cheesecakeI recently began a month long raw vegan cleanse, and have decided to share my experiences here on my blog over the next thirty days. I’ve actually done a majority raw diet multiple times over the past few years, once lasting almost six months. I eat pretty well generally, and keep to a very strict vegetarian diet (no meat, no fish, no exceptions), but enjoy upping my health game with an occasional cleanse.

I think that everyone has their own definition of a raw vegan diet, and I say go with whatever works for you. The main purpose though, is to eat mostly fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and soaked/sprouted/dehydrated variations thereof. By doing so, you body gets an extra boost of nutrition since a lot of produce loses nutritional value when you cook it.

The key to my success when it comes to raw vegan cleanses is the majority rule. I’ve found that trying to be too strict often sets myself up for failure. Then, when I’m not 100% perfect I get tempted to quit the diet all together. But by keeping a simple majority rule, I don’t feel guilty about using a bit of non raw thousand island dressing on my salad at lunch.

One of the first raw dishes I made, when I did my very first raw cleanse oh so many years ago… was a cashew cream cheesecake. It was for a 4th of July party in Sacramento, and the cold vegan cheesecake slices were such a perfect way to cool off after spending hours in the hot sun.

Anyways, for this recipe I wanted to add a bit of chocolate. I used raw organic cocoa powered, but depending how strictly you want to keep to your own set of majority rules, you could easily just use whatever cocoa powder you have/can find at your local store.

Ingredients

Filling:

2 c cashews
1 c macadamia nuts
1/4 c coconut oil (melted in your hands)
1/4 c agave
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c sunflower seed butter
1/4 c coconut milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Crust:

1 c walnuts
8 pitted dates
1 Tbsp dried coconut
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 Tbsp agave

Chocolate topping (optional):

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp agave

Directions:

1. Start by submerging your cashews and macadamia nuts in water. Let them soak for at least six hours. Then strain and rinse with cold water.

2. Combine walnuts, dates, dried coconut, cocoa powder, and 1/2 Tbsp agave in a food processor. Pulse until you have a sticky meal consistency.

3. Press crust into the bottom of a circular cake pan. For my recipe I did mini cheesecakes, and used my burger bun pan.

Edgy tip! Place a strip of parchment paper along the bottom of the pan with edges coming out the top. You’ll be able to tug on these edges once the cake(s) freeze to remove them from the pan.

4. Combine rinsed nuts and remaining filling ingredients in a heavy duty blender (like a VitaMix). Blend until smooth.

5. Pour filling into crust, spread evenly, then freeze for at least two hours.

6. Let thaw in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before eating.

Serve plain, or with optional chocolate topping and berries.

source: http://www.vegwithanedge.com/2014/04/17/raw-chocolate-cashew-cheesecake-vegan/

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