Sunday, June 10, 2012

Raw Blackberry Lemon Lavender Cheesecake



As I struggled through my 9 mile run yesterday, I was sweating profusely.  I felt like the sun was draining my energy and I was imagining jumping into a lake and how good it would feel at that point. However, the pond I was running beside just wouldn't do.  I couldn't imagine jumping into something that had so much algae growing in it and smelled the way it did.  So back to sweating and imagining it was...trying to cool my body with my mind, after all, I only had 3 more miles to run.  Then I saw it...a sprinkler!  It was just begging to be ran through!  The five year old in me said "Do it"!  I am not one to ignore that voice and so I did, hoping the owners of the sprinkler weren't watching.  It felt so good to be showered with coolness even if it was only for a few brief moments.  

 
As I have mentioned in a few posts previous to this one, it has been very warm in Minnesota this week.  It is already 91 today and climbing!  So I made it my goal to not use the oven this weekend and prepare only food that didn't need to be heated trying to keep the house cool and save money on air conditioning.  This was not going to keep me from having delicious desserts however.  I NEED my dessert.  


I decided to make another raw cheesecake.  I know, I am a bit obsessed, but if you have ever made one you know why...they are so increadibly good!  I had blackberries and lemons and so I thought a blackberry lemon lavender cheesecake would be perfect.  I was amazed at how vibrantly purple the blackberries made the filling, it was quite beautiful. 


Almost too pretty to eat, but that never stops me.  It was heavenly, the silky smooth luscious filling with the tart blackberries and lemon, the sweet vanilla and the nutty crust!   I was almost tempted not to share but I am not that selfish.  


I used to think it was not possible to make a cake without heating the oven and boy, was I wrong!

 
Raw Vegan Blackberry Lemon Lavender Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake

six inch spring form pan

Crust:
2/3 cup hazelnuts
2/3 cup finely shredded coconut
1/3 cup sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat groats (or additional coconut)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped

 
Filling:
2 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked at least 4 hours, but preferably soaked overnight)
1 cup young coconut meat (or 1 cup soaked cashews if unavailible)
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
2 Tbsp organic dried lavender flowers

1 cup fresh organic blackberries
 
Blackberry puree:
1/4 cup organic blackberries
1 Tbsp organic coconut nectar or agave nectar
 
Cream Topping:
3/4 cup raw cashew pieces (soaked at least 4 hours, but preferably soaked overnight)
1/4 cup coconut water
1 cup fresh young coconut meat* (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
3 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean (the other half of the one you used for the filling)
1/4 cup raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
 
To prepare the crust, spray a 6 inch spring form pan with coconut oil spray or grease with coconut oil.  Process hazelnuts, coconut, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the it is fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Firmly press crust into the bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.
 
To make filling, drain cashews and combine them with coconut, lemon juice, and zest, agave nectar, sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. With the motor running, slowly add the coconut oil in a thin stream to emulsify (if you get small chunks the mixture was too cold or the coconut oil was too cold, and if this happens, remove a small portion of the filling, warm it slightly and return it to the bowl.  It should emulsify).  Remove the filling from the food processor, stir in lavender and divide evenly between 2 bowls. Place half back into the food processor and add 1 cup blackberries. Puree until smooth and scrape back in the bowl. For the blackberry puree, using an immersion blender (or you can rinse out the food processor) combine the 1/4 cup blackberries and 1 Tbsp agave nectar and puree until smooth. Drop the filling alternating between the vanilla and blackberry in about 3 tbspful amounts over crust in pan, until all is used up, sort of in a checkerboard fashion. Tap on the counter to level (keeping pan level).  Drop some of the puree in teaspoonful amounts over the top of the cake (reserving some for serving) and swirl with a knife to create marbling. Place in the freezer until it is set, 6 hours about.  After that store in the fridge until ready to top. 
To make topping, drain cashews and blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor, and set in the freezer about 30 minutes until a frosting consistency. Place in a pastry bag and pipe decoratively on top of the cheesecake.  Store in the fridge when not enjoying.

