RAW STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

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I wish I was one of those people who did not care about Valentines Day, because deep down in my heart I know it’s a stupid holiday, just a ploy to get consumers to buy more crap and really, who needs a holiday to express their love for someone special.  Well, you’re looking at her.  At her… words… webpage?  Ehh….

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Ok, that’s better.  Yer looking’ at ‘er!  Note: you cannot tell but we had drinks in our hands so that’s why this photo turned out blurry…

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Anyways, I love all holidays and I love John (my boyfriend who will eventually make an appearance with some food stuff of his own) and any opportunity I get to celebrate anything I am going to take!  There will be bells and whistles.  There will be booze.  There will be something delicious to munch.  Sometimes friends are involved but not always so it’s extra special when they are.

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So Valentine’s day is coming, and it’s looking like I’ll have to work that night, which is good ($$) but also bums me out a bit.  In an attempt to still manage to celebrate this holiday that I love so dearly I made this raw strawberry cheesecake that we will hopefully have after a delicious dinner.

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Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

makes one 5″ springform pan

For the ‘jam’

  • 5 strawberries, left in the sun for two days (were having a very hot winter in Santa Barbara).  This is a pretty dumb way to dehydrate fruit because it takes so long, so if you choose to use your brain (unlike myself) you can dehydrate them in a dehydrator if you have one, or for a half hour in the oven.  You just want them to get wrinkly.

To make the jam just blend the dehydrated strawberries up in your blender, if there are chunks that’s ok.  Set this aside.

For the crust:

  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 3 dates (pitted)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

Throw these ingredients in your food processor and leave it on until it resembles a Larabar.   Take the chunks and smoosh them into the bottom of your pan to form the crust.  When I did this my mixture was pretty oily (damn walnuts) so I put it in the freezer until my filling was ready.

For the filling

  • 4 dates, pitted
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. soaked cashews
  • 1 T. coconut oil

Blend everything up in your blender until smooth.  My mix was a little thick so I added a shot of hot water to facilitate blending.  Hot water always works best if your ingredients are sticking.

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At this point you want to pull your crust out of the freezer and cut a few fresh strawberries in slices and line them around the sides of your pan.  Pour in your filling until a little less than halfway and put it back in the freezer until it sets.  Once you can tell that the filling has set or if its only slightly tacky and not goopy you can spread your jam-carefully- over it.  Pour the rest of the filling up to the edge of the pan and cover with a sheet of parchment paper.  I left mine in the freezer for about 2 hours and then refrigerated it over night.  Before serving, take a knife to make sure none of the filling sticks to the edges of the pan and then loosen the sides of the springform.

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to finish

  • 3-4 strawberries, chopped with some lemon juice and a touch of agave
  • cashew frosting (recipe found here)

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Before serving, I piled my strawberries on top of my cheesecake and then using a pastry bag, made little stars around the edges.  The result was lovely!  I only wish I hadn’t left my cheesecake in the fridge for so long so my strawberries on the sides would have kept their color a little better!  Oh well, I guess I’ve learned my lesson for next time.

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What are your valentine’s day plans?  What are you cooking!?

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