The best ever cheesecake -- and it's GF/CF, corn free, and SCD-legal, too!

Recently, I came across a man who had been suddenly diagnosed with food allergies: gluten, dairy, and eggs. He seemed to be having a real pity party, mourning the loss of beloved comfort foods and desserts. I explained that my son had far more food sensitivities and offered to share some samples of some of my son's favorites. This is one of them; it's reminiscent of the no-bake cheesecakes your gramma used to make -- the ones with graham cracker crust and cherry pie filling on top,.

Try my version for your next holiday gathering -- and don't tell anyone how it's made until after they love it! You will never miss the dairy -- I promise!

Dan's Vegan RAW cheesecake

Prep time: about 30 minutes
Freezer time: about 3 hours

1 cup pitted dates
2 cups raw almonds*
(you can substitute part coconut, or part pecans, or add macadamias, whatever -- just use dates or raisins to "glue" it together)

1 lb raw cashews -- soak in filtered water for 4 hours (or better yet, overnight)
1 cup raw honey
1 cup fresh lemon or lime juice- or some of each
1 cup melted coconut oil (virgin/cold pressed - melted in pan of warm water)
1/2 of a vanilla bean, finely ground, plus a tsp GF vanilla, ~OR~ a tblsp GF vanilla
¼ tsp Celtic sea salt (can omit)
1/8 to 1/4 cup water (sometimes I omit - if I soaked overnight and the cashews look extra “plump”)

To make topping:
2-3 cups of slightly thawed frozen berries (I use a 12 ounce sack of strawberries)
8 pitted medjool dates that have been soaked in warm water for an hour
1-3 tblsp of honey (to taste) Topping is easy to make - just process until smooth - nothing to it, the dates make it thick

To make crust:
Put ingredients in a food processor “cuisinart” type thing - chop/whirl them until fine - and the ingredients stick together when pressed between fingers. If they are not sticking together, then add a few more dates (or raisins). It should be sticky enough to press on the bottom of a pan and hold together.

For filling:
Put soaked, drained cashews in food processor, beat until finely chopped, then add vanilla and vanilla bean (make sure vanilla bean is already cut in tiny pieces, then chop like crazy to get it finely chopped). Add about ½ of the lemon juice and keep chopping, then add some honey, then more lemon, etc- until all honey and lemon are in mix. Then, slowly add coconut oil while processor is running, and keep it running until the mix is very smooth - up to 5 minutes. Once it’s very smooth, turn processor back on, and add the water slowly, mixing well. (Batter will be like very thick cake batter.)

To assemble - you can either make mini-cakes or one big cheesecake:

To make individual cheesecakes - use cupcake pans lined with wax paper cupcake liners Press crust on bottom and sides, then fill with “cheesecake” batter. The crust is sometimes easier to work with if you freeze it first, before filling with batter. Freeze. Topping can be spooned on and frozen, or served over when ready to eat.

To make one big cheesecake to slice, you can use a springform pan ( easy to find at thrift store- cuz no one really uses them - wink), or, just use a 9 inch square or round baking pan Press crust on bottom only for springform pan, or bottom and sides for baking dish. Pour on filling. Freeze until solid, then when ready to serve, cover with berry topping.