I have had a few comments from readers regarding opening young coconuts.  If you do not know how to open a young coconut to get the water and meat out, here is a page that was helpful to me on learning how to open them:
http://www.youngcoconuts.com/open.html


129 comments:

  1. I'm blown away by your cakes! They are works of art! And, as a bonus, they are healthy too!

    Lush!

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  2. Wow Amy, a 9 mile run? You go girl! I so wish I could run but walking is painful for me, pah!

    The cheesecake looks so awesome and perfect. Looks so delicious.

    -Lisa.
    Sweet 2 Eat Baking

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  3. SO beautiful! The color that blackberries lend to desserts is always so lovely. Your raw cheesecakes never fail to impress me!

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  4. This Cheesecake is gorgeous. The colors and flavors exudes dynamic punches. As far as raw desserts, this is definitely a winner.

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  5. Does this ever look delicious! Smart move not to use your oven. It's just as hot up here in Canada and I made the mistake of baking sweet potato fries today.

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  6. Another fabulous combination, Amy! I love those luscious swirls! :)

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  7. Wow! This is so gorgeous! I love the marble effect!

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  8. beautiful, simply beautiful! it sounds divine!

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  9. This cake looks amazing, has great flavours and has my mouth watering - a winner :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  10. This is an absolutely stunning cake!

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  11. that is ridiculously gorgeous cake. you create this amazing amazing cake with so much patience and then take these beautiful pictures and then eat all of it:)) send some of that heat over to seattle please along with a slice of the cake!

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  12. Hi Amy! I've just recently discovered your blog, and so far this is my favorite recipe. Beautiful cheesecake and one I'd love to try! The flavors sound right up my alley. Thanks for the great idea.

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  13. Another incredible creation, Amy! I'm so glad you were today's featured foodie and I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday series. I hope you have no objections and always enjoy watching what you make...

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  14. that is one GORGEOUS raw cheesecake. i am in awe of your skills.

    and i'm with ya, lady. i've been trying very hard not to use the oven lately, too. pa gets very hot and i just hate using the ac. so i do whatever it takes to keep the temp in our apartment as low as possible.

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  15. Wow, that looks really nice. I love that sort of cakes!

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  16. I've made something very similar to this before, but not swirled -- I think the marbling pushes it over the top! Gorgeous.

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  17. I love cheesecakes but I always fail when I try to make some. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
    I will try again with your receipe.
    Ayo Délé
    http://missayodele.com/

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  18. Must try this one, too beautiful to eat!

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  19. This look absolutely delicious! I can't wait to try it!
    Can I use frozen blackberries instead of fresh?

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    1. Thank you! You can use frozen, as long as you unthaw them and drain them of all liquid and squeeze most of it out. Otherwise it creates more liquid in the cake making it harder to set up.

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  20. looks super yummy, did you use a springform pan? also in the crust instructions you mention hazelnuts and pecans? have you made it w/ both?

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    1. Yes, I used a springform pan. The pecans were a typo, as that is what I use most often in these cheesecakes, but I fixed it now and it just says to use hazelnuts. Although you could use all pecans if you liked ;)!

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  21. Thanks for answering my question.
    What can be used instead of cashews?

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    1. You could use macadamia nuts, but the cake may not be quite as creamy.

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  22. This is amazing! question though, i want to make this for my sisters baby shower but she lives like 3-4 hours away so would it still be good by the time i get there? Thanks for this recipe =)

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    1. Thanks :)! Pack it with tons of ice in a cooler, and it should be fine.

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  23. oh my gosh that looks AMAZINGGGGGG! love the colors:)

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  24. Hi Amy,

    So, tomorrow I'm gonna try your recipie!!! This is so exciting! I never made aanything raw!!!

    What can I use instead of dates? I really don't like their flavour.

