Vegan/Paleo Mini Cheesecakes

Gluten Free | Dairy Free | Refined Sugar Free

Okay, I'm gonna be honest here- my favorite part of a pie or cheesecake is the CRUST. Nothing makes me more sad than getting a vegan or paleo cheesecake with a crust made of nuts or dates (not hating on them, I just don't want them in my crust). These mini cheesecakes have a thick, crunchy crust that mimics a conventional crust, and the entire recipe is full of nutrient-dense ingredients. 

What you'll need: You'll really want to use a silicone mini muffin pan for this- it makes it sooo much easier to pop out the cheesecakes! I used this one

You'll also need a high-power blender- I love my Ninja!

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

  • 1/2 tsp pink salt

For the Cheesecake:

  • 1 cup whole, raw cashews, soaked in water for 4+ hours (see notes)

  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk, softened (see notes)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you are strict paleo, use vanilla bean powder or omit this)

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

  • juice of 1/2 lemon

  • pinch of pink salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the crust ingredients together, and then scoop the crust into the mini cupcake molds (~1/2 tsp per mold). Adjust the thicknesss to however you like it (I prefer a ticker crust so I do about 1 tsp crust per mold). Pop them in the oven for 15 min and begin working on the cheesecake mix.

Pour the water out of the cashews, then add all the cheesecake ingredients to a high-power blender and blend on high for 60 seconds. Put the blender cup in the fridge while you wait for the crusts to cool for ~15 min (it's okay if they are warm, you just don't want them super hot. 

Once the crusts are slightly cooled, spoon the cheesecake mixture into the crusts, filling to the top. If you did a thicker crust, you will have ~16 mini cheesecakes, and you'll have more if you did a thinner crust. Total amount will vary. Pop them in the freeze for at least 2-3 hours until the harden. This is where the silicone muffin pan comes in handy- you can just pop them out when you're ready to eat them! 

Keep them stored in the freezer and allow to thaw 15-20 min at room temp before enjoying. 

Notes:

Soaking the cashews- if you don't have time to soak the cashews for 4 hours, you can also do this quicker by boiling 2 cups of water and pouring them over the cashews and allowing them to soak for 15 minutes- this softens the cashews in a similar way.

Coconut milk- you want to buy full-fat canned coconut milk, like this one. You can find it at Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's also has a really great canned coconut milk. The coconut milk that comes in a carton in the dairy section will NOT work for this. The canned coconut milk will separate if it's too cold, so keep it somewhere warm (maybe even put it in or near the oven for a few seconds to warm it up so the fat/water don't separate. 

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