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This has been a real favourite at my vegan cookery evenings, and also with family and friends. A really rich decadent dessert, perfect for summer, and completely free from gluten, dairy, eggs and soya. Its also packed full of wonderfully health-boosting ingredients, how could something so scrummy be so good for you?
Raw cacao (different to cocoa) is a delicious raw chocolate powder that is low in fat and rich in anti-oxidants, minerals and amino acids. In South America, cacao is known as the 'Food of the Gods'. Its is one of the most complete foods on earth because it contains an abundance of natural compounds that have been shown to create feelings of well-being and bliss. Its is also known to help alkalise the body.
The naturally occuring saturated fats in raw coconut oil are actually really good for you. Coconut oil has many health benefits, including improving heart health, boosting thyroid function, increasing metabolism and supporting the immune system.
For the crust : 2 cups raw pecans ; 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil ; 1/4 cup raw cacao powder ; 1/4 cup maple syrup or other organic liquid sweetener ; 1/8th teaspoon sea salt
For the filling: 2 cups raw cashews ; 1 cup peeled & diced courgette ; 1/2 cup raw cacao powder ; 1/2 cup maple syrup (or substitute as above) ; 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract ; 1/4 teaspoon sea salt ; 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor with standard S blade, pulse until ground into a fine meal. Then add the rest of the crust ingredients, and process again until well combined. Line the bottom of an 8 inch spring form pan with parchment/greaseproof paper then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling
In a high-speed blender or food processor, process the cashews until they are a fine powder. Add in the courgette, cacao, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt and blend again until a smooth creamy batter is formed. Add in the melted coconut oil, blend again until all the ingredients are well mixed.
Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust and allow to set for 8 hours in the freezer (good to leave overnight)
A couple of hours before you'd like to serve, take out from the freezer and put in the fridge instead â€“ please note the cheesecake will become quite soft if left out at room temperature so its best to keep it chilled in the fridge.
For the Stawberry Coulis
2 cups chopped strawberries ; 2-3 tablespoons organic rice syrup / agave etc. Blitz in a blender and chill in the fridge until your ready to serve it