Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovlies!
I’m never quite sure how to feel about Valentine’s Day. It feels like a lot of people put so much pressure on it and forget about the real sentiment behind what (I think) it’s all about.
How do you feel about Valentine’s Day – are you one of those sappy romantics who goes all out to celebrate, or do you avoid it at all costs, brushing it off as an overly commercialized holiday?
I think I’d have to say I’m in the middle somewhere, leaning slightly more towards the sappy romantic side than the other. Slightly.
I like the idea of taking a special day to express your love and gratitude for someone, a romantic dinner for two (those are so rare for Dustin and me now that we have three kiddos!), and, of course, a sweet treat.
I do have to admit, though, I am not a huge fan of all those super sweet, highly processed chocolates that are so popular on Valentine’s Day. While chocolate is great and all, I like to enjoy it with other flavors and textures – like with this raspberry beet mini cheesecake right here.
Now, I didn’t forget the chocolate, though! I made a yummy raw dark chocolate pecan crust by combining a few easy ingredients in the food processor and then pressing it into a muffin tin to make a crust.
Seriously: so simple and so delicious.
Then, I top off the dark chocolate pecan crust with a tart and creamy raspberry beet cheesecake filling that happens to be vegan, if you can believe it. Yep: vegan cheesecake. This means no need for substitutions at all to make it vegan, gluten-free, or non-dairy. Yay!
I was so excited with the color combination of the beet and raspberries which goes perfectly with Valentine’s Day.
Or, ya know, any day you want a mini vegan cheesecake that super adorbs 😉
If you’re wondering about the beet flavor – it actually doesn’t come through nearly as much as its beautiful color. Instead, you get the flavors of tart raspberries, freshly squeezed lemon, followed by sweet pure maple syrup to delicately round out the cheesecake flavors over the chocolate pecan crust.
I used Coconut Dream yogurt to add a little extra creaminess, and still keep the whole cheesecake non-dairy, which worked beautifully, too.
All in all, this is a perfect sweet treat for someone who wants a special dessert, but doesn’t want overly rich (or highly processed) chocolate.
This recipe is actually a variation of my Vegan Mini Cheesecake recipe I shared a while back. Just like with the original, the prep is very easy, it’s no bake, which is awesome, and just requires a little time.
And how the creaminess without dairy, you ask? Answer: Cashews and non-dairy yogurt, my friends.
If you’ve never tried soaking raw cashews and then blending them to make a creamy, cream-cheese-like-consistency, I sure hope you try it out. The texture is smooth, thick, and very easily altered with whatever flavors you decide to add into your cheesecake filling.
Like beets and raspberries <3
Raspberry Beet Mini Cheesecakes
No matter where you stand on Valentine’s Day and all the hype, I hope you take a moment to realize how special you are and enjoy the day.
Tip: Enjoying the day is made much easier with one of these mini cheesecakes in your hand 🙂
- For The Dark Chocolate Pecan Crust:
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup pitted dates, packed
- 2 tbsp. dark cocoa powder
- ⅛ tsp. sea salt
- For The Raspberry Beet Cheesecake Filling:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons)
- 1 medium raw beet, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup (6 oz.) fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 container plain Coconut Dream non dairy yogurt
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk, refrigerated
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- Cover the raw cashews with boiling hot water and let soak for one hour. (We soak them like this to help then soften up.)
- In a food processor or heavy duty blender, add the raw pecans and process into an rough meal consistency.
- Next, add the pitted dates, dark cocoa powder, and sea salt into the food processor. Process until smooth or a small ball forms, about one minute.
- Lay out thin strips of parchment paper into each slot in a muffin tin and scoop the pecan-date mixture evenly into the muffin tins. Carefully pack it down evenly using your fingers. This will serve as the yummy dark chocolate pecan crust.
- To make the raspberry beet cheesecake filling, add the softened, drained cashews into a blender, followed by the freshly squeezed lemon juice, melted coconut oil, raspberries, raw peeled beet, chilled coconut milk (just scooping the top of the hardened coconut milk from the top of the can, and leaving the clear liquid underneath), and the pure maple syrup.
- Blend this together until very smooth. The smoother this mixture is, the creamier your cheesecake will be.
- Now, pour the filling evenly into each muffin tin over the pecan crust, filling all the way up.
- Place the muffin tin into the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours to allow the mixture to set.
- When you’re ready to eat, just pull up on the parchment paper to remove the cheesecake, then discard the parchment paper.
- You may need to allow it to set at room temperature for 5 minutes to thaw.
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