April and May are celebratory months in our family with four birthdays and Mother’s Day. And of course, celebrations involve gatherings, eating and dessert! With five occasions to celebrate, the dessert thing can get out of hand pretty quickly. I decided to hunt down a cheesecake recipe that would satisfy a request for a graham cracker crust and also meet my requirement of not put anyone into a sugar or carb coma!
This meant searching for a Paleo version (using no grains or dairy). I found one I thought would work on a favorite Paleo website, thepaleomom. I made a few changes, most of them subtle, with the exception of changing out the ‘chestnut flour’ called for, with ground hazelnuts for the crust. Happy surprise, the substitution worked very nicely! The crust tasted darn good, hitting the graham cracker taste and texture mark without using any grains or processed sugar.
The insides….instead of using the typical empty calorie cream cheese base for the filling, this version uses raw cashews, gelatin (collagen) and coconut cream.
Between the ingredients of the crust and the filling, a slice of this cheesecake could actually be considered a good breakfast food. It’s loaded with protein, fiber, and good fats. Your blood sugar will approve just as much as your taste buds!
Go ahead! Make this for your favorite Mom-she’ll love it and you! And have the leftovers for breakfast without feeling guilty!
Note: you’ll need to plan about 7 hours ahead to allow for soak time and setting time in the refrig.
2 Tbsp grassfed butter or ghee
1 Tbsp honey
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup hazelnuts-finely ground
¼ cup pecans-finely ground
1/8 tsp Real salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp baking soda
2 cups raw cashews
1 can full fat coconut milk or coconut cream
2 Tbsp gelatin
1/2 cup honey (depends on your taste buds)
3 Tbsp lemon zest (about 4 large lemons) divided
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Soak cashews in enough cool water to cover for 2-3 hours.
While the cashews are soaking, start working on the crust.
- Preheat oven to 300 F
- Place hazelnuts in food processor and process until crumbly then had the pecans and other dry crust ingredients and process until pecans have become crumbly.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until blended. About a minute-do not over process.
- Then turn out the mixture either onto a pie or springform pan (I prefer the latter) but both work nicely. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking and grease the sides, if using a springform pan.
- Pat the crust to reach up the sides of the pan and all around the bottom. It will be fairly thin. Have fun with it! Grab a fork and stab little holes all over the crust.
- Bake crust for 13-14 minutes, until it’s golden brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Drain soaked cashews with a colander
- Pour coconut milk into a small saucepan
- Sprinkle gelatin over the top of coconut milk and wait for it to become translucent as it absorbs the liquid.
- Heat over medium heat until just starting to simmer and then remove from heat. (use a whisk if clumps form)
- Pour coconut milk, soaked cashews and remaining ingredients (half of lemon zest) into either a food processor or a high powered blender and blend for about 2 minutes or until smooth.
- Pour filling mixture into crust and spread out evenly. Chill until set, about 3-4 hours in the fridge or about an hour in the freezer.
- Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and a sprig of mint.
- Serve with warmed fresh or frozen organic berries
Happy Mother’s Day to all!
P.S. I like buying my nuts, flours, and other dried goods from Thrive Market.