13 Apr 2012

vanilla bean cheesecake

You know you want it.


This is basically the same recipe I've used before, and it's become hugely popular! This time I made a simple vanilla bean cheesecake. Vanilla is underrated, don't you think? I've always loved it myself but people tend to categorize it as "plain". That's a shame (and a rhyme).

Vanilla Ice is also underrated...


That was joke. But I won't lie here - I have memorized the lyrics to this song. YOU LOVE ME, OKAY.



Ooooooh boy this is just plain freakin' delicious. I love the sour you get from the lemon, just the right amount to pair with the sweetness and richness of the maple syrup and cashews. This time I put coconut chunks in the crust and they added another texture. NOM.

Like I've said, this and the chocolate banana coconut cream pie are my family's two faves. If I were you, I'd trust their judgement. Now - if you're one of those people who are worried about many calories are in a slice of this heavenly creation... STOP IT! Who cares? You're not eating the entire thing, and all that's in it are raw nuts, dates, maple syrup (or agave) and vanilla beans.


I really just don't worry about calories. When you are eating whole plant foods in reasonable amounts - you shouldn't either. What do you think is healthier? A 100 calorie pack of Thinsations, or a 200 calorie Larabar?

I really hope you said the Larabar. 

Let's compare the ingredients, shall we?

Thinsations: enriched wheat flour, sugar, glucose-fructose, canola oil with TBHQ and citric acid, cocoa, corn starch, sodium bicarbonate, salt, ammonium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate, colour and artificial flavour.
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Larabar: nuts, dates... LOL! 
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Anyway the point I have to share is that "low calorie" is not necessarily synonymous with "healthy".   This is a really important fact that I think too many people in North America don't understand or think of. The corporations have drilled into us that as long as it's low calorie - it's guilt-free! Ya know what, aspartame is low calorie and it causes blindness (it also turns into formaldehyde when it enters your blood). For Pete's sake, cement is low calorie. Getting my message?
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If you'd like to email me about this, please do. Back to cheescake bliss.
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Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Almond Crust: makes 1 cheesecake 

Crust:
1 cup dates
2 cups raw almonds
Surround the inside of a cake pan with wax paper or plastic wrap. Pulse dates and nuts together in food processor until you get a rough, sticky mixture that you can pat down with your hands into the bottom of the cake pan. Do so. Set in fridge.


Cheesecake:
3 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked for 3 to 4 hours)
3/4 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Blend all ingredients, EXCEPT coconut oil, together until smooth and creamy. Add coconut oil and make sure it blends completely. Taste it. Yes. Pour onto crust in cake pan and set in the fridge until it has the hardness you want (probably 3-5 hours or overnight). Take out of cake pan holding the wax paper or plastic wrap and put on your favourite plate. Slice and enjoy, or eat it like a wild animal.  

41 comments:

  1. Counting Calories - what's that?... I too follow a similar diet to yours and agree 100% - it is a shame not everyone is as educated on the benefits of a whole foods plant based diet.

    I am a HUGE fan of vanilla - my flavor of choice actually :)

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    1. Yes! Whole foods are the way to go. Always good for ya. Woooo! Hurraw for the underdog =)

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  2. I love everything about your post; the cake the song and your love for simple things..and not counting calories..+ Larabars are so fantastic !

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    1. =D I'm not surprised. Omg mhm Larabars a hiking staple.

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  3. I have everything but the coconut oil, just went through the last of mine! can i sub anything else in?

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    1. Hmm that's a bit of a tricky one. You'll need something thick and creamy to substitute. The first thing that comes to mind is a banana - if you use that then you should eat it sooner. (Banana will also make it taste like vanilla-banana cheesecake, nothing wrong with that lol)

      Or tofu, if you're not strictly raw. You could also just add more cashews and maybe some dates. It won't taste the same but it'll still be DELISH =)

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  4. This looks so amazingly delicious! I've been following your blog for a while now, and I just wanted to say it's so nice to see that there's other people around my age interested in raw foods and living a healthy lifestyle. Very inspiring - keep it up!

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    1. Thank you so much, Maggie!! That's exactly what I hope people get from my blog, and ditto - I love finding other young people thinking actively and consciously about what they put in their bodies. =)

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  5. How pretty, and it looks delicious too!

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    1. Thank yoouuu =) I can guarantee it is delicious, lol

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  6. 1. Your blog is amazing.

