Raw Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with a Chocolate Coconut Almond Crust

by Elizabeth Atia -

This beauty of a cheesecake was, hands down, the best cheesecake I have ever tasted! I honestly did not believe one could create anything so delicious out of a raw 100% plant based dessert, but this has convinced me otherwise!

Light, lemony and creamy smooth with a gorgeous chocolate nutty base this lemon cheesecake with a chocolate coconut almond crust is the creation of raw foodie Heather Moncrieff.

Born and raised in Scalloway, the ancient capital of Shetland, Heather is the only certified vegan gourmet raw food chef in Scotland trained at the world's leading raw foodie institute: the Living Light Culinary Institute in Northern California - the birthplace of raw gourmet vegan cuisine.

Heather has been a vegetarian for a very long time, and it was on her travels to Vietnam two years ago when she witnessed two truckloads of dogs being sent for slaughter that she decided to go completely vegan. Making eye contact with one of those dogs had a profound impact on her and she vowed never to eat another animal again.

While visiting her niece in Texas, Heather was feeling tired and run down. She booked herself in to an organic spa where she discovered the benefits of colonics and raw food.

Two raw food chefs were demonstrating at the organic spa and Heather was blown away by a spiralized courgette pasta recipe with raw pesto. Then came the desserts!

Heather's philosophy is, "You are what you eat." and she decided to take the plunge and train as a raw food chef. She packed her bags for Fort Bragg, California, and underwent an extensive 12 week training course, thoroughly enjoying every moment.

Now that Heather is back on her home island bursting with all this new information she wants to spread the word about raw food and its benefits. Ideally she would like to be a personal raw food coach; to train people how to shop, meal plan and prepare their own raw meals at home, perhaps on a one-to-one basis or through raw food classes/demonstrations. If she can find premises, she'd also like to get a colonic hydrotherapy business going here in Shetland.

"I am-na a good cook," Heather confesses, "and with this I canna burn anything!"

Heather also has plans to begin writing her own raw food blog to share her delicious recipes, so watch this space!

A raw, plant based diet can be nutritious, healthy and delicious, Heather says, and you only need three pieces of equipment to can perform everything you need for raw food preparation:

1. A Cuisinart food processor
2. an Excalibur dehydrator
3. a high powered blender such as the Optimum 9400

Imagine my delight when I walked into Heather's kitchen to see an Optimum 9400 blender sitting on her kitchen counter top! As a food blogger myself I get to work with many brands on various foodie themed projects, and I have been working with Froothie - the UK distributor of the Optimum 9400 - for some time now.

My husband over at AudioBoy Productions and I teamed up to create the video above with our own Optimum 9400 blender - all the sounds in the video were obtained from the blender itself and manipulated to create a music video. Do give it a watch, we are rather pleased with it!

Heather says of her blender,

"It does everything I need and more. This blender is extremely powerful and makes very smooth raw desserts."

A high power blender is essential for many raw desserts such as this raw cheesecake as a food processor won't be able to cream the soaked cashews enough to get the light, fluffy cheesecake topping. It also comes in handy for making Heather's home made almond milk.

In the meantime, do have a go at making this gorgeous cheesecake - you will not be disappointed!

For more raw food recipe inspiration you can find Heather on Facebook and Instagram.

Raw Vegan Lemon Cheesecake with a Chocolate Coconut Almond Crust

Course: Main

Servings: 12 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
For the Chocolate Coconut Almond Crust
  • Coconut flakes - 1 cup
  • Almonds - 1 cup (soaked and dehydrated)
  • Cacao powder - 3/4 cup
  • Himalayan crystal salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Medjool dates - 6-8 (pitted)
For the Filling
  • Cashews - 2 cups (soaked for 2 hours, rinsed and drained)
  • Almond milk - 1.5 cups
  • Lemon juice - 1 cup
  • Blonde coconut nectar - 1/2 cup
  • Rice syrup - 1/4 cup
  • Himalayan crystal salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Coconut oil - 3/4 cup (warmed to liquid)
  • Lecithin powder - 3 tbsp
  • Lemon zest - 1.5 tsp
Topping
  • Raw Chocolate - (grated)
  • Fresh Fruit of Choice - (sliced)
Instructions
  1. Process the coconut flakes and almonds in a food processor fitted with an S blade until they are finely ground.
  2. Add the cacao powder and Himalayan crystal salt and continue to process.
  3. Add the dates, one at a time, until the mixture sticks together.
  4. Press the crust into the base of a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.
  5. In a high speed blender, blend all the ingredients for the filling except for the coconut oil, lecithin and lemon zest until smooth.
  6. While the blender is still running, add the coconut oil and lecithin and continue to blend until even smoother.
  7. Add the lemon zest and blend for a further 2 seconds.
  8. Spoon the filling over the top of the crust and chill for a few hours.
  9. Grate some raw chocolate over the top of the cheesecake and arrange fresh sliced fruit to serve.
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