I had mastered a pretty darn good Paleo lemon cheesecake with a ‘graham’ cracker crust last year and this week I was called upon to bring forth a chocolate version. Being my son’s birthday and all, the request put me in motion to find something I could easily meld with the cheesecake that had already proven itself a winner.
My search led me to a recipe that contained a surprise ingredient (which I’m sure you’ll spot) that makes what was already acceptable to serve up any time of day, including breakfast, even more acceptable. Truly, this cake is chock full of good fats, protein, fiber, and a bit of honey to satisfy the taste buds, maintain blood sugar levels, and keep the brain and moods happily humming along.
To make the chocolate version, I simply took away the lemon, added raw cacao, vanilla, and zucchini and ended up with a beautiful cake that I couldn’t wait to share with you. It’s easy to make and looks stunningly elegant!
I must admit that I’m in my happy place every time I’m able to create a recipe I know will make you all feel good inside and out. Making taste buds dance while keeping the body lean, mean and healthy makes the thought of feeling deprived vanish!
And if I can impart anything, it’s that we never have to feel deprived. There is always a substitute and a way around foods that often inflame and irritate. We can happily live without gluten, fewer or no grains, dairy, and processed sugar. We just have to be willing to explore a little and get ourselves in the kitchen a bit more. I think you’ll find it’s worth every minute you spend there!
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)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup peeled and chopped zucchini
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cacao
1/4 tsp salt
Soak cashews in enough cool water to cover for 2-3 hours. (You can soak your nuts, drain and store overnight in the refrigerator to use the next day.)
Or, while the cashews are soaking, you can start working on the crust and peeling and chopping the zucchini.
- Preheat oven to 300 F
- Combine all of your crust ingredients in a bowl
- Then turn out the mixture either onto a pie or spring form pan (I prefer the latter) but both work nicely. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- 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. (note this waiting step is important)
- Heat over medium heat until just starting to simmer and then remove from heat.
- Pour coconut milk, soaked cashews and remaining ingredients into either a food processor or a high powered blender and blend for about two 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.
- Serve with warmed fresh or frozen organic berries
P.S. I like buying my nuts, flours, and other dried goods from Thrive Market.