Pink Pitaya Vegan Cheesecakes
1 cup packed pitted dates*
1 cup raw almonds
1 teaspoon Edible Gratitude Vital Force
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (quick-soaked)
1 large lemon (juiced, about 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
2/3 scant cup coconut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh or frozen pitaya (raspberries are a substitute)
Add dates, nuts and Vital Force to a food processor and blend until majority forms into a loose ball of dough with some crumbs remaining. The dough should stick together when you squeeze a portion of it between your fingers. If it's too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If it’s too wet, add more almond meal. Optional: add a pinch of salt, to taste.
Lightly grease a standard, 12-slot muffin tin. To make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut strips of parchment paper and lay them in the slots. This creates little tabs that make removing them easier to pop out once frozen.
Scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp amounts of crust and press with fingers. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to compact it and really press it down. I found the bottom of a glass works well. If it sticks, separate the crust and the glass with a small piece of parchment. Set in freezer to firm up.
Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. For the coconut milk, scoop the "cream" off the top, if any, as it provides a richer texture. But if it’s well mixed together, add to blender as is. You don't need a Vitamix for this recipe, just a quality blender. We mix ours for one minute, then "liquefied" or "pureed" it until silky smooth. If the mix won't come together, add a touch more lemon juice, or agave, or a splash more coconut milk liquid as the liquid should help it blend better.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If adding peanut butter, add to the blender and mix until thoroughly combined. If flavouring with blueberry or caramel, wait and swirl on top of plain cheesecakes (optional).
Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard, about 4-6 hours.
Once set, remove by tugging on the tabs or loosening them with a butter knife. They should pop right out. Our favourite way to devour these is with a little more caramel and a touch of coconut whipped cream. But they're perfect as is! Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.
Optional: You can set them out for 10 minutes before serving to soften, but we enjoy them frozen as well.
* If your dates are not sticky and moist, you can soak them in warm water for 10 minutes then drain. But be sure to drain thoroughly and pat dry to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
* To quick-soak cashews, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour uncovered, then drain and use as instructed.
* Recipe Adapted from Minimalist Baker