Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake (vegan & high raw!)

For those of you who haven't ordered your copy of FOOD LOVE (my newest cookbook) yet, I wanted to entice you. This is a recipe from the dessert section, but it's healthy enough to eat for BREAKFAST!! Hard to believe, but true. That's why I get so silly-crazy-excited about food, you guys. When it tastes this good, but is also good for you?! YESSS!!

I hope you enjoy the recipe - and please be sure to let me know what you think if you try it (I also love being tagged in photos if you post them online!)

NOTE: This photograph was taken by Michelle Donner, who doubled the filling and used a springform pan to achieve this look/height. 

Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Crust:
½ cup EACH: raw almonds and raisins (the raisins should be well packed into the cup)
¼ cup raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
Cheesecake Filling:
1 ½ cups raw cashew pieces*
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil
1 ½ tablespoons vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
Fun Strawberry Topping:
10 oz. bag frozen strawberries, thawed and chopped (2 cups)
6 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons EACH: arrowroot and fresh lemon juice
½ cup chocolate chips (I use stevia-sweetened chocolate chips, Lily’s brand)
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

  1. Make the crust: Blend the crust ingredients in a food processer until they become so sticky that you can imagine yourself pressing the mixture into a pie pan and having it hold together. Then, do just that—place the mixture in a pie pan and press it evenly and firmly around the bottom (not up the sides) to form your crust. Place in the fridge.

  2. Make the filling: Blend the filling ingredients in a high-powered blender* until the mixture is velvety smooth.

  3. Remove your crust from the fridge and evenly top it with the chocolate chips. Then, spoon your filling over the crust and chips. Smooth out the top and refrigerate for an hour or more.

  4. Place your strawberry topping ingredients in a medium pot (over medium-high heat) and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often until thickened, about five minutes. Allow to cool for at least ten minutes.

  5. Gently spoon the strawberry topping evenly over the cheesecake and then arrange the fresh strawberries on top of that. Refrigerate for another hour or more before serving. This will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to a week.

Serves 8-10; GF/SF/Blue/HR/F (according to the health guidelines in my cookbooks)
*If you don’t have a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec), you may need to soak your cashews in water for a few hours before blending in a regular blender.