A common misconception once you convert to a real food lifestyle, is that you lose out on the ability to eat any sweets. So not true, and in fact, I dare to say the dessert options get better. If you are still skeptical, these Easy No Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecakes are about to prove my point.
Our favorite desserts usually include some sort of cream base. Crème brûlée, ice cream, mousse, brownie a la mode, you get the idea. Which is why we are always searching for dairy free alternatives to replace these staples.
Most of us are familiar with coconut cream as a replacement for dairy. But when we don’t want to use coconut for once? Or we want something with a bit more heft, thickness, and that could easily take on a variety of flavors? Cashew cream to the rescue.
This stuff is magic, and I’m not exaggerating. The texture is so close to actual dairy, you would swear it was the real thing. Then there’s the indistinguishable flavor that absorbs whatever you add to it, allowing your dish to become sweet or savory.
From a nutritional standpoint, cashews are full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Made up of mostly monounsaturated fat, much like olive oil, they are heart healthy. They also include a decent amount of magnesium and iron.
As with most plant-based foods, you reap the most nutritional benefits by eating them raw. And guess what? This is dish is completely raw. Not even one of the ingredients is cooked or baked.
Besides the cashews, these Easy No Bake Meyer Lemon Cheesecakes include a generous dose of coconut oil, which is full of incredibly beneficial medium chain fatty acids. Our bodies immediately convert these fancy little fats into energy, instead of storing them.
Which is why these tasty sweet-tarts can, of course, be considered a dessert. Yet you can absolutely get away with eating them as a pre or post workout snack too. They fuel your body and mind with all the above-mentioned benefits after all.
So go ahead friends, enjoy these any time of day or night, and don’t feel guilty about it one bit. They’re a health food!
These are seriously simple to prepare as well. No baking means no worries. You only need to remember to soak your cashews in advance, then it’s just a few easy steps to snack heaven.
When making the cheesecakes, you can divide them into ramekins for larger portions, or into muffins cups for smaller bite sized portions. Either way, you are sure to get addicted just as we have.
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- Coconut oil, for greasing containers
- ½ cup finely ground blanched almond flour
- 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup, or raw honey
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or ghee
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, or for at least 4 hours
- ½ cup coconut oil or ghee, softened
- ⅓ cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- ⅓ cup Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ¼ cup real maple syrup, or raw honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Zest from 2 Meyer lemons
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Line 6 standards muffins tins with nonstick liners, or grease 4 ramekins with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined and thick dough forms. It should hold together when you squeeze it.
- Divide dough evenly into muffin tins or ramekins, and form into the bottom of each dish. Use the back of your hand to press firmly and ensure an even layer.
- Transfer pan or containers to the freezer to set while you make the filling.
- Drain soaked cashews then transfer to a food processor. Process until creamy and a nut butter forms, about a minute or two.
- Add all other filling ingredients, and process again until mixture is completely combined and smooth, another 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add more lemon juice and/or sweetener to taste. Process one last time until smooth.
- Spoon mixture on top of crusts, splitting evenly between all containers.
- Transfer to the refrigerator or freezer and let set at least 1 hour, or up to overnight. Remove from refrigerator and serve immediately. If serving from the freezer, let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Top with fresh berries or lemon wedges if desired. Wrapped in plastic, tarts will keep in the refrigerator several days, or up to a month in the freezer.
**If you prefer a single large serving, use a tart pan or glass baking pan instead.
Items used in this recipe:
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