Raw Foods Honey Lavender, Kiwi Strawberry Un-cheesecake Recipe

I had so much fun participating in Nicola’s detox January, I could not wait to participate in Brittany of Real Sustenance’s April in the Raw blog event. Lately I’ve been enjoying experimenting with raw foods, and her event offered the perfect opportunity to try some ideas I’d had for a raw cheesecake.

The entries for the first week of the event look amazing and I am greatly looking forward to see the other divine entries.

For my entry, I wanted to try to create a delicious cheesecake like the ones I’ve enjoyed at Cafe Gratitude, an amazing raw foods cafe based in the San Francisco- Berkeley area. They now have a small cafe in my local Cupertino Whole Foods, yay! I found a lot of interesting recipes online that provided the inspiration for my recipe, but I wanted to do something a little different. I was initially thinking of making a strawberry or blueberry cheesecake, but as I stepped out the door of my house, I happened to see the lavender plant that I planted next to the door. I love lavender and use it every chance I can, either in body products (I love Dr. Bronner’s)), or in my natural housecleaning supplies. I add a few drops of essential oil in the vinegar and water I use to mop the floor, and drip a few into baking soda to use as a good carpet or couch deodorizer. Not unexpectedly, I also love lavender in food, whether it is delicately flavoring sugar cookies, ice cream, or chocolate. It is yummy however you use it. And so, when I saw this lavender plant on my doorstop with its beautiful small purple flowers, I thought- how beautiful would a mini-cheesecake be, drizzled in a little raw honey and festooned with lavender blossoms. Although I was inspired, I’m a fickle girl and wanted an assortment of flavors, so I still went to the grocery store and picked up some fresh fruit.

I started the recipe last night by soaking almonds and cashews overnight. Even though it is difficult for me to plan ahead enough to do this, I always enjoy the process of setting ingredients out to soak. It makes me feel half like Laura Ingalls Wilder and half like a witch preparing ingredients for some magical potion. This morning I made the almond nut milk and set it in a carton in the refrigerator, after sipping a little as a treat. The box stuff has nothing on the homemade almond milk! I cracked open my bottle of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil that Tropical Traditions had sent me free as a promotion. Woo hoo! Yay for free coconut oil! Next I made my molds for the cheesecake. I didn’t have springform pans that would have made it easy, so what I did was tape removable tart bottoms to my english muffin rings. Then I ground up pecans and date and pressed them into the tart pans as the crust. I put the crust in the refrigerator, made my filling, and then started playing with my fresh fruit and local, raw honey and lavender blossoms.

Ultimately I ended up making a very fun strawberry-kiwi raw cheesecake, mango cheesecake, and a blueberry topped cheesecake with a surprise. I enjoyed each flavor, but the honey lavender cheesecake was my hands down favorite. Sometimes honey has a little too much personality, but since the same is true of lavender, when they are put together somehow they harmonize to make something much more mellow. I could eat this cheesecake every day, if it weren’t for the fact that it requires me to think ahead to soak the nuts. Eating fresh flower blossoms always makes me feel like I’m dining on fairy food. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Gluten-free Raw Cashew Cheesecake with Pecan Date Crust
1 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup soaked medjool dates
shredded raw coconut

3 cups cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours)
1/4 cup pine nuts (soaked for at least 30 minutes)
1/2 cup freshly made almond milk*
1/2 cup raw honey or agave (for almost-raw)
2/3 cup raw coconut oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1-2 sun-dried vanilla bean, cut open and scraped out OR 2 or 3 tsp. vanilla (for almost-raw)
sea salt to taste

6 mini springform pans OR english muffin rings taped to cardboard or metal circles OR silicon muffin liners work too but give a less cheesecake-like shape

Sprinkle shredded coconut in the bottom of each small springform pan. Then put your pecans and dates in the food processor and process until you have a sticky, crumbly dough. Pat it into the bottom of your pans but not up the sides. Put your pans in the refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Drain and rinse your cashews and pine nuts. Put in blender with the rest of your ingredients and process until smooth. If you have too much in your blender for one batch, you can separate it and process it in two batches until smooth and then combine them. Pour the filling into your individual cheesecake molds and put the molds in the freezer to firm up- about 3 or 4 hours.

