Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mini Strawberry "Cheesecakes" ~ Inspired by Chef Amber Shea

Last week on Facebook I shared a recipe by Chef Amber Shea: Cinnamon Swirl Caramel Cheesecake Bars.  These totally blew my mind.  I kid you not, these babies taste like REAL cheesecakeand the texture is spot on.  Needless to say, I have been obsessed with the recipe. So for a family gathering over the weekend, I turned the bars into little mini strawberry “cheesecakes.” I kept most all ingredients the same with the addition of strawberries to the topping (instead of maple syrup and cinnamon).  Amber’s recipe is so very versatile.  You can have fun with it and add in your favorite flavors.  The possibilities are endless.  I urge you to try Amber’s version first, as it’s just delicious!  Thank you Amber for such an amazing, healthy recipe.  
Mini Strawberry “Cheesecakes”
Inspired by and based on: 
(By Chef Amber Shea)

Ingredients:

For the crust
-1 1/2 cups almond flour or sunflower seed flour* 
-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
-3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
-2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

For the filling:
-1 cup raw cashews soaked for 2 – 3 hours, drained & rinsed
-1/4 cup honey (vegans, use coconut nectar or maple syrup)
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
-1/2 cup melted coconut oil
-4 large ripe strawberries 
-1 tablespoon honey (vegans, use maple syrup, coconut sugar, or coconut nectar) 

Instructions:
1.  Fill a regular sized muffin tin with muffin cups.  
2.  To make the crust, combine the almond flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add in the maple syrup and coconut oil. Using a pastry cutter or large fork, cut/stir the mixture together until it is crumble but just starting to clump together. 
3.  Press down the mixture in the muffin cups, make the crust as thick as you want.  Just make sure there is an equal amount in each cup.  
4.  To make the filling, in a high speed blender (I used a Vitamix, or you can use a food processor as Amber suggests), combine the soaked and drained cashews, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, and salt.  Blend to combine.  With the blender running on low speed, pour in the coconut oil in a thin stream, then blend on high until the mixture is completely smooth.  
5. Pour the mixture into the muffin cups all in equal amounts, leaving about 1/2 cup of the mixture in the blender.
6.  To the blender add in 4 large ripe strawberries and blend together with the mixture until smooth.  Top off the muffin cups with this strawberry mixture.  
7.  Place the muffin tin in the dehydrator or 4 hours at 105 degrees.  OR as Amber suggests (and what I do) is leave out on the countertop for 5 to 8 hours.  Then transfer to fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.  I like to leave out at room temp for about 10 minutes before serving. 

Notes:
*To make sunflower seed flour, simply add about 2 cups raw sunflower seeds to a food processor and blend until well ground and BEFORE it turns into sunflower seed butter.  I used sunflower seed flour as the base, as almond flour is difficult for me to digest.  But I’ve made this recipe with almond flour too, and I actually prefer the taste of the almond flour.  So I would go with the almond flour if you can digest it.  
 
This is how I served the little cheesecakes!  I blended up about 8 strawberries with 1 tablespoon of honey and drizzled over the top.  I finished with fresh blueberries.  EVERYONE was raving about these puppies.  I hope you try them soon.  
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Posted by Amber at

Labels: allergy-friendly, cane sugar free, dairy free, dessert, gluten free, raw.

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