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By Sabrina Samedi

Everyday is a reason to celebrate love and rejoice in the magic of soulful and good intentions, but for some of us we loose sight in showcasing gratitude for LOVE on a daily basis and guess what? That’s fine…we are all human perfectly flawed and constantly gravitating from confusion to clarity while transforming and growing more aligned with our inner self on a daily basis. The true measure of our compassion, accomplishments and self-love should be in our efforts. Hence, let’s celebrate the beauty of love for those whom we care for- our family, our friends, strangers with a kind smile, for the universe- the ether world around us, the trees and flowers that glorify our days, the night skies that illuminate our dreams, and for our selves- our bodies that keep us moving, our minds that seem to juggle a million things at once and our hearts and souls that transcend logic and keep us feeling more than thinking.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here is a scrumptious recipe for a Strawberry Cheesecake that will satisfy your sweet tooth and good conscious.

If you’re in the mood for a delicious dessert that is a cinch to make and packed full of real fruit, powerful herbs, and a touch of chocolatey goodness, you’re in luck! Rich Rolland his wife Julie Piatt, who is a plant-based chef, whipped up the best strawberry cheesecake recipe you can get your hands on, and not only is it featured in their ground-breaking family lifestyle guide on the importance of plant-based eating, titled The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for the Whole Family, but it is revered as the best strawberry cheesecake recipe right here at Pranamaya!

For all of the yogis out there, it’s reassuring to know that all of the recipes featured in The Plantpower Way are coming from one yogi to another—that’s right, Julie isn’t just an amazing chef, she’s also a spiritual guide and a yoga enthusiast. Not only will this recipe make your mouth water, but it will also help you on the path toward creating your own pure and balanced lifestyle.

Let’s Get On With the Recipe!

Strawberry Mint CacaoTo set the stage for the best strawberry cheesecake recipe, you will need a 9” springform pan, a food processor, a freezer (that’s right, no baking!) and the following ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups of raw walnuts
  • 1 cup of cacao nibs
  • 8 dates, pitted and soaked in water (preferably filtered) for 30 minutes
  • ½ teaspoon of Celtic sea salt

Filling:

  • A single 15oz. can of whole coconut milk
  • 8 dates
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup of raw coconut meat
  • ½ cup of cacao powder
  • ½ cup of fresh mint leaves, packed
  • 1 tablespoon of soy or sunflower lecithin
  • ¼ cup of agave, raw honey, or maple syrup (based on your own preference)

Garnish:

  • 2 pints of fresh strawberries
  • Fresh mint leaves or edible flowers

Once you have all of the ingredients intact, you still have one more step before you can begin preparing the best strawberry cheesecake recipe for your get together: you want to make sure that you chill your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least two hours.

Preparing the Crust

Coat the sides and bottom of your springform pan with the coconut oil and set aside before pulsing the walnuts in your food processor. Once they reach a mealy texture, add in the cacao nibs and pulse again until they are thoroughly incorporated. Next, drop one date at a time into the processor until all 8 are incorporated and the mixture forms a ball (you may have to pause and use a spatula to redistribute the mixture if it isn’t mixing right away). Take the mixture out of the processor and place it in the previously coated pan, and use your hands to create an even layer of crust. Sprinkle the “dough” with the Celtic sea salt and place in the freezer.

Preparing the Filling

To start the filling, open the chilled can of coconut milk and spoon out the hardened cream at the top, leaving the liquid in the bottom of the can. Combine the hardened coconut milk, strawberries, coconut meat, mint, cacao, and dates in a high-powered blender—and if you think there will be leftovers, add the soy or sunflower lecithin as well as it will help the filling stay firm even after you’ve cut slices. Keep on high until blended smoothly. Once combined, taste the mixture, and adjust for your preferred level of sweetness. You can add in the agave, raw honey, maple syrup, or a few more dates if you have them on hand! Take the crust from the freezer and pour the filling mixture on top, and then freeze again for at least two hours, or until the filling is very firm.

Adding the Garnish

To finish the best strawberry cheesecake recipe off with a bang, slice up those extra strawberries lengthwise and take the pan out of the freezer. Make sure to run a knife along the edges before releasing the buckle, and carefully remove the rim—it’s okay to go slow. Once free, start at the outer edge and place the berries on top of the cheesecake with the tips pointing out from the center. As you finish one layer, make sure to overlap a little bit with the next so that the entire dessert gets covered. For an added touch, you can add an edible flower or mint leaf at the center of the strawberry swirl.

Make sure to thaw your new favorite Strawberry Mint Cacao Cheesecake for 30 minutes to an hour before serving, and don’t forget to tell your guests where you first learned about the best strawberry cheesecake recipe: Pranamaya!