Summertime Dessert: Cashew Coconut Wild Berry Cheesecake!

Warm, sun-glistened days, an abundance of playful outdoor activities, balmy breezes and the vibrant colors of garden fresh foods, these are the beauty of summer. As the summer months arrive in full swing, look to the sea as prawns and crab become center focus with heightened sweetness and then to the garden for vegetables like peas and fennel and fruits such as peaches, cherries, and the varieties of wild berries, namely strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry. These are the foods to be savored and enjoyed at picnics, backyard barbeques, poolside, summer concerts, and more. Summer is a delicious time for foods that give life, energy and vitality to the rapid pace of the most free-spirited time of year.

Instead of stressing about being a great cook, relax into the oozing simplicity that these melt-in-your-mouth foods bring. Imagine fresh peaches halved and lightly grilled and drizzled with a rich, aged balsamic vinegar, or steamed prawns and crab served with a light salsa of fresh cherries, mint, and shallot, or for dessert, try the Cashew Coconut Wild Berry Cheesecake featured here. This dessert is made for the active, summer lifestyle. The perfect dessert for an afternoon poolside affair, natural sugars from dates and raw honey give quick energy, lemon aids digestion and coconut fires up the cellular fat burning mode. Have a slice, have a swim, and experience the vitality of summer.

Cashew Coconut Wild Berry Cheesecake 
(Serves 8)

Ingredients for crust:

  • 1 cup pitted dates, pureed
  • 1 cup walnuts, ground

Ingredients for cheesecake:

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked in water and drained
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced (just shy of a ¼ cup)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup or manuka honey
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen wild berries, thawed and lightly muddled with juices
  • Equipment: a spring form pan

Directions: As noted, dates and walnuts should be pureed and ground separately in a food processor. Then, add the pureed dates back into the food processor and slowly add the ground walnuts to form a paste or dough. Lightly grease bottom of a spring form pan and press dough into bottom of pan. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes.

Add cashews, lemon zest and juice, coconut oil, coconut milk and syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan, spreading until smooth. Swirl berries over the top. Place in freezer and freeze for about 5 or 6 hours or until set. Serve frozen or let rest 5 minutes to soften a little before serving. Keep any remaining slices in the freezer for 1 to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information (Serving size: 1 slice)

  • Calories: 483
  • Fat: 34.9g
  • Saturated fat: 14.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Sodium: 11mg
  • Potassium: 478mg
  • Carbohydrates: 41.5g
  • Fiber: 4.3g
  • Sugars: 28.2g
  • Protein: 8.8g