I’m going to tell you a little secret about Cheesecake – I can’t stand it.
I have never in my life liked cheesecake, baked cheesecake – no thanks, non baked – I’ll give that a miss too and then there’s the New York style which I still can’t get on board with.
An ancient form of cheesecake may have been a popular dish in ancient Greece. The earliest attested mention of a cheesecake is by the Greek physician Aegimus (5th century BCE), who wrote a book on the art of making cheesecakes
A more modern version called a sambocade, made with elderflower and rose water, is found in Forme of Cury, an English cookbook from 1390. On this basis, chef Heston Blumenthal has argued that cheesecake is an English invention.
The modern cheesecake
The English name cheesecake has been used only since the 15th century, and the cheesecake did not evolve into its modern form until somewhere around the 18th century.
The early 19th-century cheesecake recipes in A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell are made with cheese curd and fresh butter. One version is thickened with blanched almonds, eggs and cream, and the cakes may have included currants, brandy, raisin wine, nutmeg and orange flower water.
So, with cheesecake being such an insanely popular dessert and having been around for hundreds of years; I always felt like I was the odd one out by not liking it.
Until eleven years ago when I met my husband and one night we were confessing our deepest darkest secrets to each other and he turned around and said “I really hate cheesecake” and in that moment we knew we were kindred spirits and no longer would we ever feel like the odd one out.
However; this cheesecake is on a totally different level. Despite being called a ‘cheesecake’ no cheese curd, soft cheese, eggs or cream were hurt in the making and thankfully the typical crust made with crushed digestive biscuits and butter doesn’t make an appearance.
What does make an appearance is a list of ingredients that contain such an abundance of plant based healthiness that you’ll be hard pressed to categorise this dish as ‘dessert’
- Rich in antioxidants
- Super Plant Source of Omega-3s
- May Decrease Inflammation.
- Can promote a healthy gut
- May Help Lower Blood Pressure.
Nuts are a good source of unsaturated fatty acids, and are rich in fibre, minerals (potassium, calcium, and magnesium), vitamins (folate and E), phytosterols, and polyphenols
Did you know that chia means strength in the Mayan language and Aztec warriors actually use to eat them for energy and endurance. If there’s ever a time we need endurance and energy it’s during pregnancy right.
These tiny seeds are super rich in fibre and slow the conversion of carbs to sugar right down providing us with a nice slow release of energy, stabilising our blood sugars and helping to avoid the highs and lows.
It’s not just fibre either, chia seeds are loaded with calcium and protein too. In fact if you don’t get on with dairy and you’re wondering where to get your calcium from, look no further. About 3 tbsp of Chia Seeds contain roughly the same amount of calcium you’ll find in a glass of milk.
There was actually a study carried out which looked at the effects of dates on labour and delivery outcomes with the suggestion that eating dates during the later stages of pregnancy led to a reduction in the time spent in labour and to an easier birth. So, it’s definitely worth considering the next time you turn your nose up at dates.
They’re also packed full of antioxidants and are a great source of fibre.
Berries are also an excellent source of fibre and combined with above ingredients comes together perfectly to assist in getting a sluggish digestive moving.
The hormone progesterone is increased massively during pregnancy and it’s essential but what it also does is relax some of the bowel muscles which makes it harder for food and bodily waste to move through the gut, thus slowing down the intestinal movements, sometimes causing constipation.
Lemon & Berry Vegan Cheesecake
- For the crust:
- ½ cup 40g desiccated coconut
- 1 cup 100g walnuts, chopped
- 12 medjool dates
- pinch of salt
- For the lemon layer:
- 2 cups 230g cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight
- 1 cup 240ml coconut cream
- 4 tbsp. coconut oil soft
- ½ cup 120ml maple syrup
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- For the berry layer:
- 1 cup 150g frozen red berries
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- Place all the crust ingredients into a food processor and blitz until sticky paste forms. Transfer the crust into a cake tin or springform pan and press evenly to form the bottom layer. Place the tin in the freezer while you make the other layers.
- Drain the cashews and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Place all the lemon layer ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Spread over the crust and return into the freezer.
- Prepare the last berry layer. Place all ingredients in the food processor and puree until smooth. Spread over the top of the cheesecake only when the lemon layer has set completely. Garnish with additional berries (optional). Return to the freezer and freeze until set.
- Remove the cheesecake from the freezer for about 20 minutes before serving.