Wednesday, July 29, 2015

(almost) raw kiwifruit + ginger 'cheesecake'



Growing up we had loads of fruit trees on our property; feijoas, tamarillos, grapefruit, lemons and more. If you ventured right down the very bottom of the hill and looked to the left, you'd also spot a bunch of kiwifruit vines, growing over the timber frames my Dad built. Come winter, we'd have kiwifruit coming out of our ears and there was also a time when my mum would bag them up to sell them to locals, sharing their goodness around. I don’t remember ever having to rely on store-bought powders to get our daily nutrition…

While 'superfood' powders and exotic ingredients are a big deal at the moment, I try not to buy into them too much (although I do admittedly have a soft spot for the beautiful flavour of mesquite powder!) and prefer instead to get my vitamins and minerals from humble 'superfoods' such as broccoli, leeks, kumara (sweet potato), berries and kiwifruit. I'm sure many of these 'superfood' products do as they claim to do, be it by delivering healthy doses of antioxidants, fibre or Vitamin C, but to most people they're simply just not affordable on a daily basis and I would rather eat whole, un-processed fruit and vegetables over powders, any day. The often overlooked 'regular' fruits and vegetables we've all grown up on, can easily provide the nutrition our bodies need. Just one single kiwifruit, can provide your daily dose of Vitamin C (I try to eat two a day over winter to overdose on this cold-fighting vitamin!), along with a good dose of Vitamin K + E, Copper, Manganese, Folate and Fibre.


When it comes to kiwifruit, we mostly just eat them straight up, peeled and eaten whole while standing at the bench or sliced in half and scooped out with a spoon. I also love adding them to fruit salads and smoothies, but I thought it would be nice to highlight them in another way today by incorporating them into a cashew-based ‘cheesecake’. Paired with zingy fresh ginger and a naturally sweet date and almond base, this is a lovely treat to have at hand. Especially given it lasts for days in the fridge, or can be frozen for a month or two.



(Almost) raw Kiwifruit + Ginger 'Cheesecake'
This technically not a 100% 'raw' cheesecake because of the maple syrup, if you're wanting it to be 100% 'raw' you'll just have to sub in your favourite raw liquid sweetener and watch you only melt the coconut oil, not heat it up. I buy cashew pieces from my local Indian Grocers, where they are a fraction of the cost of whole cashew nuts. In a recipe such as this, where they just get blended, it really doesn't matter. Honey can be used in place of maple if preferred, however I'd scale it back a tad as honey is way sweeter. Brown rice syrup also works great. I add a little bit of spinach to the green layer, to make the colour a little more vibrant. But it's still just as yum without. You'll need to start this recipe the night before to allow time for the cashews to soak.
Makes 12-14 slices

base
1 1/2 cups (240g) pitted dried dates, roughly chopped
2/3 cup (100g) whole raw almonds
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil, melted if solid

filling
3 cups (375g) raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight in cold water + drained
3/4 cup (185ml) virgin coconut oil + 1 tablespoon extra, melted if solid
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup (125ml) pure maple syrup or your favourite liquid sweetener
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons finely grated ginger
small handful spinach leaves, optional
3 green kiwifruit, peeled
1 gold kiwifruit, peeled

To make the base, line a 28 x 18cm slice tin with baking paper, extending up and over the sides by a couple of centimetres. Place dates, almonds and coconut oil in a food processor and blend on high until relatively finely ground. Press mixture into the base of the tin, using the back of a spoon to pack down firmly.

To make the filling, place drained cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla and salt into a blender and blend of high until smooth (this will take mere moments if you have a high powered blender, or a little longer if you don't. If you don't, you might need to stop a few times and scrape down the sides a few times to assist blending). Transfer a little under half of the mixture to a bowl, then add grated ginger to the mixture remaining in the blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour this ginger mixture over the base and place into the freezer while you continue.

Place spinach, 2 green kiwifruit, the reserved filling and extra 1 tablespoon coconut oil into the (unwashed) blender and blend on high until smooth. Remove tin from freezer and pour kiwifruit filling over the bottom layer. Smooth off with a spoon or palette knife and place into the fridge 4-5 hours (or freezer 2-3 hours if in a hurry) or overnight, until set firm. 

Slice remaining green and the gold kiwifruit into thin slices and arrange over the top of the cheesecake. Slice and serve. Store in the fridge in a covered container for 5-7 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost on the bench 20-30 minutes before eating.

Post sponsored by Love Kiwis. All views and opinions are my own, as always. It doesn't take much for me to want to spread the word about one of New Zealands most cherished fruits!

Loosely based on the Chai 'cheesecake' found in my cookbook My Darling Lemon Thyme- Recipes from my real food kitchen.



44 comments:

  1. This is just so pretty! Also, I am jealous of your life growing up, fruit trees sounds amazing! :)

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  2. Love this post and all things kiwi! And I completely agree with you re: real foods over powders. The further we move away from what the earth is directly producing the higher the risk, in my opinion. More processed = more risk. Who is regulating all of these superfood powders etc...? It's gotten to the point where the only thing I trust anymore is the food I grow. Your childhood harvests sound wonderful!

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    1. "More processed = mores risk". Absolutely true! My husband's asthma was mostly due to additives in our food. Amazing how good food tastes when made from scratch.
      This recipe looks great. I can't wait till I try it.

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  3. Wow this looks divine! Gorgeous vibrant colours in the kiwifruit - and healthy too!! What could be better. Also great that it is kiwifruit season at the moment - my uncle has kiwi-fruit orchards in the Bay of Plenty (NZ) so we are always well stocked! Will definitely be trying this out :)

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  4. Love, love kiwifruit! And love the look of this dessert! yum.

