Just this past week I started listening to a local radio station that has already started playing Christmas music 24/7. Already!
…I’m not complaining, I secretly kind of love it. We haven’t really gotten much snow yet but it is getting quite chilly outside, so I feel like it’s time to begin the build up to Christmas. I’ve also been planning to hit up the malls and stores now and avoid the chaos that ensues in December as Christmas nears.
So, while I’m beginning the build up to Christmas IRL, I figured I should start it on the blog too.
What better a way to start the Christmas cheer than with chocolate orange mini cheesecakes that are 100% vegan and loaded with digestive-boosting fermented vegan proteins+?!
I think one of my favourite holiday inspired flavour combinations is chocolate and orange. I used to mow down on Terry’s chocolate orange treats as a kid, the “smash” to open ones, and while I don’t indulge on those anymore (until they make a dairy-free version that is), I still enjoy the chocolate orange flavour combination often.
In this recipe, raw cashews, pure maple syrup, orange juice, orange zest, and Genuine Health fermented vegan proteins+ (in vanilla flavour) creates a super rich and creamy “cheesecake”. The cheesecake base is made simply with cashews, orange juice, orange zest, dates, dark chocolate, and cocoa powder.
With all the raw cashews, this recipe becomes rich in essential fats, magnesium, and iron. I love sneaking protein powder into recipes like this as the proteins balance out the healthy fats. The Genuine Health fermented vegan proteins+ contain 20g of plant-based protein per serving and is fully fermented which lends to good gut health and makes the protein easy to digest.
While this recipe isn’t loaded with orange, the use of orange juice and zest allows the orange flavour to really shine, and brings in some nice Vitamin C to these tasty cheesecakes.
The final touch is a generous drizzle of melted dark chocolate which is rich in antioxidants, a sprinkling of crunchy pistachios and a little more orange zest!
If you are looking for a rich, creamy, vegan, and healthy option for dessert (oh, and nobody will know these are actually healthy!) this holiday season, I highly recommend you whip up a batch of these!
Just an FYI, these are not low-calorie, I don’t equate calories with a food being considered “healthy”, as a matter of fact, many foods marketed as “low-calorie” tend to be full of artificial and processed ingredients. These little cheesecakes are more indulgent when it comes to calories, but they contain no more than a typical slice of regular cheesecake, but they DO they contain an ample amount of nourishing whole-food ingredients! So therefore, they are healthy, and to be enjoyed in moderation (…a.k.a. try not to eat two in one sitting ;)).
Have you ever made vegan or dairy-free cheesecake? What flavours did you choose? I’d love to hear about in the comments below!
- Chocolate Base:
- ⅔ cup pitted dates
- ¾ cup raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 square (10g) 70% dark chocolate
- pinch of salt
- Orange Protein Cheesecake Filling:
- 1½ cups cashews, soaked in 1½ cups water the night before making
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 scoop Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins in Vanilla (or any other vanilla protein powder of choice)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate Topping:
- 40g 70% dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons crushed pistachios
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- Prepare the chocolate base by adding all of the base ingredients to a food processor.
- Process for 1 minute, then scrape the sides with a spatula and process for 30 seconds to 1 minute more until the mixture clumps together.
- Lightly grease a silicon or regular 6-cup muffin tin with coconut oil or olive oil.
- Divide the base mixture into 6 equal portions and press the base mixture firmly into the muffin cups.
- Next, create the cheesecake filling. Be sure you have soaked the cashews in water for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight before blending.
- Drain the cashews to get rid of any excess water after soaking and then add all of the cheesecake filling ingredients to a high speed blender.
- Blend on low, increasing to a higher speed and continue to blend for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is completely smooth, thick, and creamy.
- Once blended, pour the cheesecake filling mixture evenly into the muffin cups to top the base layer.
- Smooth the top of the cheesecake mixture with a spoon or spatula and place the muffin pan in the freezer.
- Freeze for 8 hours.
- Once the cheesecakes have fully frozen, remove them from the muffin tin and set them on a large plate.
- Prepare the chocolate topping by melting the chocolate in a double boiler or small saucepan at very low heat.
- Once melted, pour the chocolate sauce over each mini cheesecake.
- Lastly, top each mini cheesecake with the crushed pistachios and orange zest.
- Place them back in the freezer for 30 minutes so the chocolate can harden and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
- Allow the cheesecakes to thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes before consuming.
Have a wonderful Sunday!
Nutritionist in the Kitch