I feel compelled to write this, not because I care (about fat) that much, but because I feel like people are being misled. Lied to, in a sense. And although it appears to be unintentional, I think you deserve the right to know.There’s this idea floating around the blogosphere that raw desserts are healthy. That you can eat them in large amounts and Hey! It’s alright, it’ll never go straight to your ass because good fats are healthy! I’m sorry friends, but this could not be further from the truth. Yes, good fats are better than bad fats, but that doesn’t make good fats healthy, in any sense. It just means good fats are better for you than bad fats.
Raw desserts are nutrient dense. Are they healthy in that respect? Sure. When you consider the amount of fat? Absolutely not. As far as your weight is concerned, fat is fat is fat. Obviously bad fats differ from good fats, but just because certain fats are deemed “good” doesn’t mean they can be eaten in excess. Just so we’re clear, raw desserts are not healthy, they’re just better for you than their baked counterparts (and even that is arguable). And they, like normal desserts, are meant to be consumed in moderation.
If you so desire, you can read all about good fats and bad fats here. This concludes my public service announcement for the day.
Notes: This can be made in a larger spring form pan (or tart pan), if needed. You don’t have to add the beet juice; I only did because I wanted the cheesecake to be a pretty shade of pink. Blueberry juice would also be nice. If you don’t want to add any juice, add additional nut milk. Or lemon juice. If you can’t find dried figs for the crust, you can substitute 12-14 medjool dates. Same goes for the filling, but use 6-8 medjool dates. If you’re not using a high powered blender, it would probably be best to soak the calimyrna figs for upwards of 30 minutes. You may also need to add more liquid to the cashew mixture to get it to blend properly.
RAW FIG CHEESECAKE
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup raw almonds
20 dried mission figs
8-10 dried calimyrna figs
6 tbsp raw nut milk (or water)
2 tbsp red beet juice, optional
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup chopped raw nuts
4-6 fresh black figs
Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water; let soak overnight, or for at least 4 hours (the longer you soak them, the better – especially if you don’t have a high powered blender). Line the bottom of a round 6″ spring form pan with parchment paper; set aside. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the walnuts, pecans and almonds into a coarse meal. Add the dried mission figs and pulse until combined. Press mixture into the prepared pan then cover with plastic and freeze until ready to use.
Once the cashews have soaked, discard the soaking water and add the cashews to the container of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the dried calimyrna figs, nut milk, beet juice, lemon juice and vanilla bean; blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. If you have a Vitamix, you’ll want to use the tamper. If you don’t have a Vitamix, you’ll likely have to give the mixture a good stir every minute or so. Once blended, pour the cashew mixture over the crust and freeze overnight, or until solid.
When ready to serve, allow the tart to thaw for 15 minutes, then top with chopped nuts and fresh figs.
Yield: 12-16 servings