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  5. These are easily prettiest cheesecake bars I've ever seen. Those kiwi! The luscious layers! I DIE. And I feel you on the whole superfood powder thing.. if you want more nutrients, eat a fucking vegetable or piece of fruit. GEEZE.

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  6. I couldnt agree more! Why have a superfood powder if we can just enjoy the superfood by itself in all its glory?:)

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  7. What a beautiful cheesecake! The kiwi + ginger combo sounds delicious and refreshing :)

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  8. This looks amazing! I am SO going to make this for my birthday on Saturday x

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  9. That looks divine. I've never been overly keen on kiwi, but then again I've probably never tasted a truly fresh one. But wow, this looks so yummy and really beautiful as well. Refreshing for a hot summer's day. ♡

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  10. This looks gorgeous. I find coconut oil too rich. Is there something else that could be used as a substitute (mainly for the base. I am always looking for yummy gluten free cheesecake or slice bases).

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    1. For the base olive oil could be used in place of coconut oil as its already quite a firm mixture. But not for the filling as its the coconut oil which sets the cheesecake xx

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  11. Njam! :) (it's a slovenian 'word' for 'yummy') Can't wait to try this one! Kiwifruit from my fathers kiwi tree will be soon ready to eat, I bet he will love it too!

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  12. Oh gosh, I'm jealous of all of your fruit trees! I so wish I lived in a climate that would support more than tomatoes and basil in the summer :) Cashew cheesecake is golden, so this is perfect!

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  13. This looks absolutely delicious! Kiwis are one of my favourite winter fruits, and most often than not, I love eating them as they are, but it is so nice to include them in recipes too, such as this yummy-looking cheesecake. Thanks Emma! xx

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  14. Wow, what a creative, delicious healthy dessert this is! That's so true about the fruit, that's why we love our kiwi, too :)

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

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  15. You captured the beauty of these cheesecake wonderfully! I'm very intrigued by the kiwi ginger combination. I do enjoy playing around maca and bee pollen every now and then, but I completely agree with you that we often overlook the "humble" superfoods...REAL WHOLE FOODS!

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  16. I never make anything with kiwi and that definitely needs to change. This sounds incredible!

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  17. Your pictures are gorgeous and yummy. Kiwi and food made of kiwi fit my taste well. I prefer yellow kiwi rather than green kiwi. But people don't use yellow kiwi for cake, right? I'm not sure how come?

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  18. Emm!! You have outdone yourself with this one! Soooo beautiful and geez I LOVE kiwifruit! Had them as dehydrated chips on the weekend, which made me swoon. 😉

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  19. Oh, this looks delicious, Emma! I haven't had a kiwi fruit in far too long... better remedy that soon! xo

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  20. This looks amazing, and so so pretty! Love your work, as always : )

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  21. Wow gorgeous Emma, this looks so good. Loving all the high vitamin C fruit around in winter, the best natural remedy x

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  22. So fresh, lovely and simple! Beautiful :)

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  23. This recipe (and photos) is so beautiful, Emma! I just love kiwi and think it sound so magical to grow up with your very own vine to pick them from. I must visit AU/NZ one day to experience this! Thanks for sharing this sweet, natural super food treat with us :)

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  24. What can i use instead of Coconut Oil?
    Butter or Olive ol?

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    Replies
    1. Butter or olive oil could replace coconut oil in the base, however it's the setting properties of the coconut oil that are required to set the filling. Melted butter might work but I can't imagine it would be very nice x

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  25. Oh my goodness! This isn't dessert, it's freakin' ART. I am incredulous. Also, I didn't know kiwis grow on vines! You're feeding my eyes, brain, and belly. :)

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  26. We've been inundated with kiwi fruits over here, so I gave this a go. My blending equipment wasn't ideal, but the slice was still excellent. Thanks for the great recipe.

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  27. This looks all kinds of delicious! I bought a big bag of kiwis at the market here in Brisbane over the weekend, and those that I don't eat straight up are going to go I to this cake tomorrow.

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  28. These little cheesecakes look so cute!
    I agree that its way better to just get the nutrients we need from whole foods rather than powders! :-)

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  29. Isn't it the best coming across a recipe that you'd love to make and you have pretty much everything already!? I think I'll drop by the Asian grocer today for some cashews (so much cheaper than the supermarket!) Perfect for a Friday bake up :)
    Loving your inspiration Em, thank you x

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  30. Any substitute for the cashews? I don't have time to soak them x

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    Replies
    1. If you have a high powered blender you can get away with 2-3 hours soaking instead of overnight. Failing that another soft nut such as macadamia could be used, but it would be an expensive recipe!

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  31. My husband has an almond allergy. What other nut could be substituted in the base?

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    1. Hey love, you could use any other nut that he's not allergic to, or use sunflower/pumpkin (pepita) seeds xx

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  32. Really sounds like an interesting dessert! I noticed there is no cream cheese in the recipe. Does it really taste like cheesecake?

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    1. As much as a cheese-less cheesecake can... :-) It's got a great texture, very similar to baked cheesecake.

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  33. Looks really delicious. Thanks for the great share!

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  34. Just amazing! Love how tasty these looks.

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  35. I am going to try this with feijoa. Do you think it will work?

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    Replies
    1. I like your thinking! I reckon feijoa would be amaaaaaazing here :-)

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  36. Made this at the weekend, it was a great success! I put some matcha tea in the green layer instead of spinach and was really happy with it, thanks so much for the recipe XXX

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  37. Your post is very informative. Thanks for sharing!

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Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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