I wait all year for spring: the time of physical and spiritual renewal when the earth reawakens and bursts into life-affirming Technicolor activity, holidays commemorate freedom and resurrection, and the cooking turns gleefully celebratory.
As soon as the last lilac has ceased blooming and its mystical fragrance is no more, I begin pining for the spring equinox once again.
Which is hardly to say I don’t enjoy the rest of the year, but you get the picture. There’s no place like spring.
Bill and I celebrate both Passover and Easter, and in mapping out the week’s details of Matzo Ball Soup on Friday and Eggs Benedict with Homemade Corned Beef Hash on Sunday, we noticed a gap in the dessert section of the holiday menu. Since we’d both been craving cheesecake it was decided. I’d do a rite-of-spring riff on the dairy-free cheesecakes I’ve been making for the past 9 years since distancing myself from cow dairy and dropping 180 pounds in the process.
Viva La Dairy-free Difference!
What’s more fresh on the palate than a citrusy current of fresh lemon…especially when conducted via a slice of creamy cheesecake? You see where I’m going with this, and I hope you give this dairy-free version a try. Bill’s not on the dairy-free bandwagon and he pounded the counter with approval this morning after his first bite. Yes, we had cheesecake for breakfast…but the fact is, this is so full of nutrition vs. the empty calories of traditional cheesecake, it’s a Divine way to begin the day! Oh, and double-bonus…it’s a no-bake recipe…kinda (see directions).
Here’s to Freedom from Bondage from the foods that your body doesn’t deserve. Happy Easter, Blessed Pesach.
25.4 ounce cans coconut creamdrained of water, if there is any
28-ounce packagesvegan cream cheeseI like Kite Hill, made from almond milk
25.3 ounce packagesplain vegan yogurtI like Forager, made from cashews
2boxessugar-free vanilla pudding mix
2lemonssqueezed & juicedzest scraped and reserved
Pulse the nuts in a food processor until ground into a meal. Alternately add coconut oil and dates, a little at a time until they’re blended. Use all the coconut oil called for if crust is too crumbly.
Scrape out crust material out of the processor and place in a glass rectangular baking dish. Press evenly with palms or a wide metal spatula. Note: the crust is perfectly suitable to eat raw, but I sometimes like to bake it to elicit the flavors of the nuts and coconut. If that’s your thing, bake in a 325 oven for 15 minutes on the middle rack. Nuts burn easily so keep a close eye! Remove from oven and cool completely before adding the filling.
Place coconut cream, cream cheese, and yogurt in a large mixing bowl and beat with electric hand beater until smooth. Gradually add vanilla pudding packets until well blended. Add lemon juice and zest and beat until blended.
If baking crust, wait until it cools before scraping filling over crust. If you’re leaving the crust raw, scrape filling on top of crust, spreading evenly with spatula. Cover with foil and refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.