Raw Citrus Lavender Cheesecake

Since I have been eating apples and pears for months now, I have to say I am pretty stoked about the emergence of more citrus at the store.  Of course they have had grapefruits and oranges for a while, but not the variety available now, and they all taste so much better now that they are in season.  I have been loading up my cart lately with citrus of all kinds.  Grapefruits, lemons, oranges, tangerines, kumquats, limes...little bursts of sunshine in my wintery Minnesota world really.

I wanted to make a raw cheesecake last weekend with some sort of citrus because I am on this huge citrus kick.  But the problem was, I could not decide which citrus to choose as the star of the show.  They are all so good in desserts.  My solution: multiple citrus cheesecake.  Four different kinds in fact made it into this cake. As if that wasn't enough I decided to invite lavender to the party as well because I love the aroma of lavender and especially with a bit of citrus.  It is a heavenly combination.

I kept it nice and simple with this cake, just blend, pour, set and serve.  No swirls or much assembly needed which is nice sometimes.  I did however feel the need to go crazy with citrus peels and slices in a garnish.  I told Eric I felt like I was creating some piece of artwork back in college again.  But hey, food is art and it deserves attention too!  This cheesecake turned out delicious!  Creamy, tart and sweet with a hint of lavender, just how I had pictured it.

Raw Citrus Lavender Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake

Crust:
2/3 cup raw sprouted buckwheat groats (or additional coconut)
1/3 cup ground flaxseed

3/4 cup dried finely shredded coconut

1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped (if they are not soft, soak them in water until they are and drain them well)

Filling:

4 cups young coconut meat*
1 Tbsp organic grapefruit zest
3 Tbsp grapefruit juice
zest of one organic lemon
3 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of one organic orange
3 Tbsp orange juice

2/3 cup raw coconut nectar, or maple syrup
1/2  teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean
a few drops DoTerra lavender oil (or other food grade oil) optional
1/2 cup organic kumquats
3/4 cup raw coconut butter (warmed to liquid)
2 Tbsp dried lavender flowers

Citrus zest strips and slices, dried lavender flowers (for decorating the cake)

Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pan with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process flax, coconut, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers (if not holding together, add more dates). Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside.
To make the filling, in a high speed blender or food processor, combine coconut meat, juices and zests, coconut nectar, sea salt, vanilla, lavender oil and kumquats and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut butter and process for a minute until blended.  Stir in the dried lavender flowers.
Pour the filling into the pan over the crust, place in the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up. Garnish the top of the cake with citrus zest, slices and pomegranate seeds. Store in the fridge.

*If you do not have access to young coconut meat, you can substitute 4 cups raw cashews soaked for 4 hours and drained.


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