Raw Cranberry & Pistachio Cheesecake

Photo by alleksana on Pexels.com

Hello my dear ones! Merry Christmas to you all! Christ is born! Let us glorify Him!

I was looking for a unique recipe to celebrate this wonderful and special celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. When we think of the holiday season, we usually think of red, white, and green so I thought, what can I create? I was searching for recipes to inspire my holiday cooking and I came across this recipe on FeedFeed by Sarah Bell.

I adjusted it slightly using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean. Sarah’s recipe calls for 1 paste scraped out vanilla bean; I used 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. I did make a layer of spirulina and super food greens powder; I added the amount of spirulina and greens powder until I achieved that beautiful green color. The base is a beautiful red, with a layer of cashew cheesecake, and a layer of spirulina/greens cheesecake layer.

This is very easy to make, and delicious! My husband tried a piece and always asks for more! You can eat this, without feeling guilty, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack! It is full of protein and nutrients. If you make the spirulina/greeens powder layer, it is great for brain health.


Prep time: 20 mins serves 16
ingredients
For the base

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup pistachios

8 pitted Medjool dates

1/2 cup cranberries

2 Tbsp coconut oil

For the Filling

4 cups soaked overnight raw cashews

1 paste scraped out vanilla bean or 1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

For the chocolate Drizzle

1/2 cup pitted and halved cherries, plus 1/2 cup whole for garnish

1 3/4 ounces dark chocolate

coconut oil, if needed to thin

Chopped pistachios, for garnish

directions
  1. Line a cake pan with parchment paper
  2. To make the base, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined and sticking together. Press base mixture into prepared pan and freeze.
  3. To make the filling, clean out the food processor and add all the ingredients. Blend until very smooth and creamy. You don’t want any lumps. Remove base from freezer and pour filling on top. Smooth out and return to the freezer until filling is frozen solid. At this point, this is when you can split the filling; add half to the base while keeping half in the food processor. This is when you would add the desired amount of spirulina/green powder mix and blend until the powder is well incorporated.
  4. Slice the cheesecake into squares, using a hot knife to slice easily. Clean the knife between each slice. Store cheesecake slices in a container in the freezer until ready to serve.
  5. To make the topping, place halved cherries and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Use a fork to mash the cherries to release juices. Continue cooking until cherry juice has reduced and thickened, then remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
  6. To make the chocolate drizzle, melt the chocolate in a small metal bowl atop a saucepan of boiling water. Stir continuously until melted. Add a small amount of coconut oil to thin the chocolate.
  7. Top each cheesecake square with a about 1 tsp cherry liquid, a sprinkle of pistachios, a whole cherry, and a drizzle of melted chocolate. Allow cheesecakes to sit for approximately ten minutes to soften slightly before serving.

Notes

I like to use muffin pans. Especially mini ones!! Any kind of cake pan is fine to use. You can use a springform pan or a pie dish, as well.

You can use dried cherries (esp. sour) or raisins if you don’t have cranberries.


health benefits

Overall, nuts are a rich source of protein, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, boron (raw nuts), copper, fiber, magnesium, manganese; Brazil nuts in particular are rich in selenium.


Almonds

Nutritional profile:

72% fat

15% carbs

13% protein

165 calories per 1 ounce

Protein: 6g


Pistachios

Nutritional profile:

67% fats

20% fats

13% protein

345 calories per 1/2 cup serving (raw)

Protein: 12g


Medjool dates

Dates are a good source of protein, iron, vitamin B3, and folic acid/folacin. They are a natural sweetener; rich in dietary fiber; Includes tannins (anti-inflammatory properties); Dates are particularly rich in vitamins and minerals potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6.

Nutritional profile:

98% carbs

2% protein

65 calories per pitted date

Tip: as a healthier sugar alternative, use dehydrated, ground dates as date sugar or date syrup.


Cashew

Cashews are a great source of plant based protein as well as iron.

Nutritional profile: 

66% fat 

23% carbs 

11% protein

155 calories/1 oz serving (raw nuts)

Protein: 5g


Maple syrup

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener from the sap. Pure maple syrup is 100% maple syrup with no additives.

Nutritional profile:

99% carbs

1% fat

50 calories per 1 tablespoon serving

Tip: Grade-B syrup is darker in color, less refined, and richer in flavor and minerals.


Cherries

Nutritional profile:

88% carbs

7% protein

5% fat (sour)

80 calories per 1 cup serving (e.g. sour, raw)

Protein: 2g

Tip: Sour cherries are more nutritionally dense than sweet.


Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has antioxidants. The more bitter the chocolate, the more antioxidants. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than milk chocolate.


Spirulina

For those who don’t know what it is, spirulina is a micro algae and produces 20x as much protein as soybeans growing on equal sized land. It contains concentrations of nutrients unlikely other single grain, herb, or plant. Among its valuable components are gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleum and arachidonic acids, vitamin B12 (needed, especially by vegetarians, for healthy red blood cells), iron, a high level of protein (60-70%), essential amino acids, and the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, along with chlorophyll, and phycocyanin, a blue pigment that is found only in blue-green algae.

Spirulina has been clinically tested and has shown a variety of effects:

  • those with common cold experienced less sneezing and congestion
  • Other studies have showed lowered cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  • Those who used spirulina as part of their regular diet had reduced post-exercise muscle soreness that may have allowed them to have longer workout sessions

Spirulina is a naturally digestible food that aids in protecting the immune system, in cholesterol reduction, and in mineral absorption. Because it supplies nutrients needed to help clean and heal, while also curbing the appetite, it is beneficial for people who are fasting. A person with hypoglycemia may benefit from using this food supplement between meals because its high protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels.


Sources
  • FeedFeed, Sarah Bell @Sarahbellnutrition
  • “The Vegetarian Flavor Bible”, Karen Page
  • “Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements”, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC 5th Edition
  • “Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet and Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Body work and More”, James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

Medical Disclaimer:

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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