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A special someone in my life had a birthday last friday, and of course, that called for a celebratory dessert. If you love cheesecake, but are avoiding dairy and/or animal products, or you’re just looking for a way to eat cheesecake on a daily basis, this raw vegan dessert is the answer. It’s dreamy, creamy and positively ambrosial. (Not to mention, easy! In fact, it’s simple enough to make on a weekly basis, which I’m totally going to do.)
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Ravin’ About Raspberries

The health benefits of raspberries are something to get excited about. A member of the antioxidant-packed berry family, these ruby-hued flavour bombs are a true superfood.  

  • Beauty-promoting, with their high levels of collagen-building vitamin C; detoxifying fibre; array of wrinkle-reducing antioxidants, including vitamin E and resveratrol; and biotin and vitamin B5 for strong hair and nails 
  • Rich in vitamin C, a powerful immune booster, antioxidant and beauty nutrient
  • High in fibre, for blood sugar stability, detoxification, a healthy digestive system, lowered LDL “bad” cholesterol and satiation 
  • Antioxidant-rich (containing anthocyanins, tannins, flavonols and more), helping to reverse oxidative damage caused by internal and external sources
  • Hydrating, making them perfect to snack on during the warmer months, or after exercise (bonus points: they also provide electrolytes) 
  • Mineral-rich, containing manganese, copper, magnesium and potassium 
  • Contain a surprising amount of plant-based, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids 
  • Folate-packed, making them a wonderful food for the ladies   

In a past post, I mentioned picking wild raspberries at my cottage in northern Ontario when I was a child. This was one of my first connections (that I remember) with the natural world, without human interference. Sadly, those wild raspberry canes were cut to widen the road. It wasn't until nearly two decades (yikes!) later, that I became fully aware of the vast impact human actions have on the environment. 
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I've called this dessert, "revitalizing," as I hope it does just that, revitalize. Spring is a time to reawaken; to embrace change and new life; and to welcome the abundance of delicious fresh foods that are soon to be popping up from the ground, along with the little green buds that are coming soon to a tree near you. April is a month of change in the weather, the sky and the gardens. It's finally warm enough now to comfortably stand outside and look at that incredible blanket of stars and the balancing, big ol' moon.

April also plays host to Earth Day, which is the perfect time to do something nice for the planet and all of the creatures on it -humans, cows, dogs, bears, frogs, salmon, elephants, etc. Every day we have a chance to be a little friendlier to the Earth. This doesn't mean hugging a tree, but you can if you like. Perhaps being kind to the Earth, and all lifeforms on it, means: 

  • Bringing reusable bags with you to the grocery store
  • Supporting local producers 
  • Reducing your consumption of animal products (here is an overview of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s article about the environmental impact of eating animals/animal products)
  • Trying to go vegan or vegetarian once a week or more -you can still have your cheesecake and eat it too 
  • Using vinegar and water instead of toxic chemicals to clean your home
  • Going for joy rides on your bike, instead of in your car
  • Acknowledging that all viewpoints are valid (as long as it doesn't hurt or harm, of course) and that we're all entitled to speak, opine and debate 
  • The classic reducing, reusing and recycling of goods  
  • Not using pesticides on your lawn
  • Unplugging appliances when you're not using them 

Being kind and "green," just takes a few simple, conscious decisions. That's it. No biggie. I don't know about you, but I'd like the Earth to stick around for a while longer (a long, long, long while longer, in fact).   
 
A big thanks to Suzanne from the awesome blog, hello, veggy! for deeming April, "the month of change." It was a great starting point to stop and smell the roses, and embrace the wonderful new life and awe-inspiring natural events of spring. 
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I think I may have overwhelmed you with cheesecake photos! Desserts love the camera. 


How do you practice environmental kindness? Also, what's your go-to birthday dessert request? 

 


Comments

04/07/2014 10:06pm

Thanks for the shout out! This cheesecake looks AMAZING! I too remember picking berries roadside; it's a great memory :)

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04/08/2014 6:51am

Hi Suzanne! You're most welcome! Your blog is always inspirational to me :)

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Millie mickle
04/08/2014 3:19am

Hey Allison, this just looks beaut! You inspired me to put raspberries in my raw brownie bites...omg! Was even more tastier :)
Hope you enjoyed it...bet it tasted brilliant :) xo

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04/08/2014 6:54am

Millie! Hey girl, I need to blog your raw brownie brownie bites sometime! Raspberry and chocolate is the perfect pairing. Yum! xo

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Charesa
04/08/2014 6:44pm

This cheesecake looks really yummy! I'm going to make it soon. I tried your mint spirulina smoothie and it was amazing! I've had it a few times. Can you use other nuts for the crust? I'm not a big hazelnut fan.
I also think it's really great that you are reminding others to help conserve our planet. I think about it all the time (probably too much) and it's really concerning to me how much we continue to hurt the planet. I think all your ideas above are wonderful and I practice most of them (although I'm not completely vegan). Other ideas for helping the environment that I practice are:
-composting
-growing your own vegetables
-eating organic
-line drying my clothes outside
-purchasing organic clothing and bedding or clothing made from recycled materials
-supporting an environmental organization, like your local Sierra Club
-etc.