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    1. Awesome! You can use honey or agave nectar, about 1-2 Tbsp. Just add a little, then blend until the nuts hold together when squeezed. (if you need a little more just add it a little at a time). Hope you enjoy the cake :)!

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  25. I'm VERY excited to make this for a special BBQ I'm going to tomorrow. I've been searching all over the Internet for something unique, not too big (there will only be 4 of us), summery, vegan AND decadent - your raw cheesecakes fit the bill and then some! I had trouble deciding which one to make but I love the thought of lavender flowers so this one wins this time. Now that I'm the proud owner of a 6 inch spring form pan I plan to try them all. Thank you, I'm a new fan of your blog. :)

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    1. Glad you enjoy the recipe! This was one of my favorites as well, perfect for 4 people! 6 inch pans are awesome, you wonn't be sorry you invested in one ;)! Thank you so much for visiting :)!

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  26. Hi Amy!

    The cake turned out divine!!!!
    I received so many compliments....
    In the end I used both macadamia nuts and cashews.
    How on earth did it turn out so white?!

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    1. Awesome! Glad to hear you liked it :)! Also, nice to know macs work in addition to the cashews!

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  27. Hi Amy,

    Thanks but you still haven't answered my question. How did your cheescake turned out so white??!!

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    1. I guess I wasn't sure what you meant by the question. It might be the lighting in my photos but it was slightly off white. Although, for some reason my cakes turn out surprisingly white with the raw cashews, are you sure you used raw cashews and not toasted?

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  28. Amy,
    I'm pretty sUre. It turned out slightly off white. Maybe it's the lighting. It's definitly one of my favorite recipies- although a very time-consuming one :)
    Do you use organic cashews?

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    1. I photographed it in natural light, and I did use organic. They are pretty white if they are raw. I also soaked them overnight which seems to make them whiter. I thought the same thing about the time, until I have made a few, now it is a breeze ;)! I am so glad you liked the cake though :)! Thank you for keeping in touch and letting me know how it turned out for you :)!

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  29. Amy,

    My pleasure! Thank YOU for answering all my questions:)
    I was so excited when my very first raw recipe turned out so great! I had plenty of worries when I made it. I was afraid that since I didn't have all the ingredients- it won't turn out- I couldn't get lavender, coconut oil, medjool dates, hazelnuts and vanilla bean and didn't have enough nuts.

    I didn't have organic nuts- they’re way more expensive! I soaked them for 6 hours not longer.
    Do you make them in a batch? Or once you make them =they're all gone on the same day?

    P.S. Can I send you the photo of how it turned out? You might want to publish it...

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    1. No problem! Haha I felt the same way about mine, I was so worried it would not turn out, but it was amazing and got me hooked! What kind of oil did you end up using? It is ok if the nuts aren't organic, I sometimes use conventional as well due to price. I think my nuts soaked about 16 hours by the time I got to using them. But 6 hours should be plenty. I only soaked the amount I needed and used them all. You can definately send me a photo. In fact, if you are a fan of my Facebook page, post it on there :)!

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  30. Good to know I'm not alone in this!!!
    I didn't use any oil- I completely forgot about it!
    I posted on your facebook page.

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    1. The oil makes the cake more white, the coconut oil helps the cake to have a richer texture, set up properly and makes the cake more white. Which would explain why it probably wasn't as white. It still looked yummy though, thank you for sharing the pic with me :)!

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  31. You're welcome! Thanks! I did try my very best!!!!
    I could only dream to produce such masterpieces as you!
    Oh well, next time...
    How did you soak the nuts?

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    1. Pretty good for your first try them ;)! I soak the nuts in filtered water in a tupperware container.

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  32. This looks AMAZING! I will have to give it a try! Glutenfree, Dairyfree, Vegan and Soyfree too, bah I'm in awe!

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  33. Grazie Mille, what a chef d'oeuvre! Will keep this one bookmarked for future reference. Thank you for sharing

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for visiting :)!