Honey Lavender Un-cheesecake: Use raw honey as your sweetener for the filling. Sprinkle top with fresh lavender flowers or sprigs and dabs of honey as desired.

Strawberry Kiwi Un-cheesecake:
top with chopped fresh strawberry and kiwi

Blueberry Sauce Un-cheesecake:
after the cheesecake has been in the freezer an hour or two and is firm, use a knife so that it is no longer attached to the sides of the mold. Top with blueberry sauce and put back in freezer to harden. Reserve some sauce for drizzling later if you like.

Mango Un-cheesecake:
Top with slices of fresh mango.

*To serve, remove cheesecake from the freezer and carefully slide a knife around the edges of the mold so it is no longer attached to the side. gently remove from mold and then leave out at room temperature for 20 minutes or so (or put in refrigerator) until texture approximates cheesecake and is no longer frozen solid.

*I made a batch of almond milk by soaking 1 1/3 cup of raw almonds overnight, rinsing them and blending with 2 cups of filtered water until you have a smooth creamy liquid. Then I strained the liquid in tea straining bags (or nut bags, if you have them) and added some (optional) vanilla scrapings. Delicious, and you’ll have more than you need for this recipe!
Blueberry Sauce with a secret ingredient
1 1/3 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, defrosted and rinsed)
1/2 avocado
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine in food processor, blend and chill. Serve on vegan nut cream or raw cheesecake.

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19 Responses to “Raw Foods Honey Lavender, Kiwi Strawberry Un-cheesecake Recipe”

  1. Beautiful!!!

  2. This looks so good! Love honey and lavender – it’s so floral and spring-y!

  3. When my dd was little, we always did things with the fairies. She would have LOVED these little cakes and probably demanded we leave at least one out for the fairies too! I love making magic with food. Your wee cakes are definitely magical!

  4. Wow these look amazing. I can’t wait to try them. I really love the food at Cafe Gratitude. Makes me miss San Fran.

  5. Gorgeous Sea! This recipe is a WONDERFUL addition to April in the Raw. The combo of Honey and Lavender is so elegant and also my absolute favorite! Thanks so much for being part of this event!! xo

  6. So clever! Avocado in the blueberry sauce…gotta keep that in mind in our future recipe trials!

  7. Hi Sea,

    Am trying to go GF…bought a Zo and Bette’s Bread book. I noticed that you did a lot of GF bread baking while you were in Colorado and I would LOVE some tips. Baking at 6,600 ft is tough enough and then throw in GF and it can make a man pull out his hair!

    What recipes from Bette’s book would you recommend I start with (I love Rudi’s Whole Wheat bread…but would settle for any successful loaf right now!) and what adjustments/settings would you use?

    Thanks and Cheers!

  8. These are just beautiful!I am so glad you posted this recipe- Some at our house can’t do dairy or gluten so I do make almond milk often, and have plenty of lavender ;-)

  9. WOW, Sea! You really went all out. All are beautiful and the ingredients listings are fabulous, but the beauty of the honey lavender cheesecakes is stunning to me! Bravo, my dear, bravo. :-)


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  11. Sea – combining honey and lavender is nothing short of genius. What a sophisticated taste sensation. I, too, am totally smitten with lavender, though never thought of baking with it. You’ve opened my eyes to the possibilities, not to mention what a gorgeous raw cheesecake you’ve made. Looks like it would make an ideal Passover dessert!

  12. Oh My Goodness!!!!
    Since having gluten and dairy sensitivities I’ve missed cheesecake. I think this will be my answer.

  13. [...] Raw Foods Honey Lavender Kiwi Strawberry Un-Cheesecake from Yum at Book of YUM [...]

  14. that looks amazing. and it’s a very good reminder that I haven’t thought about my april in the raw post yet!

  15. Sea these are gorgeous! I would love to try these. Can you believe I’ve never had anything cooked or baked with lavender? Am I so missing out? I’m thinking a little raw cacao would make for a sweet, chocolatey cheesecake :)

  16. I absolutely LOVE lavender in my food. It’s been so long since I’ve had cheesecake, I can’t wait to try these. I have a feeling my husband will let me have them all since there are so many nuts. :D

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  18. Mmnnn – Cheesecake! Without dairy too! I love dairy products but they don’t love me and cheesecake is one thing I miss more than any flour-based cake. Thank you for this beautiful Spring inspiration!

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