The Non Traditional Birthday Cake

I officially hit my late 20’s last week when I turned 27 years old. Man, when I look at the number, I felt old, because deep down, I still think that I am 15 years old inside. Well, you know what people say, “You’re old as you think you are”.

I sure miss the good old days in college when I turned 21, but when I think about it, I was broke, had no car, had no career, had only few reliable friends, and made no impact to the world. Perhaps, being young and naïve is not that great after all. I know that this year, my birthday was a bit special as it has been years since someone made me a birthday cake.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been introduced to raw vegan diet, mostly thanks to Max Musina and now that my friend, Barbie Decker has finally moved to Los Angeles, we talked and eat raw food almost all the time. So for my birthday, I requested a raw vegan cheesecake since she offered to make me a cake.

What is Raw Diet?

A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed, raw plant foods that have not been heated above 40 °C (104 °F). Raw vegans believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are less healthy or even harmful to the body. Raw or living foods have natural enzymes, which are critical in building proteins and rebuilding the body. Heating these foods kills the natural enzymes, and can leave toxins behind. Typical foods include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains and legumes.

So does this mean that a raw vegan cheesecake is healthy? Not necessarily, but it is ‘healthier’ than the traditional cheesecake. It is still high in saturated fat, from the coconut oil that is used to sub the cheese. (on a separate note, not all saturated fat are created equal, and coconut is supposed to be a healthy saturated fat). Of course, from common sense, it is okay to have this type of cheesecake on special occasions, and not to be eaten daily for breakfast or something.

Raw cheesecake recipe
taken from:

Crust ingredients:

1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts (or a combination of walnuts and macadamia nuts)
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
1 pinch sea salt

White cheesecake filling ingredients:

3 cups cashews
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup agave or honey
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
Up to a 1/4 cup of water, if necessary to facilitate blending

Fruit topping ingredients:

2 cups frozen strawberries
1/2 cup dates

How to make this raw cheesecake recipe…

1. Throw the macadamia nuts and dates into your food processor. (Don’t add the coconut!!) Process nuts and dates until well processed but still airy.

2. Next, get our your cheesecake pan (or just a basic glass brownie pan if you’re like me and don’t have fancy cookware) and sprinkle the coconut on the bottom as your very first layer. The point of doing this is to make it so it’s easier to remove the cheesecake and the coconut stops the crust from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Then press the macadamia nuts and dates down into the pan to form the crust.

3. Throw all creamcheese icing ingredients into your high-speed blender and blend! Add as little water as necessary to facilitate blending. (Try to add as little water as possible.)

4. Place the above in freezer for an hour or so (so that it will firm up).

5. Meanwhile, throw your strawberries and dates in your high-speed blender. Blend until nice and smooth. Pour this mixture on top of the crust/creamcheese, which was just in the freezer for about an hour. Replace the raw cheesecake recipe back in freezer. Freeze until this raw cheesecake recipe reaches the desired consistency!

6. Defrost this raw cheesecake recipe for about one hour before eating (or just slice from freezer and enjoy this delicious raw cheesecake)!