When I was in my twenties I could honestly say that I never had a dessert that I didn’t eat and not feel slightly guilty after, not to mention the contemplating back and forth that took place before I even ordered the dessert. I would eventually cave in and eat the sweets but always felt shameful as if I did something so wrong.
Wow have times changed and for the better. Thank god I no longer have a love hate relationship with food yet alone with all tasty sweets. It took me years of struggle to finally free myself of the guilt and not look at food as the enemy. Nowadays I’m definitely the one that likes to eat dessert before dinner as my grandmother always said… “dessert first” and she really lived by that.
Even though I no longer have a love hate relationship with food I am still selective and always on the lookout for the healthiest option, and that’s when I saw these guilt-free sexy vegan blackberry cheesecake squares posted on Instagram. Not only is it guilt free but ALSO→ dairy free, gluten-free & refined sugar-free plus super easy to make and no baking required. Now you might think what the heck… how can it be that good if it doesn’t have all the naughty ingredients?!?!?!
For starters, the filling has the same creamy smooth texture and decadent taste as if dairy was included. The creamy consistency comes from the raw cashews and coconut oil, and the blackberries add the bright vibrant color with a fruity kick that is not too sweet plus a touch of vanilla and maple syrup.
And the crust is to die for with its salty sweet chewy crumbly base from the gluten-free grain-free granola made by Purely Elizabeth. You can of course use any granola but I am loving this line of granola these days. #notsponsored
How to Make the Crust:
- 1 package 8oz Purely Elizabeth grain free gluten-free granola (any granola can be used)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Place granola and coconut oil in a blender or food processor, pulse until it breaks downs and combines into a sticky wet dough.
Spread on a 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper or in my case I only had a 9’x13′ and formed the base into more of a rectangular shape than a square.
Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
How to Make the Cheesecake Filling:
- 1.5 cup raw cashews (soaked for 8 hours or overnight)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
6 oz. container blackberries (plus a few for as a topping)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Juice from one lemon
Make sure to soak the cashews in a bowl of water for at least 8 hours to get that nice creamy texture. Drain and rinse but you knew that!!
Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy smooth.
Pour cashew mixture over crust, spread evenly and freeze for two hours.
Cut into squares, top with blackberries and serve.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
Recipe adapted by Dani Nemeh
Next time you are in charge of the dessert I highly recommend bringing this little number to your shindig. Don’t tell anyone prior and see if anyone can tell the difference. I highly doubt it.
Let me know if you decide to make it. I’m curious to hear all your feedback. This little treat sparked my interest and I can’t wait to use this as my template and spin-off my own recipes into some other goodies!!
eat well, live well & age gracefully