I love a good party. Especially one that involves FOOD, as most do!
We had a birthday party last Tuesday afternoon. It was lovely. The sun was shining, the ladies were lounging, the kiddies were tearing around making all sorts of mischief, and we all ate cake. Raw Blueberry "Cheesecake".
You may have heard of raw "cheesecakes" before. They are all the rage with health-conscious food bloggers. (Yes, there is such a thing as food fashion). These cheesecakes typically are cheese-free, dairy-free, grain-free, etc etc etc. Generally cashews, macadamia nuts or avocado are used to produce the creaminess.
Yep, they're creamy, healthy - and usually very pretty. But there's no cheese in sight (or out of sight, for that matter).
We really should coin a new name for this type of cake.
Literal users of the English language (of which I am one) feel compelled to use quotation marks in order to signal the nominal quality of the term.
Cashewcake? Coconutcake? Frozen-smoothie-cake? Any other ideas?
What's good about this cake?
So many things. Where to begin? I'll just touch on a few.
It's high in healthy fats
If you haven't already heard, the theory that low-fat is "healthy" and that we should all be counting calories is outdated and disproved. "Count nutrition, not calories" is a good mantra to have, as is "Fat's in, Sugar's out".
This is a major shift in the way healthy eating has been viewed for the past fifty years; fifty years in which diabetes, heart disease and obesity has sky-rocketed. Fortunately, the tables are turning and people world-wide are making leaps forward in their health due to eating less processed food (and so less additives and refined sugar) and more healthy fats.
Fats are satiating and the best source of energy for our bodies. Fats are vital to our health and wellbeing. They help to regulate hormones, support the immune system, protect the liver, and allow the body to access fat-soluble vitamins. If this information is news to you, I implore you to find out more - begin by reading this clear and concise article written by my friend Danielle Heyhoe. She is a qualified Health Coach and is studying towards a degree in nutrition.
All that to say, this cake is high in healthy fats from the coconut oil, cashews, pecans, almonds… A small piece of this fabulous cake is satisfying, nourishing and delicious.
It's sweetened naturally
Coconut oil and cashews have a subtle, naturally sweet flavour. Blueberries, of course, are sweet, too, so not much extra sweetening is required. In the recipe I have settled on six tablespoons of maple syrup, however, when making for my family, I find three tablespoons to be ample. I leave the amount of sweetener to your own discretion and taste.
It freezes well
Freezing is part of the process of making this cake, and then it can be kept in the fridge for approximately five days. However, if you want to make it last longer, store in the freezer and cut pieces as needed. Just allow it to sit for ten minutes before savouring this tasty treat.
The substance of this toothsome treat comes from cashews, coconut oil and - of course - blueberries. It is not unlike a solid blueberry smoothie; cool, creamy, refreshing and nutritient-dense.
Raw Blueberry "Cheesecake"
For the base
1C raw almonds
1C finely dessicated coconut
1/2C coconut oil, melted
2T pure maple syrup
Pinch sea salt
1. Line a 25cm tart pan with paper.
2. Blitz all ingredients together in a food processor until well combined.
3. Press mixture firmly into the base of the pan. Try your best to create a base of even thickness.
For the middle layer
2+1/2C cashews, soaked overnight, then drained and rinsed well
6T pure maple syrup
2T coconut oil, melted
Juice of half a large lemon
1. Process the cashews until a paste forms.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process again until well combined.
3. Pour mixture onto the prepared base.
For the topping
1T pure maple syrup (optional)
1. Put ingredients into a small pan over a low heat.
2. Bring to a simmer. The blueberries will release some of their juice. Remove from the heat after one minute.
3. Spoon the blueberries over the cake, then drizzle with the blueberry juice.
4. Put completed cake into the freezer (on a flat surface) to set. This may take up to an hour.
5. An hour before serving, remove cake from the freezer and put into the fridge to thaw slightly.