut products is categorised as ‘saturated’, coconut fat is nothing to be feared if eating coconut in unrefined forms like this. Young coconut meat and cold-pressed virgin coconut oil are rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which is used directly by the body as fuel and not absorbed in the same way as other saturated fats. This raspberry chia jam is so delicious! For their high omega 3 and mineral content, I am stoked whenever I can sneak chia seeds into dessert recipes. Chia seeds are amazing for making jam, as they absorb excess liquid and form a gel. One seed can actually absorb up to 27 times its weight in water. If you eat jam, I recommend doubling the proportions and storing some in the fridge for other purposes (it should be good for 2-3 days).
‘Whenever your mind is in duality, you are in trouble. There’s no way you can function. “Should I go North? Should I go South?” If you can’t decide which way you are going to go, you are going to sit right there. You’ll go neither North nor South – that’s called duality. Life is a gift of God and duality is a waste of that life.’
– Yogi Bhajan
I struggled with not being able to focus on my priorities these last few weeks, and I could tell that it was causing inefficiency and an inability to be present in the moment. When I decided to ride the wave and make the most of it, I was so thankful that I did! South by Southwest was overwhelming in the best possible way – I learned so much, met people that have inspired me for years (I talked to Cory Booker and Tim Ferriss!) and made new friends. After a few weeks of fun, being able to make time for recipe developing and yoga feels incredible. I feel so blessed to have things in my life that bring me such joy! This recipe for raw coconut and raspberry cheesecake bars in particular makes me SO incredibly excited and I can’t wait to hear what you guys think 🙂
Sat Nam <3