The Paleo way of eating is famously strict: No refined sugar, no grains, no dairy—not exactly an obvious starting point for a great dessert. But for Lauren Lobley, author of the new cookbook The Accidental Paleo, it proved to be the perfect springboard for an entirely new way to bake.
Lobley is a former pastry chef and a recovering self-described “sugar addict.” But, after a history of digestive health issues, Lobley eventually switched to a vegetarian-Paleo diet (that’s right, she doesn’t eat meat either). The result? “My stomach and I are now friends again!” says Lobley.
Instead of focusing on what a dessert doesn’t have, Lobley whips up Paleo-friendly pastries by focusing on what it does have. Take, for example, the almond butter banana cashew cheesecake from her latest book. “What it does have is healthy fats and oils (coconut milk and coconut oil), almonds and almond butter (great plant-based protein and healthy fat), dates (an amazing food for healthy digestion and a natural sweetener), and bananas (another great natural sweetener and full of potassium),” says Lobley.
The crust is whipped up in a food processor and uses a mixture of nuts, unsweetened coconut, dates for sweetness, and vanilla and cacao for flavor. It’s a no-bake base for the creamy cheesecake. The filling contains raw cashews that are soaked overnight, a technique that Lobley calls “one of the best techniques I have learned in making plant-based Paleo desserts.” Cashews in particular work well “because they produce a silky texture similar to cream cheese,” says Lobley. Is your mouth watering yet? Keep reading for the recipe.
Scroll down to get the recipe for this creamy paleo cheesecake.
Almond butter banana cashew cheesecake
Makes one 9-inch cake
For the crust:
1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend for about 30 to 60 seconds. When you pick up a handful of crust in your hands and form a fist, a ball of crust should remain intact. That’s how you know it is wet enough. If the ball of crust doesn’t remain intact, add another date and process it again.
2. Dump the crust onto the bottom of a springform pan. Pack and pat the crust down into an even layer along the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
For the banana filling:
1. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend on high speed until smooth (about a minute). Pour the filling over top of the crust, ensuring it’s evenly spread.
2. Place the cake in the freezer to set for at least four hours.
For the almond butter filling:
1. Over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil, almond butter, and chia seeds together. Stir with a spatula until smooth and combined.
2. Remove the cake from the freezer and pour the almond butter filling on top in an even layer, using a spatula to ensure the filling is evenly spread all the way to the edges.
3. Place the cake back in the freezer to set for another few hours. Once it is set, you can place the cake in the fridge and store it there until it’s ready to serve.
4. Serve as is, or if you want to get fancy, you can serve it with a drizzle of dark chocolate and/or a sprinkling of crushed almonds.
If you’re living the Paleo life, check out these delicious recipe for your slow cooker and this one that makes good use of your leftovers.
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