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Strawberry “Cheesecake” Bites

Although there is no dairy in this recipe, it could have fooled me. The creamy cheesecake layer, made from soaked cashews and fresh berries, has just enough tanginess to mimic regular cheesecake. I used cacao nibs and shredded coconut as pretty toppings for the bites pictured in this post, but feel free to use chopped pistachios, grated dark chocolate, or anything else that strikes your fancy.
Yield: 20

For the crusts:

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Strawberry Filling:
3/4 cup raw cashews, covered with water and soaked at room temperature
for 3-4 hours
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
4 drops liquid stevia

Optional, for garnish:

Raw cacao nibs
Shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 20 cups of a mini muffin pan with mini paper liners. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the oats, almonds, and salt until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add the applesauce, honey, and vanilla and process to form a dough. Press heaping teaspoons of the dough into the bottoms of the lined muffin cups. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Wipe out the food processor. Drain the cashews and add them to the bowl of the food processor along with the strawberries, honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the coconut oil and stevia and process to combine. Divide the strawberry mixture among the lined muffin cups, smoothing the tops of the cheesecakes with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with cacao nibs or shredded coconut, if using. Place the pan in the freezer and freeze until the cheesecakes are firm, 1 to 2 hours. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Northwest Center for Optimal Health at (360) 651-9355.

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