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  34. This has got to be the most beautiful and equally delicious looking cake I have ever seen! If you were my neighbor, you could run through my sprinkler ANY time — with the understanding that I could come over for dessert any time ;)

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    1. Thank you :)! If you were my neighbor I would definately share ;)!

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  35. could you use raspberries instead of the blackberries? and what about frozen ones? would it be sweet enough?

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  36. Can you keep this in the freezer weeks before a meal?

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    1. Yes, it freezes well, just take it out the day before.

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  37. Hi! This looks amazing, but I am allergic to treenuts and coconut. Do you think I could use sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds in place of the cashews for the filling?

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    1. I don't think it would turn out very well, but you could try it.

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  38. I didn't have a 6" springform, so I used my 9". Doubled the crust ingredients, except the dates. the cake was about 1 1/2" tall. That didn't deter us though. My family and I ate this and loved it!!! Wonderful recipe, it tasted sinful, but because I know better it was a divine treat!!!!

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    1. I would say next time you probably need to double the filling too, since it is the bulk of the height of the cake ;). Then it would be taller. So Happy you decided to make the recipe and enjoyed it :)! Thank you so much for letting me know it worked out for you!

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    2. I did the same thing with my 9" pan LOL except I didn't realize the pan was too big till I realized I didn't have enough batter and had to make more.

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  39. I made this today and it's excellent! I just started trying raw recipies and I'm so glad I made this! Thank you ;-)

    Lara

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    1. Awesome! So happy you decided to make it and try raw :)! Thanks for letting me know you did :)!

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  40. Hi Amy!
    I just started a blog, and was wondering whether you'd mind if I posted my rendition of your recipe on it? Naturally, I'll give you due credit and link back to your page.
    Regardless of whether I can or can't, thank you so much for posting this! It's such a healthy, wonderful recipe, and everyone who tried it absolutely loved it.

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    1. Of course you can :)! I am so happy you decided to make my cake, and I appriciate you sharing. You can share the link with me too if you like ;)!

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    2. Yay! Here's a link to post, http://squiggytron.blogspot.com
      I'll be sure to monitor your blog and make more of your recipes :)

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    3. Your cake turned out beautiful! Just checked it out :)!

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  41. you're in MN too? If only they made such tasty desserts at the Ecopolitan- maybe they should hire you? ;)

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    1. Yes I am :)! Haha, I am flattered that you say that, I am sure it would be fun to work there! I have only tried one of their desserts and that was a few years ago. Now I never order dessert because I have so much on hand ;).

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  42. This looks fantastic!

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  43. Since Agave is so controversial (health-wise), is there a substitute for it? This looks amazing.

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    1. Use raw coconut nectar, it is wonderful stuff!

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  44. Could I substitute blueberries for blackberries, and also omit the lavender?

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    1. Yes you may, feel free to make the cake to your own tastes :)!

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  45. I wish you could make a video with these recipes...It looks delicious anyhow! Congratulations

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  46. This looks sooo delicious! Would it be possible to replace the nuts by walnuts and/or almonds? My son is allergic to cashews and hazelnuts and all other nuts, except for almonds and walnuts, you see :-)

    Hope to hear!

    Please keep posting your delicious recipes...

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    1. Thank you :)! You can replace it with almonds but you may need to strain the mixture as they tend to leave chunks.

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. This cake looks wonderful! It might be worth noting that cashew nuts often aren't raw, they are often heated (to above raw limit temperatures) in the dehulling process, same goes for white almonds, hazelnuts, and some others. They do exist raw though, just make sure to double check it! Good luck

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    1. Thank you, I like to use nuts that are accessable to everyone, it is their choice if they would like to seek out raw nuts or not ;).

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  49. That is absolutely beautiful inside & out! Can't wait to try it - thanks for sharing! =)

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  50. May I suggest using coconut oil instead of non-stick cooking spray? The stuff in those sprays is awful, and its a crime to add it to such a great recipe! Im excited to make this, thank you for sharing it!