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04/09/2014 7:59am

Hey Charesa! I'm so happy you liked the mint spirulina smoothie and I hope you love the cheesecake if you give it a try :)

You can definitely use any nut you like. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc. Anything you have on hand should work. Even sunflower seeds or unsweetened shredded coconut would work.

And thank you! I think it's a really important subject to talk about. I'm considering getting a compost this year. I've never tried to do that before. All of your ideas are amazing!!! I need to start doing a lot of those as well. I like the idea of supporting an environmental organization! I should look into that.

Thank you so much for sharing those, I'm always looking for more ways to help the environment. I honestly hadn't thought of a lot of those ideas. You're awesome for taking the time to comment! I truly appreciate your contribution and I'm looking into Sierra Club Canada right now. So cool!

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Charesa
04/22/2014 4:46pm

Awesome! I love the Sierra Club, they do so much good for the environment. :)

04/09/2014 6:40am

Hey :) yes you should definitely blog them! You'll have to let me know on how they went for you and if they were nice :)

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04/14/2014 8:46am

What a gorgeous cake (raspberries are my FAVORITE fruit!). And what a thoughtful post (I hug trees whenever possible ;))! I will be trying this cake once we've got organic berries coming out of our ears from our local CSA. Can't wait!

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04/14/2014 2:36pm

hehe, I think I need to go in my backyard right now and hug a tree!

Ohhh, I can't wait until the fresh berries come out! It's the best part of the warm weather.

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Tarryn
04/16/2014 4:45pm

Hi :) this sounds amazing! Just wondering if I could substitute the coconut oil for anything else?

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04/16/2014 5:54pm

Hey Tarryn! I haven't tried it with anything else so I'm not 100%. Perhaps some almond milk or water in place of the coconut oil. The cake won't stay solid in the fridge, but it should still freeze well! Just let it defrost a little before slicing. Also, maybe adding a couple of bananas would be okay in place of the coconut oil. Again, it would just need to stay frozen I think. :)

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Tarryn
04/17/2014 3:01am

Ok great... Maybe I'll try almond milk with agar agar in. That might work to keep it solid in the fridge.

04/17/2014 11:43am

Agar agar is a great idea. I'm not very familiar with using it, but it should set up nicely. I will have to try that next time I make this -I'm curious now! :)

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Stephanie
06/18/2014 4:47pm

As the first person to comment that actually made this I have to say I only made this because I had some left over ingredients that I don't want to go bad from another raw recipe. Oh man am I happy I found this gem of a recipe. My daughter and I were licking the bowls and spoons like hounds. I used organic frozen cherries instead of raspberries. When I blend cashews in my vitamix they tend to get hot if I don't use frozen fruit in the mix. I only wish I had a spring form pan because getting I tour of my dish was a little challenging

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Stephanie
06/18/2014 4:50pm

Also.....I used walnuts instead of hazelnuts because that's what I had on hand. Yummy to say the least and you are totally right, very easy to throw together if you're familiar with raw deserts.

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Allison @ Clean Wellness
06/18/2014 6:45pm

Hi Stephanie! Thank you for the fantastic feedback! I imagine it was amazing with cherries and walnuts -I can't wait to try that combo myself when my local cherries are out!

wow this is so yummy cake

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Stephanie
07/24/2014 5:27pm

Back again! Sorry to be stalking your comments page but I went out and bought a spring form pan! I made this cheesecake for a family get together and everyone was thoughroughly impressed. I cut the cashew cream into thirds. Put plain on the bottom, blueberry in the middle and cherry on top. It was so pretty. The whole thing was eaten in one evening by 6 adults and 2 kids. I'm so grateful that you gave me the recipe for 'my' signature dish :)
Making a successful raw dessert the first time is a huge motivating factor to keep up a raw diet. Thanks for supplying just the right recipe to help me in my raw journey!

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Allison
07/25/2014 6:37am

Hi Stephanie! That's fantastic! I love the three layer idea. Your comment really made my day. I always love to get feedback on my recipes and hear that others are trying them out. What a beautiful testimonial as well! You're a sweetie :)

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