Raw Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

 
 

Today I am sharing with you a delicious frozen dessert that is raw, vegan, grain-free, gluten free & dairy free! These Raspberry Cheesecake Bars are amazing and the perfect treat all can enjoy on a hot summer day.  My work schedule recently changed and I was finally able to check out my local Sunday Farmers Market this past weekend.  I couldn't resist buying a pint of locally grown raspberries with this recipe in mind. One of my most favorite cookbooks this summer has been Love & Lemons. If you haven't checked out this book yet, please please do yourself a favor and order it! All recipes are sorted by ingredients.. which is perfect for CSA subscribers or farmers market shoppers. Whether you find brussel sprouts, squash blossoms, yellow peaches or giant asparagus, there will be recipes based on that specific vegetable or fruit. I recently came across their raw cheesecake bars and was inspired to try making my own! Although slightly time consuming because of the beautiful frozen layers, these tasty bars are easy to whip together and can be made in advance! They store well in the freezer for a couple weeks, which means you can have a healthy dessert at your fingertips whenever you get a sweet tooth. The only added sweetener here is maple syrup so you can feel good about indulging.

 

RAW RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE BARS

[Vegan + Grain-Free]

Adapted from Love&Lemons

 

INGREDIENTS:

Nut Crust:

  • 1 cup nuts of choice (I used almonds and pecans)

  • 4 black mission figs (or medjool dates)
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon sea salt

"Cheesecake" layer:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked in boiling water for 1-2 hours
  • ½ cup full fat coconut cream and some of the milk if needed
  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Raspberry Chia layer:

  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Measure out cashews into a heat safe bowl, and add enough boiling water to cover all cashews. Let soak for 1-2 hours. (The longer the better)
  2. In a high powdered food processor or blender pulse the nuts, figs/dates, coconut oil and salt together until crumbly. If using almonds, be careful to not over-pulse or you will have almond butter. (it could be worse)
  3. Line a small loaf pan with parchment paper allowing 1 inch of overhang on each side to help you remove the bars later. I ended up using about half of my loaf pan because I wanted a thick bar, so I created a barrier with foil to keep the liquid layers from spreading. Press your mixed nut crust into the bottom of the pan. Freeze for at least 15 minutes or as long as it takes to get the next layer ready.
  4. Once your cashews have softened, blend the cashews, coconut cream & milk, maple syrup, fresh squeezed lemon juice, vanilla and salt until completely creamy. My small food processor took a bit to create the creamy texture but it did the job! You want the texture to be thick and smooth. Mine was the texture of half melted ice cream.
  5. Pour 2/3 of filling over the crust and smooth until even. In the remaining cheesecake layer, mix in 1/2 a pint of raspberries. You can skip this step if you want a 3 layer bar instead of 4. I liked the pretty colors with the added raspberries, but it did create more of an 'ice-cream' texture because of the hydration from the berries. Take it or leave it, totally up to you. Place in freezer for about 1-2 hours.
  6. In a small bowl or your food processor, mix together raspberries, maple syrup and chia seeds. Blend or mix until smooth. If your cheesecake layer is ready, move onto step seven, if not, place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  7. When the cheesecake layer is frozen and firm to the touch, pour the raspberry chai mixture on top and spread to cover entire surface. Freeze for 2 hours or overnight.
  8. Once you're ready to indulge, remove from freezer, carefully remove bars and let soften for about 30 minutes. Slice into slices and enjoy! Store remaining bars in freezer in freezer safe bag or container and enjoy whenever the mood strikes!