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    1. I actually use coconut oil spray. I am happy you enjoyed the recipe :)!

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  51. Hi. When mention raw cashew pieces are you talking about the fruit or the nuts

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  52. I just made this just now, and Its amazing! I could
    not find lavender though that's the only thing..
    but next time I will make it with lavender! I also
    substituted the blackberries with organic frozen
    blueberries (I am more of a blueberry lover anyway
    and it still gives a nice color like blackberries!)
    Also, my filling came out kinda more beige/off white
    and not perfectly white like in your pictures!
    I did not have any coconut oil either maybe I need
    to get some for next time too...I can't wait to try it! ^^
    Oh, and one more thing, can you calculate the calories
    for this recipe? :)

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    1. Awesome! So happy you enjoyed the recipe and made the cake for yourself :)! Blueberries must have been delicious as well. You are always welcome to make the recipes your own by subbing things ;). It might have been more beige due to the absence of the coconut oil, it makes the cake lighter in color. Unfortunately I do not calculate calories, sorry.

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  53. This is an amazing cake. My family and I loved it so much, I just had to share with my readers (linking back to you naturally). Your blog is wonderful.
    Elle
    http://yourhappyhealthblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you so much :)! So happy you all enjoyed it!

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  54. Hi. Making your fabulous cake today! Mine looks beige, in this pic it looks white. Did you remove the hazelnut skin? What does soaking the cashew do? I was pressed for time...

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    1. Mine was off white, but the lighting made it look lighter in the pics. I did not remove the skins. Soaking the cashews makes the cake smoother and makes the nuts easier to digest (also makes the cake a little whiter ;)).

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  55. thank you. what if my icing is too thick and hard to press out (using a wilton decorator plus) also, my crust didn't stick. -newbie ;)

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    1. You chilled the icing too long if it was too thick. It only needs to stay in the freezer until just thick enough ;). Also, your dates may have been too dry so try using more in the crust and line the bottom with parchment, that helps.

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  56. I'm making this right now!! It's in the freezer as I type this. Making it for Easter at the inlaws. The batter tastes delicious, and I'm totally loving the purple colour!

    My crust didn't stick either, so I just added more dates and then it was fine.

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    1. Awesome! I am glad you are making it :)! The dates may have been too dry, so adding more always helps if they are. Also, try lining the bottom of the pan with parchment.

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  57. It is very yummy! My mom and I made it together to try it out- it is a keeper! And i'm not guilty one bit :D. More dates? Thanks for the tip. If you scoop it closely it gets most of it I noticed. ;)

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    1. Yay :)! So glad you made it, and enjoyed it with your Mom.

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  58. turns out my bf is allergic to the cashews, what would your recommendation be to replace this?`

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    1. You can use macadamia nuts or pine nuts. Sunflower seeds also work but can leave a nutty taste.

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  59. Can I ask what kind of/brand of food processor you are using. I made this cheesecake over the weekend and it was delicious, the only draw back for me is that I could not get the cashews to a smooth and creamy consistency and the mix had a slightly speckled appearance (no matter how long I blitzed it for). This was particularly noticeable when i mixed in the berries. I used raw cashews and soaked overnight as advised, but I am wondering how I can get that smooth texture.

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    1. I use a cuisinart. The problem might have also been the mixture not emulsifying. If the coconut oil and other ingredients are too cold and the oil is not added slowly, then they can separate causing little chunks that will not go away unless the mixture is warmed slightly. If the chunks are still a problem however, and it is the cashews, you can strain the mixture through a fine meshed strainer to remove them.

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    2. Thanks Amy, thinking about it I was a bit hasty with the coconut oil so I guess I cannot say for sure that it was the cashews, just that it was the cashew mix. I will experiment some more.
      Great site by the way, you have given me lots of ideas to use when my gluten free, vegan son comes to stay!

