Still looking for the perfect holiday desert? Look no further! Cheesecake is one of the world’s most popular deserts! It’s a hallmark to any desert table. From simple beginnings the evolution of a basic cheesecake has morphed into the creation of multitudes of variations in flavour combinations. Cheesecake is thought to have originated in Ancient Greece. And almost as soon as the recipe was born so too began the quest for the perfect cheesecake – a universal endeavor the spans countries, continents and centuries. The Romans are said to have brought cheesecake to the rest of Europe. From there is spread to the Americas.
Regrettably, this delicious dessert is a lost hope for many, owing to various food allergies ad intolerances. That’s why I created this recipe. This ‘cheesecake’ can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly as well as vegan so it is more inclusive than most other cheesecakes could ever be. There’s more to it than that. With the tweaks I’ve made not only does this cheesecake taste rich, delicious and creamy but it is also high in protein, contains healthier fats and is more nutrient dense than the standard cheesecake.
Some ingredients to highlight that make this an empowering eat are:
Pumpkin is a vegetable very high in cholesterol-lowering fibre and rich in Vitamin A which is important for maintaining normal vision and keeping the immune system at its best. Pumpkin adds texture to this cheesecake – without extra fat and calories.
Almonds, pecans and walnuts are all nuts which give the graininess to the crust. Nuts are a source of healthy polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are good for your heart and may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. They also are a vegan source of protein and source of fibre.
Flax seeds add texture and a heap of nutrients to the crust. Flax is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, important for heart health, and fibre which helps achieve healthy cholesterol levels.
Cashews are the major ingredient in the filling, providing creaminess and texture. Cashews, like other nuts, are a source of vegan protein as well as fibre. In addition, cashews are rich in Vitamin E, magnesium and zinc.
Coconut milk is a dairy-free milk which gives creaminess to the cheesecake but keeps it vegan friendly.
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener used to give flavour to the filling. It is a source of antioxidants, which are important for helping the body cope with free-radical damage and may help reduce your risk for disease such as cancer and heart disease. Maple syrup also contains important minerals like zinc and manganese which keep you healthy by boosting your immune system.
There are several ways you can make this cheesecake. You can use a spring form pan for a traditional cheesecake.
You can also use a square 9-inch baking dish and cut up the cheesecake into squares and make cheesecake bars.
If dairy is not an option you could use a plain Greek yogurt instead of the non-dairy alternative.
If you want to be decadent, try drizzling with a spoonful of maple syrup then sprinkling with walnuts. You can also us a dollop of yogurt on top to replicate whipped cream.
Adding a sprinkling of cinnamon over-top is a really great addition too!