    2. This recipe looks/sounds divine.

    3. If you have not checked these guys out yet, you need to: http://www.gnosischocolate.com/

    If nothing else, just take a look at those truffles.... *drool*

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    1. 1. Thank and thank you!
      2. OH LAAWWWDD. My mouth is salivating. Frick. I'm gonna put that website in my recommended resources. Thank you.

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    2. I thought you might appreciate that site. :)

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  7. Loved this cheesecake!! And love your website! Thank you for sharing all these yummy recipes I have never been a big dessert person but now I get excited about making a dessert and my kids and husband love them so it's even better! Thank you thank you!

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    1. Thank YOU =) I really appreciate that, Nicole.

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  8. YES. I made it. YESSSSSS. Thank you <3

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  9. can I substitute anything for the almonds in the crust? I have a dinner guest that is allergic.

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    1. Oh defs - any other nut will work perfect.

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  10. I made this yesterday, and i loved it! The only thing i may try is less lemon and maybe replace with vanilla flavored almond milk, as my 'critics' said it tasted more like lemon cheese cake and not vanilla. The crust recipe is to DIE for...i blended in 1/3 of a banana to the mix just for fun and it was delish!. going to try your summer/spring rolls and peanut sauce today! I can't wait to get slicing and dicing!

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  11. Just made this read for our macmillan coffee morning at work on friday, ad i made some extra cupcake sized ones for us to try now... having never tried a raw vegan cheesecake before (making or eating) i have no idea if i made it properly, and being british and wit no 'cup' measuring devices i may have skewed the measurment slightly and my blender isnt the most powerful of devices. anyway i have just tested them out on my fiance and flatmate (both meat eating carb and cheese loving lads).... they said it was ok.... OK.... thats a compliment from them! It deffinitly has a strong lemony flavour and the flavour of the cashews its still the strongest flavour (even after adding the seeds from one vanilla pof, half a small bottle of vanilla extract and a whole bottle of madagascan vanilla extract with seeds..... still cant really taste the vanilla)..... and it was horendously expesive to make, i think i spent between £30 and £40 on the ingrediants..... but it for charity so its fine.... i now have a basic understanding to go an experiment with, and i am sure i can make a cheaper version with different flavours for myself.
    I agree with the previous poster, the crust recipe is divine and i could happily just make that and have it as a nutty bar.
    anyway thank you for the recipe and awesome blog.

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  12. For the vanilla beans - will extra vanilla extract suffice? I've never experimented with the flavor difference of extract versus actual beans....but the beans are hard to come by and really pricey. Just curious on your thoughts!

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  13. Hey Em! i just made this delicious dessert for my family and my "cheesecake filling" wasn't the creamy white color that is displayed in your pics, did i make a wrong turn?

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  14. mmmmmmm I just made this and mixed hibiscus flowers into it, and decorated it with rose petals, coconut, walnuts, and more hibiscus. the prettiest dessert ever!! thanks Emily!!!

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  15. Can I use half cashews half pecan or walnuts in the filling or would that just taste strange.. I only have 1 1/2 cups of cashews?

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  16. Going to make this for my birthday tomorrow, as a gift to myself :)
    I may add some cacao to the crust also and serve with fresh strawberries or raspberries!

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  17. I LOVE this recipe, I mad a few little changes to suit my taste and I posted it (with references to you) on my webpage, www.thelotusyogini.ca <3

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  18. Philippine pili nuts from the Bicol region in the Philippines is a great Filipino or Philippines food orsnack. Pili nuts are very healthy and nutritious indeed, being a source of energy, potassium and iron.They also have protein, dietary fiber / fibre, and calcium as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  I know they have no cholesterol, no trans fat, and the unsalted ones have no sodium. What is great about the pili nut snack or treat is that they are so crisp, rich, and delicious.

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  19. Hi Em, I'm from Mexico city, I just tried this recipe for very first time and is sooo good!. But I have a doubt, my cake is darker, what could I be doing wrong?

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  20. @Gypsy - hi :) That is okay! All my recipes turn out different every time because the ingredients are whole foods and are all unique, they'll behave differently each time you use them and this is totally fine.

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  21. must. make. this. weekend.

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  22. Made this today; was so gorgeous and firm! You're a genius! :D

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  23. Did you use refined or unrefined coconut oil?

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  24. I made this yesterday, left it in the fridge over night, couldn't help myself and had a slice for breakfast. I'm in love with this cheesecake. It's amazing! Thank you so much for making this recipe!

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  25. Hi! I want to make this cheesecake but I don't like the lemon flavor! Can I replace it with something else? Thanks in regards!

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  26. tried baking it, it was really delicous,

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Feel free to comment below, I love hearing your thoughts! xo, Em