Ever since I started making raw desserts I rarely bake traditional sweets that require flour and sugar. Raw desserts are indeed high in calories, as most desserts are, but the difference is the ingredients used in raw desserts are more nutritious.
This dessert is called a “cheesecake” but there is no trace of cheese in it. It inherits the name cheesecake because it has a similar texture. Instead of using common cheesecake filling ingredients such as cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, and sugar, this recipe uses soaked raw cashews, vanilla bean, honey, coconut oil, lemon and water to create a smooth consistency.
The base of this cheesecake is a fall inspired flavored crust using cinnamon and nutmeg. The “caramel” like topping can be whisked together in minutes using pure maple syrup for a thick consistency.
It’s such a fun idea to present these delicious cheesecakes in mini mason jars. They make great gifts to give away for the holidays or a creative personalized dessert for your guests to enjoy.
I was able to find the mason jars at Target. You may also find similar jars called jelly jars at your local grocery stores that are the same half cup size.
I recommend using raw sprouted almonds and pecans. I buy them in bulk at Whole Foods. Sprouting is a soaking process that is popular among nuts, grains, seeds and legumes and is known to offer more health benefits and better digestion. In addition to being a healthier nut, the texture is tastier and crunchier. No need to toast the nuts for this recipe if you decide to use sprouted nuts.
This recipe as well as many raw dessert recipes requires the use of a food processor. For the filling, a powerful blender such as “The Vitamix” will easily create the smooth consistency that you need (be sure to use the tamper), however a food processor will work as well, but may take more time to blend.
You will be eager to try these delicious cheesecakes, but be sure to wait until they are very chilled and set. Overnight is best!
Raw Vanilla Nut Cheesecakes
Indulge in this rich fall flavored raw cashew based cheesecake dessert made in individual sized mason jars!
¾ cup raw Pecans, toasted
¾ cup raw Almonds, toasted
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
3 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
1½ cups raw Cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
Seeds of one large Vanilla Bean
5 tablespoons raw Coconut Oil, melted
5 tablespoons raw Honey
2 teaspoons fresh Lemon Juice
½ cup Water + additional if needed
¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted raw Almond Butter
½ teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
8 raw Pecan Halves, toasted
8 Mini Mason Jars (1/2 cup Mason Jars or Mason Jelly Jars)
Powerful Blender-optional (Vitamix)
Line up 8 mason jars and remove tops.
Prepare Crust: Place pecans, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, drizzle 2 tablespoons maple syrup over mixture and process. Mixture should easily stick together. If needed add up to one additional tablespoon maple syrup and process. Divide the crust mixture evenly in all jars pressing down with your fingers.
Prepare Filling: Drain cashews, rinse, then drain again. Place the cashews, vanilla bean seeds, coconut oil, honey, lemon juice and water in a powerful blender (use the tamper) and blend until very smooth (if using a food processor you may need to blend longer). Add additional water if needed for a smoother consistency. Divide the filling evenly among the jars (about 3 tablespoons in each jar).
Prepare Topping: Place ¼ cup maple syrup, ½ teaspoon vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt in a small bowl, whisk in 3 tablespoons almond butter until smooth. Divide the topping evenly among all jars (about 2 teaspoons in each jar).
Garnish the center of each jar with one pecan halve. Cover with lids and refrigerate cheesecakes until firm.
Makes 8 Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes
Download Recipe (PDF)