Food and Recipe of the Month: Cherries and Cacao Cherry Cheesecake
Care of Andrea Howe at glowingongreens.com
Cherries hold the prize for being the most popular summer fruit in our kitchens! They’re tart, sweet, and that perfect treat on a hot day. Not only are cherries bursting with flavour, but they are also packed full of amazing antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients.
Cherries are known for their deep red/purple colour. That bright colour comes from a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. These antioxidants can aid in cell damage repair, and preventing further harm from occurring, resulting in a reduced risk of many cancers and chronic disease. They can also reduce blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels, and increase metabolism.
Are you an athlete? Cherries have been seen to enhance exercise performance and speed up recovery time by reducing muscle soreness in marathon runners. They can also reduce inflammation in those individuals with arthritis or inflammatory diseases due to their ability to fight free-radicals and reduction of uric acid levels in the body.
So, not only do cherries taste good, but they are a powerhouse for combating many health conditions. Add this superfruit into your diet with this Cacao Cherry Cheesecake recipe:
- ½ cup oats
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup soaked dates
- 2 tbsp water
- pinch of salt
- 3 cups soaked cashews, (soaked for 4 hours in hot/warm water)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup frozen cherries
- Line muffin tins with strips of parchment paper (helps with removing them but doesn’t affect the shape of the cheesecake).
- Place all crust ingredients into a food processor and combine until mixture forms crumbly ball.
- Place 1-2 tbsp of crust into the lined muffin tins and press firmly to shape the bottom and place in freezer.
- In a high-speed blender, add soaked cashews, maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Blend until completely smooth (may take a couple of minutes).
- Transfer half of the cashew mixture into a bowl.
- Place frozen cherries into the blender with the remaining cashew mixture and blend until smooth (mixture is very thick, it shouldn’t be runny).
- Scoop the cherry mixture into the muffin tins about halfway full. Drop the muffin tins about an inch from the counter 3-4 times to release the air bubbles. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, scoop the plain cashew mixture over the cherry layer until it is evenly to the top of the muffin tin. Drop the muffin tins again 3-4 times. Place in freezer for 2 hours to set.
- Let thaw 10 minutes before serving. Store in fridge or freezer.