Chocolate and mint, one of the best combos ever. Dare I say maybe even better than chocolate and nut butter. And this combo deserves special mention during the holidays. Not only is the color festive, but obviously peppermint and Christmas go hand in hand. To us, chocolate mint usually means a grasshopper pie. A damn good one I might add, but one that doesn’t remotely resemble healthy. So I have been tinkering with a variation for some time. I wanted something that hits all the flavor and texture elements, but is also simple, and most of all wouldn’t obliterate my health goals. This is it, Grasshopper Cheesecake to the rescue.
Our love affair with cashew cream and cashew cheese has not ended. Nor do I expect it to. I am still astounded how creamy it can really be, and how easily it can be manipulated. Truly the best healthy dairy replacement I have found.
Once I created our Meyer Lemon Cashew Cheesecakes, I knew I needed a new variation. And you can expect this not to be the last iteration. Because we typically don’t let go of things we love, especially food obsessions.
And now, it is chocolate mint. This is definitely not a new obsession, but it certainly intensifies around the holidays. I tend to crave this combo often, even on the daily. And the Grasshopper tends to be at the top of that list.
Let’s rewind to the beginning, where the creation began. For those who are not familiar, the grasshopper originated as a cocktail. A quick Google search will remind you where it all started.
Born in New York City in the early 1900’s, crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and heavy cream became the ice-cream-like cocktail. More dessert than boozy indulgence, it is a fun neon color that cannot be mistaken.
And if you are a fellow Midwesterner, you may recall a different version. Instead of heavy cream, ice cream is blended into the drink for a truly creamy experience. I recall my family enjoying these on special occasions.
Years later, chefs began to reinterpret the drink into actual desserts. Grasshopper Pie has become a favorite of many generations, and you will see it make its appearance around holidays. Christmas for sure, and even St Patrick’s Day.
The traditional pie includes many of the same cocktail ingredients, with a chocolate cookie crust. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.
But our favorite Grasshopper Pie is from quite possibly the most genius dessert chef out there, Christina Tosi of milk bar. One of my dessert idols, she puts together the most inventive creations reminicient of childhood favorites. The milk bar cookbook is in my top 10 all time favorites.
We are so obsessed with her treats that we order them on special occasions, and I make Garett the Birthday Layer Cake every year for his birthday (which you may have seen on our Instagram earlier this year). Pretty sure I have ruined him to all other cakes. It is that delicious.
It is so surprise then, that her Grasshopper Pie is off the charts. Every Christmas I look forward to the this incredibly luscious creamy mint chocolate dessert.
However, it requires I forego all dietary restrictions to do so. And that doesn’t always work, nor is it always the best idea.
Our healthified version is incredibly easy to make, requiring little prep. The main thing to keep in mind is to soak your cashews in advance. Ideally they would be soaked overnight, but in a pinch you can take a shortcut. See the recipe notes for more detail.
Thankfully this layered treat hits all the notes of the original. Well, minus the dairy, sugar, and gluten.
If you happen to have several servings, no need to worry. You won’t feel ill the next day or have a mega sugar crash. But you will satisfy that sweet craving, and of course that chocolate mint craving.
An extra bonus that our grasshopper cheesecake require no baking. Which means you can save your oven space for other things, such as the main course. Or, you know, dozens of cookies.
- Loaf pan
- Parchment paper
- Food processor
- 1 cup finely ground almond flour
- 1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 8 ounces Vegan friendly dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup canned coconut cream
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, thick ends removed
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, thick ends removed
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water in the refrigerator overnight (see notes)
- ½ cup coconut oil, softended
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Shaved dark chocolate
- Fresh mint leaves
- Grease loaf pan with coconut oil and line the inside with parchment paper, leaving about a 2 inch overhang on each side. Set aside.
- Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined and a thick dough forms. It should hold together when you squeeze it.
- Press into the bottom of the loaf pan to form an even later. Transfer pan to the freezer to set while you make the ganache and filling.
- In the bowl of a double boiler, add chocolate chips and coconut cream. Stir often until mixture is smooth and silky. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint extract and salt.
- Pour ganache over chilled crust and transfer to the freezer again to set, at least 30 minutes.
- Place spinach and mint leaves in a medium heat-safe bowl. Fill a separate large bowl with ice water and set both aside.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in small saucepan. Once boiling, pour over spinach and mint and let stand for about 30 seconds, or until leaves are wilted. Scoop leaves from hot water and drench in bowl of ice water. Stir until leaves are chilled, about one minute. Then remove from water, squeeze out excess moisture, and set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
- Drain soaked cashews, rinse in fresh water until water runs clear, and drain again.
- Place cashews in the food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until a nut butter forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add all other filling ingredients, except for spinach and mint, and blend until smooth and homogeneous, at least 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add spinach and mint leaves, then blend again until smooth and mixture is evenly green. Add more peppermint extract to taste. If you don’t mind little pieces of leaves in your filling (we don't), move to the next step. Or, you can stain the filling through a nut milk bag to remove the pieces.
- Pour filing into cooled crust and set in the freezer for 1 hour, or at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.
- Once ready to serve, heat a knife under hot water and run the knife along the edges of the pan, in between the parchment and the cheesecake. Once it comes loose, use the parchment paper overhang to lift the cheesecake out of the pan. Set on a cutting board, and using a warm knife, cut into 2-3 inch slices. Top with shaved dark chocolate and fresh mint leaves if using.
- Wrapped tightly in plastic, the loaf will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or about a month in the freezer.
**If you don't have a loaf pan, you can easily make the dish in a square baking pan, or even in individual ramekins. Just make sure and use the parchment so you can easily remove the dessert once chilled.
***To yield a really creamy filling, soak the cashew overnight. In a pinch, you can boil a few cups of water, remove from the heat, and add cashews. Let sit for an hour then proceed with preparing the filling.
Be sure to follow ourfoodfix on Instagram and tag your recipes with #ourfoodfix! You can also share photos on our Facebook page. Thanks a million for your support!
Join the Our Food Fix Family
Subscribe to our list to receive FREE recipes, healthing living resources, and planning and efficiency tips.