This paleo strawberry cheesecake is super creamy, vegan and raw and is loaded with extra flavor thanks to freeze-dried strawberries! This blog post is sponsored by iHerb.
Spring has finally arrived! For a lot of people, that means stepping away from heavy, wintry comfort foods and focusing on lighter and healthier eating. This paleo strawberry cheesecake is a great way to welcome spring!
I got a few comments about my paleo lemon bars being full of fat. And they are. Just like this cheesecake! But it’s healthy fat. Embrace it. :D
I first made this strawberry cheesecake last year with in-season strawberries that were sweet and had a nice, strong strawberry flavor. The cheesecake came out awesome!
Then I tried it again about a month ago. German strawberries probably won’t be in season until next month, so I tried the recipe with frozen strawberries, thinking they’d be better than the fresh ones. Turns out that those are almost bitter and hardly taste like strawberries. So then I tried fresh strawberries, which again, hardly taste like strawberries and aren’t at all sweet.
I was not happy with the result. I thought maybe there was an issue with my recipe so I kept tinkering with it and even tried other vegan strawberry cheesecake recipes. I didn’t like any of them.
So, obviously, the strawberries were to blame. My solution? I added half a cup of freeze-dried strawberry powder. Lots of concentrated strawberry flavor! You can also use the same amount (33 grams) of freeze-dried strawberries. If you’re using tasty, sweet strawberries, you might not need it.
For another tasty paleo treat with strawberries, try these Paleo Strawberry Pudding Souffles from Perry’s Plate!
Unless you’re serving the cheesecake to a crowd, you might want to make this recipe as mini cheesecakes using a regular muffin pan and muffin liners. You can pop the cheesecakes in the freezer and take one out whenever you’re in the mood. I made it as a full-sized cheesecake with Easter in mind.
If you’ve never tried cashew-based cheesecake before, the texture is a bit different than cheesecake made with cream cheese. This one is kind of like a creamy, silky pie, or like softened ice cream.
There’s a whole bunch of coconut oil, a bit of coconut cream and a tiny bit of shredded coconut in the crust. Is there anything that coconut doesn’t do? If you’re curious about the numerous health benefits, which I won’t even try to list here, check this out.
Cashews contain nutrients (like magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin K, among others), that help aid in increasing bone strength and joint flexibility, discouraging migraines, improving memory, lowering blood pressure, and protecting against UV damage, heart disease, and cancer. They’re high in fat, just like coconut, but this fat is actually beneficial for your health (source).
This recipe calls for a lot more strawberries than the other recipes I looked at. You’ve got 3 cups of fresh or frozen and up to 1/2 of freeze-dried strawberries. What are they good for? One serving contains 129% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C, a known infection fighter. They are loaded with manganese and folate and contain phytonutrients, which multiply anti-inflammatory potential. Strawberries also have potential neurological disease-fighting and anti-aging compounds (source).
I chose Simply Organic’s Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract because it consists of nothing but vanilla beans, water and alcohol. There isn’t any added sugar of any form, any preservatives or any funkiness going on in there!
I ♥ iHerb
I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but I love iHerb. They have the best prices for so many of my favorite products.
Before I found out that they ship to Germany ordering flour and other baking ingredients from the US wasn’t even remotely a possibility. iHerb offers fast and inexpensive shipping to over 160 countries.
Shipping rates vary from country to country but out of curiosity, I checked about a dozen random countries and the rates were always pretty darn low.
Plus no matter where you live, there are always great deals and coupons you can take advantage of.
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Thanks again to iHerb for sponsoring today’s post!
Paleo Strawberry Cheesecake (vegan, raw)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 12-16 pieces
- 1 cup (110 grams) walnuts
- 1/3 cup (70 grams) pitted dates
- 1 tablespoon packed coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 tablespoons (10 grams) Edward and Sons Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, optional
- 1 1/2 cups (218 grams) Sunfood Creamy Raw Whole Cashews, soaked for 1 hour (there's no sub for the cashews)
- 3/4 cup (168 grams) Nutiva Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) coconut cream (the top, solid part from a can of full-fat coconut milk that's been refrigerated overnight)
- 9-10 tablespoons ) maple syrup (I recommend Grade A medium amber so that the maple taste doesn’t overpower the strawberries)
- 3 cups (460 grams) fresh or frozen and defrosted strawberries, room temperature (do not use cold berries!)
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
- pinch of salt
- up to 1/2 cup (33 grams) freeze-dried strawberry powder or 33 grams (the volume will vary) freeze-dried strawberries, only likely needed if your strawberries aren't flavorful
For the crust:
For the cheesecake:
- Line the bottom of a 6.5" or larger1 springform pan with a piece of parchment paper. This will make cutting the cheesecake easier.
- Prepare the crust. Place all the crust ingredients in a high-powered blender (or a food processor, which will actually make the pieces more uniform in size) and process at low speed until the mixture starts to clump together. Don't process so long that it becomes pasty. When you pinch some of the mixture between your fingers, it should easily clump together. Use the bottom of a shot glass or your fingers to press the mixture firmly over the bottom of the parchment-lined pan.
- Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- Wipe out the blender jar using a paper towel and pour in all the filling ingredients (using 1/2 cup of maple syrup and not adding the freeze-dried strawberries yet) in the blender. Blend for about 30-60 seconds at high speed until totally smooth. Taste and add more maple syrup if it's not sweet enough and if the mixture doesn't taste strongly enough of strawberries, add in about 2 tablespoons of the freeze-dried strawberries or powder at a time until you're happy with the taste.
- Pour the filling over the chilled crust and freeze for about 4 hours or until firm in the center. You can also chill the cheesecake, but it'll take about 8-12 hours to set. If you freeze the cheesecake for 6-8+ hours, the filling may be a little icy straight from the freezer and the cheesecake will be very hard. Let defrost at room temperature for about 3 hours before cutting. Keeps well refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.