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  60. Thanks so much for making delicious vegan and healthy recipes!!! I am currently on the lemonade diet and I have lost 19lbs in 12 days but I can tell you when I start eating again I will defenently be trying some of these recipes! I have never heard of coconut nectar what is the natural suger content?
    please check out my blog 321pink.blogspot.com

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    1. You are so welcome :)! Congrats on the weight loss. I am not sure what the sugar content is, but it is less than other liquid sweeteners.

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  61. Amy, you are a goddess! I made this on Easter Friday. It was my first ever raw dessert and the first time I had even attempted to make a cheesecake. It was risky because we were entertaining that night... It was a crowd pleaser! No-one believed me that nothing was cooked or refined! I had to blatantly show my guests the recipe. Actually, I was probably as stunned as they were! Absolutely amazing cheesecake. I will now probably work through your whole website, creating (not cooking) your fantastic and artistic recipes! Thank you for sharing your amazing wisdom. I, too, am a runner so I'm pretty inspired by you and your site. Thanks again.

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    1. Thank you so much :)! I am so happy you made the cheesecake :)! Thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out and I hope you do try some of the other recipes :)! Awesome that you run too!

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  63. you are super talented!!!

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    1. This cake turned out so well for me! Thank you for a wonderful recipe. :)

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  64. very georgeous...you are really creative and talented. Nice blog

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  65. I made this cake for my daughter's 5th birthday party yesterday - everyone loved it. Thankyou so much for the recipe!!!
    I had to make a butterfly shaped cake -daughters request- so I had to make the cake backwards, starting with the topping in the base of the tin, then the filling, then the base and could only decorate once it had set solid, so it was a bit nerve racking but it turned out really well, I posted a pic on my facebook blog page too and also a link back here for others who want to try and make it too. Here is my version https://www.facebook.com/groups/thedreadden/permalink/649353921741879/?comment_id=649373145073290&ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/photo.php?fbid=701359093223652&set=a.232207550138811.80855.223923264300573&type=1&theater

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    1. Awesome! It sounds so pretty as a butterfly cake, I love that idea :)! I am happy you made it and it turned out so wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

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  66. I made this a few days ago and it was a huge hit! I'm making another one today. Can you clarify the coconut meat in the filling? It's listed under filling ingredients, but the filling instructions doesn't list it. I didn't add it to the first cake, just want to clarify if I should add it for the one I'm making today.

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    1. I am happy you enjoyed it :)! You add the coconut meat with the soaked cashews.

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    2. Thanks Amy, I added it to the second cake and it was delicious!

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  67. Just checking to see why it's called a "cheesecake", is there any cream cheese in it?

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    1. Of course not. This is a vegan blog. It is a "cheesecake" because it tastes like a cheesecake, not because there is actually cheese. It is nut and coconut cheese ;).

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  68. just a quick point to mention. I was told by Judita Wignall (Raw food author) that sprouted Buckwheat can cause sun sensitivity... She advised soaking and dehydrating, but not actually sprouting.

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    1. Actually by sprouting I am referring to soaking the buckwheat 30 minutes, then drying it. So I do the same technique she does, and that is what the directions say on my tips page on how to make it.

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  69. This looks absolutely incredible by the way. I can't wait for fresh young Thai coconuts to be in season again... Does substituting for cashews change the taste much-I bet it's nicer with the coconut. I cannot wait to make this.

    Can I ask which range of essential oils you prefer for recipes?

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    1. Thank you :)! No, the cashews are still good, I just like to cut down on nuts some which is why I use them ;). I hope you do try it! I prefer duTerra essential oils because they are food grade.

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  70. Hello Amy, Oh, I would love to win your Raw Dessert Cookbook!! I love your Blog and your Raw recipes! I love to thumb through cookbook, too, especially Old Ones from my Grandmother :) I also, LOVE lavender, so I can't wait to try your recipe "Raw Blackberry Lemon Lavender Cheesecake!! Thanks again for sharing you wonderful Healthy recipes!! Diane aka:LavenderLadyBlog

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    1. You are so welcome, I do hope you try this one, it is so good :)!

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