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March 10th, 2020 | Desserts & Cakes
One of the greatest delights about being back in Australia is indulging in the most delicious fresh mangos! I created this recipe in January 2015 but when I moved websites not long after that this is the one recipe that got lost (you might remember it). During my recent trip back to Australia I recreated this one just for you 🙂
Why Make a Raw Cheesecake?
So one may ask – why would you use cashew nuts in cheesecake when you could just make an equally delicious cheesecake out of dairy products, sugar, and a biscuit base? The reason for this is that I am hugely passionate about making nutrient-dense food that tastes delicious but is also nourishes your body, thus providing long-term health benefits.
Nuts and seeds are nutritional powerhouses and are an excellent source of protein. Using raw nuts (along with coconut products) in the filling and base of the cheesecake ensures optimal nutrition can be absorbed from the food. Essential enzymes that help the digestive process are destroyed through the heating and processing of food, therefore eating raw food can help our bodies to break down food more efficiently (using the natural enzymes in food rather than those created by the body) and thus increase our energy.
Why Soak the Nuts
Many of my recipes call for soaking the nuts before using them and I will explain why. Nature has cleverly designed nuts, seeds and grains to have a protective layer on them to stop them germinating until perfect conditions prevail. This defense mechanism creates a natural toxin (known as phytic acid), which is good for the plant but not so good for us, particularly our digestive systems. It is not uncommon for people to feel bloated or uncomfortable after eating nuts, seeds and grains, and this natural protective toxin maybe one explanation.
The soaking process, as well as dehydrating and sprouting, creates similar conditions to that required for germination, therefore the protective toxins are removed during this process. The soaking process can also increase the number of healthy enzymes and increase the nutritional value and availability of certain vitamins in the nut, seed or grain.
Why use Agar Agar instead of Gelatin?
In this cheesecake, I use agar agar in the mango topping, which is completely optional but as a vegetarian (who eats fish) I find this a good alternative to gelatin.
What is agar agar? Agar agar is a gelling agent made from cooked and pressed seaweed. It is about 80% fibre and can be bought in flake or powder form. It is quite pricey but does go a long way. You can replace gelatin with the same amount of agar agar in recipes.
Now that I think I’ve explained why…here is the how:
Raw Mango Cheesecake
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free
• 1 cup of macadamia nuts (alternatively you can use almonds)
• ½ cup shredded coconut
• ½ cup of chopped dates
• 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
• 2.5 cups of raw cashews (soaked)
• 2 large mangos (or 3 small)
• ¾ cup of maple syrup (or alternative sweetener)
• 1/3 cup of coconut milk (I use the Ayum brand)
• ½ cup of coconut oil (melted)
• 70g of cacao butter
• 2 ripe mangos
• 2 teaspoons of agar agar powder (*see note on using gelatin instead)
• ½ cup of water
1. Blend nuts and coconut until they form a coarse consistency.
2. Add dates and coconut oil and blend until smooth.
3. Press the mixture into the lined 23cm spring-loaded cake tin.
4. Place the base in the freezer while you make the filling.
1. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until the mixture is completely smooth (this may take a few minutes).
2. Pour the mixture over the base and freeze for 2 – 3 hours (or 4 hours in the fridge).
1. Peel and remove stones of the mangos and blend until smooth (set aside)
2. Add agar agar and cold water to the pot and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. Gently bring it to the boil, stirring consistently, the mixture should be nice and smooth. Simmer for 3 – 4 minutes (still stirring).
3. Add to the mango mixture (immediately) and stir until smooth.
4. Pour mango mixture over the cheesecake and return to the fridge (or freezer).
To serve, remove from the freezer and allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature (maybe 15- 30 minutes). Decorate and serve with coconut yogurt or your choice of ice cream
*Note you a non-vegan option you can replace agar agar with gelatin. Replace 2 teaspoons of agar agar with 2 teaspoons of gelatin. I have not tested this version of the recipe.