Cheesecake is probably one of the least healthy dessert foods out there. It's full of sugar, fat, and — of course — calories. (So much for those cheat points, huh?) But wait: There is a way to have your cheesecake and eat it, too — without the guilt. This Matcha Zebra Cheesecake is a healthy alternative to your typical store-bought or boxed versions. Made with raw cashews, coconut cream, and maple syrup, this protein-packed cheesecake is the perfect way to "cheat" on your diet and gain health benefits without your taste buds ever knowing you're pulling a fast one on them. You'll be too wrapped up with enjoying that sweet and creamy vanilla filling!
10 medjool dates pitted ($13 for 1 lb., Amazon)
1 cup hazelnuts
Pinch of salt
2 cups raw cashews (soaked in water for three hours or soaked in very hot water for one hour)
1/2 cup coconut cream (or milk)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. matcha green tea powder ($30 for two 3.5 oz. packs, Amazon)
1. Put the dates, hazelnuts, and salt in a food processor and grind until you get a sticky, dough-like consistency. Don't over-process though, make sure you retain some texture.
2. Line a cake mold with parchment paper (I used a 6" (15cm) diameter round mold with release).
3. Lay the crust mix on the bottom of the mold and press with your hand to make it firm.
4. Save the matcha green tea for later, and put all the other filling ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
5. Transfer half of the filling to a separate container, and mix in the matcha green tea throughly.
6. Now you have two cream fillings: vanilla and matcha. Repeat the process with alternating vanilla and matcha layers until you use up the filling.
7.* Tap the mold on the counter a few times to release any trapped air bubbles.
8. Loosely wrap with stretch film and place in the freezer for four hours. You can store it in the freezer for up to one month.
9. Thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
This recipe was created by Maya Sozer, the culinary creative behind <a target="blank" href="http://www.dreamyleaf.com/vegan-matcha-zebra-cheesecake/"> Dreamy Leaf._
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