This is just one of those recipes that comes along, out of the great blue yonder, that catches the eye and demands to be made. This floated by via a recommendation from Yolanda at the wonderful Byzantine Flowers blog. There are millions of recipes hovering around out there, but only a small minority grab me and really get my creative juices flowing. I like something a little bit different, something challenging and new. When I saw that this cheesecake had either kale, beetroot leaves or spinach in it, I knew I’d discovered a new dessert for me to play with.
We are in veggie heaven at the moment after helping chef strim his garden. To be honest it was more of a wild field than a garden and due to our combined efforts in helping tame this jungle, chef gifted us a serious glut of amazing vegetables from his pristine veg garden (you can see where his priorities lie!). Chef lives way up in the hills and has a fantastic garden that he and his Zimbabwean wife, Estele, take magnificent care of. Estele is a natural with the good earth and can grow things that just shouldn’t grow in these temperate parts. Chef is a proud frenchman and quite handy with a strimmer and mandolin. Thanks to them we are now the proud owners of literally bin bags full of incredibly sweet spinach, fiery mint, intense chives, vibrant cabbage and some of the most vivid carrots. You may be seeing more of these ingredients soon (maybe in desserts?!) I have never tasted spinach this sweet (see below), it came from chefs sister in the Loire Valley in France. Ideal dessert spinach.
Raw desserts normally have a lot of components, but they are easy to get together and require a lot less messing around than normal baking (its not going to sink, burn, crumble, split……etc), it just sits there on the plate looking sexy. I’ve never used pumpkin seeds in a base before and I think they taste even better than nuts. Less fat, more flavour. Seed bases are a winner. The filling is rich and bright green (the spinach doing its thing) and you won’t believe that cream cheese wasn’t added. It’s so smooth and creamy.
In the future, we’ll all be eating these!
Heres the recipe with a few Beach House additions. I stuck with handfuls, rather than exact measuring, here because its so straightforward and we love getting our mitts involved in cooking!!!
The Bits – 6 little cheesecakes or one large one
4 big handfuls Raw Pumpkin Seeds
2 big handfuls Dates (Pitted and Soaked for 2 hours)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 teas dark tahini (light is fine also)
Pinch of Sea Salt
2 Avocadoes (peeled and stoned)
3 big handfuls Spinach (without stems)
2 handfuls Dates (Pitted and Soaked for 2 hours)
125ml (1/2 cup) Date Soak Water
3 tbsp Lime Juice
2 tbsp Dried Coconut Flakes (Desiccated)
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Lime Zest
Pinch of Sea Salt
Using a food processor, pulse the pumpkin seeds, dates, vanilla, tahini and salt together until they start to clump into a ball. Place in the fridge for an hour to cool.
On a chopping board, using your hands, press the ball down into a flattish sheet (approx 2cm thick). Then take a cake/cookie cutter and cut circles. Roll up the leftovers and make another smaller sheet, repeat this until most of the base mix is used (eat the rest. Yum!)
Get all of your filling ingredients in your food processor (give it a rinse beforehand) and blitz up until nice and smooth. Place you cake/ cookie cutter over your bases and spoon in two tablespoons of mix, using the spoon, even out the mix and make sure it meets the edges (giving you a nice looking, clean edge). Pull off the cutter, slowly but with purpose, your cheesecake should look splendid. If not, be more careful with the next one! Repeat until your mix runs out.
As I mentioned, the base can be rolled up into little balls and snacked on at a later date, so no waste here.
Please feel free to play with sizes and shapes. We used this cutter as it makes for a decent dessert size. The original recipe was more of a cupcake.
They don’t last long, for many reasons, the avocado doesn’t help (so creamy!) Serve them immediately with thin slices of lime, bits of coconut or as we did, a sprinkle of coconut flakes and a few pumpkin seeds.
We Love It!
People look quite disgusted when we tell them we’ve been making desserts with spinach in. Hopefully they’ll read this post and have their minds changed, even better, they’ll actually try it for themselves. Vegan desserts are the future, next week, garlic beer! (joking)
Coconut oil is an excellent substitute to cooking oils and especially butter. It has been heralded as a ‘superfood’ and it certainly is. The benefits of coco oil are many, for example, it can even be rubbed into your hair and skin giving amazing nutrition to both. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but they are mainly lauric acid, which actually helps repair the heart and arteries. These fats also contain micro-biological qualities that fight bad bacteria and fungi in your guts, they also help you absorb many vitamins and minerals. I could go on here……..I’m sure you get the idea. Eat more cocos!