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Vegan Pomegranate Pistachio Cheesecake

I’m so happy December is here, y’all. It’s inspired me to start cooking again! First thing, Pomegranate Pistachio Cheesecake 😊

2016 has been a doozy of a year and it’s finally coming to an end…but it’s ultimately left me feeling contemplative. I’ve been thinking even more about human nature and our sheer existence. Why are we here? What is our higher purpose on this planet? Do we even have one? Why do we seem to be okay with destroying our precious Earth? I get discouraged because I want so badly to help facilitate big changes here on this planet, but sometimes I feel so lost it’s like I don’t even know where to start. I dream of a world where all of us as humans can empathize with the suffering of others, and in reaction, attempt to relieve that suffering. I like to think of my veganism as a simple and easy form of everyday peaceful protest against the violence and oppression on this planet. So that’s a pretty cool thing, the fact that with every meal we have the opportunity to stand in opposition to all this violence we see going on today. Obviously, it’s not going to solve all of our problems…but hey, it’s a start!

So anyways, I’m praying for all of us Earthlings today. I pray for peace, love, compassion, awareness, and forgiveness. I’m sending out so much love to you all and remembering that together we can be a powerfully changing force for peace.

So moving along to the food… here’s my recipe for a vegan Pomegranate Pistachio Cheesecake. I hope you get to share these upcoming holidays with people you love. If you do, go ahead and share this cheesecake with them too! It’s smooth, creamy, light, tart and sweet. The pistachio crust is crumbly, nutty and crunchy. You will need to plan ahead in order to soak the cashews overnight. You’re also going to need a high-quality food processor or blender to get the right creamy consistency for the filling. If you don’t have a springform pan, any similar size cake pan should work fine.

Happy December! Enjoy the cheesecake!

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Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 10 dates, pitted (about 1 cup)
  • 1 heaping cup raw pistachios, shells removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)

For the cheesecake:

  • 2 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream (Thai Kitchen is my favorite brand. You can also buy a can of full-fat coconut milk and just use the thick, white cream scraped from the top of the settled can)
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice

Optional: pomegranate seeds and more chopped pistachios for garnish on top.

Instructions:

  1. While you make the crust and cheesecake filling, reduce 1 cup pomegranate juice over low heat in a small pot, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a large, high-quality food processor, combine all the ingredients for the crust. Pulse in the food processor until all the nuts and dates have been broken down and the crumbs can be formed together into a ball.
  3. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of an 8″ springform pan. Set aside in the fridge to chill while making the cheesecake filling.
  4. Rinse out the food processor and rinse off the blades, in order to get ready to create the cheesecake filling. Combine all ingredients for the filling except for the pomegranate juice. Blend on high speed for at least ten minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  5. When the consistency is completely creamy, pour the filling directly on top of the pistachio crust, but reserve at least 1/4 cup to blend with the pomegranate reduction.
  6. Pour the pomegranate reduction (which should be nice and thick by now, as in coating the back of a spoon) into the food processor and blend with the remainder of the cheesecake filling.
  7. Drizzle the pomegranate mixture on top of the cheesecake and use a knife or toothpick to make any kind of swirly pattern that makes you happy. Garnish with chopped pistachios and pomegranate seeds if desired. This can be really cute if you make it look like a wreath too…if you’re into wreaths.
  8. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.

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