No Bake Gluten Free Cheesecake

I’m going to be totally honest – when I want to indulge, nine times out of ten I am going to go for something that is salty rather than something sweet. I think one of the reasons behind this is when it comes to sweets, most of the time I find them to be too sweet for my liking. When I do have a dessert, I go for something like crème brulee or cheesecake, which also happens to be the husband’s absolute favorite. He eats his cheesecake plain, but I love to have mine with sweet and tangy fresh berries. While this recipe is not vegan, this crust is inspired by a dessert I had on my birthday at this adorable vegan bakery in Montreal. I love that the sweetness in this recipe is coming from dates, that the dairy is organic and how the crust looks like a traditional graham cracker crust but the texture and taste are their own. I am still trying to figure out a better for you crème brulee recipe (which may be impossible?!) but until then, I will keep whipping up some of this cheesecake and savoring every bite!

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Better For You No Bake Gluten Free Cheesecake

Makes 8 Servings
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Refrigerator Time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients:
For the Crust:
½ Cup Walnut Halves
½ Cup Pecan Halves
½ Cup Raw Almonds
1/8 Tsp Salt
6 Medjool Dates, Pits Removed

For the Filling:
1 Brick Organic Neufchatel Cheese (Or Cream Cheese)
½ Cup Organic Fat Free Greek Yogurt
¾ Cup Cold Organic Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup
6 Medjool Dates, Pits Removed
¼ Cup Boiling Water
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tsp Lemon Juice

Instructions:

1. Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator and place a metal bowl and the metal beaters from a hand mixer into the refrigerator to chill.

2. Add the walnuts, pecans, almonds and salt to a food processor. Chop up the dates and distribute them evenly on top of the nuts.

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3. Pulse the nuts in five second increments until the mixture looks like small crumbles. I did this about 5 times.

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4. Dump the mixture into a pie plate and press the mixture evenly onto the pie plate with clean hands or the back of a metal spoon. Place the crust into the refrigerator.

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5. Chop the remaining 6 dates and cover with ¼ cup of boiling water lemon juice and vanilla extract. Press the dates down down and stir them with a fork and let sit for a minute or two.

6. Clean and dry the food processor from making the crust. Add the Organic Neufchatel Cheese and Greek Yogurt to the food processor and blend until combined.

7. Give the date mixture a stir. The dates should be mostly broken down at this point. Add to the food processor and pulse until everything is mixed well. Scrape the sides down and pulse again.

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8. Remove the heavy cream, metal bowl and beaters from the refrigerator. Add the cream to the bowl and beat the cream using a hand blender for about three minutes. Add the maple syrup and continue to beat the whipped cream until it becomes stiff and is no longer runny.

9. Spoon the cream cheese mixture from the food processor into the cream cheese and blend with the hand mixer until combined.

10. Retrieve your crust from the refrigerator and spoon the filling in. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon or a frosting knife.

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11. Refrigerate for at least two to three hours. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

Notes:
Top the cheesecake with fresh berries, dark chocolate shavings, lemon zest or whipped cream.

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