This bodacious babe of a treat will have you stripping off your clothes and running to the water faster than one can say "hakuna mattata". I absolutely cannot stress the importance of water in this recipe. By soaking the cashews in water, prior to sending them into a massacre of whirring blades and crematorial cream, you allow them to give their all, a last hoorah if you will.
What am I talking about, you ask? Well, nature has equipped 'the nut' with a shield of inhibitors that must be broken down in order for full nutritional potential to be reached. This is done by soaking the nut, as it mirrors the natural process of a juicy atmosphere in which the nuts could settle down, buy a house, a car, and begin to germinate a family of little nut children. Before mortgaging their house and inevitably crashing the car, owing the insurance company thousands and perhaps wondering if it would have been simpler to have just fled the scene...Excuse me.
For those of us that do not have the strongest tummy's, it is absolutely vital to allow our body full access to the enzymes that are on offer. OK I feel the point has been sufficiently pointed to.
This cheesecake does not have a spec of anything cheese-like in it, however the taste is absolutely marvellous! It is extremely creamy, with the cashews and the coconut making the best of friends amongst a lovely zest of lemon that melts in the mouth, prepping the palette superbly for the next bite. The fresh strawberries offer a surprise attack of natural sweetness, and brilliant colour. The base presents itself as a subtle yet strong foundation, it is both crunchy from the nuts, and moistened by the dates. This is getting rude.
1 cup cashews
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup pitted merdjool dates
¼ cup grated coconut
pinch sea salt
3 cups cashews – soaked overnight
1 tsp vanilla essence
¾ cup honey
1 cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup coconut oil
3 cups (500 g/1 lb) strawberries – diced (reserving 3 strawberries for the center piece and about 6 strawberries for decoration)
Line an 8-inch spring form baking tin with waxed baking paper.
Combine all the ingredients for the base in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
With wet hands mold the dough onto the base of the spring form tin and refrigerate until the filling is ready.
Meanwhile, drain your cashews and place them in a high speed food processor with the vanilla, honey, lime juice and the coconut oil. Process until the mixture is creamy smooth.
Dice the strawberries and gentle fold into the cashew mixture.
Pour evenly into the lined tin and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
Gently remove the spring form and then the waxed paper. Cut into slices with a hot knife (stick the knife under hot running tap water for a 10 seconds).