|Carrot fennel soup. Smooth and creamy unlike soups created with my cheap and useless immersion blender.|
Smoothies and soups are child's play for the Vitamix, however, and before posting this I wanted to try something a little more ambitious. After my attempt to make tahini was a fail (although I think that was more to do with the fact that my sesame seeds were at least 2 years old...do sesame seeds go bad?), I set my sights a little higher: a raw cheesecake. Now I've attempted to make vegan desserts in the past (in fact, I think I even blogged about it a couple of years ago, but I'm too lazy to find the post). The results were always disappointing, not to mention expensive. I never could understand how the rest of the Internet could whip soaked nuts into a creamy cheese-like substance, and all mine turned into was a blended concoction with little chunks of nuts. Now that I own a Vitamix, I note that the secret to their raw food sorcery was right under my nose the whole time. On one of the recipes, under "equipment required" it just says "blender" but there's a picture of a Vitamix. I'm beginning to see that in raw food circles, Vitamixes aren't just a blender, they are the only blender.
I consulted a number of different recipes, all equally simple and requiring equally pricey ingredients, and in the end made my own based somewhat on what I had around. Here was my process:
3/4 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup almonds
3 cups soaked cashews (I soaked mine for 2 hours)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 limes, juiced (lemons would probably be better, but I had limes on hand)
First, I blended the dates and almonds together. I actually used my food processor for this step (sorry, Vitamix!), but I think the blender would work fine too. A few recipes I read suggested adding some shredded coconut or sprinkling it on the bottom of the pan to keep the crust from sticking. All I could find at the store was artificially sweetened coconut, and I wasn't spending all this energy on making a raw, vegan, refined-sugar free dessert to go that route. Instead I just spritzed some coconut oil on the bottom of the pan before smushing the date/almond mixture onto it and it seemed to work just fine. Also, I used a 9'' springform pan because that's what I have, but I think this recipe would work better for an 8'' one, as you will note how thin my resulting cheesecake is.
After smushing the crust together, I put all the rest of the ingredients in the Vitamix like so:
|Doesn't quite look like cheesecake yet. Note: the white wine is not an ingredient, but is nevertheless an important part of the experimental baking (or rather, not baking) process.|
|A humble and squat, but delicious raw "cheese"cake.|
|He's like a little tasty alien.|