Unbelievable Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Unbelievably delicious. Unbelievably healthy…and yes, they are still gluten free and vegan.

Summer feels like a freight train. It’s over too quickly. I am working really hard to be mindful and take at least a few moments everyday to appreciate the summer-ness of it all.

My evening session in my garden is helping with that. Just a few minutes with my hands in the dirt, harvesting the little treasures I find and gazing at the water, reminds me of just how simple pleasure can be.

My tastebuds have really changed overtime. Few of the foods I would have called ‘guilty pleasures’ a decade ago suit me. I want food to taste vibrant, fresh and real. So these are for the ex-cheesecake lover in me…and I am hoping they will satisfy your tastebuds, no matter where you fall on the treat spectrum!

There’s a lot of summer yet to be lived. I am heading off on a trip with my hubby for our tenth anniversary tomorrow…right now, it’s a secret (from him!), but be sure to head over to my Instagram for some foodie good times. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it!

No matter what you’re doing this weekend, these blueberry cheesecake bars will make it even more delicious.

xo,
Desiree

Unbelievable Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Makes 12 cupcake sized treats
Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Raw

For the crust

½ cup dates
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the filling

1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained.
Juice of one and half lemons (about 5 tbsp)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup blueberries, divided (or any other berry you love!)
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp cardamom
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

Amazing tip I found from Dana at Minimalist Baker: to make frozen treats easier to remove, line a nonstick muffin tin with 1 cm (1/2 in) wide x 8 cm (4 in) long strips of parchment.

To make the crust, place all ingredients in a food processor, bullet or high speed blender until dates are finely chopped and mixture is well incorporated. It should stick together when pressed with your fingers.

Put a heaping tablespoon of crust onto each parchment strip and use the bottom of a 1/4 cup measure to gently press in.

Next, pour all filling ingredients into a high speed blender and whip filling really well…for a couple of minutes. You have a decision to make here: I like using 1/2 cup of blueberries in the mix, and decorating with the other half. It lets the cheesecake flavour really come through. If you want, you can use the whole cup of blueberries and they will become the predominant flavour.

Using a blender or a bullet is really important here. It will make it light and silky. In a food processor, it’s still delicious but it has a very heavy, dense texture which just isn’t as good.

Pour the filling over the crust, decorate with blueberries if using, cover with plastic wrap and freeze to set, at least 30 minutes. If not eating right away, transfer to a resealable freezer container and eat within a few days for best flavour.


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