No Bake (No Cheese) Citrus Cheesecake Bars

My Happy New Year post is a little behind, but it’s never too late to make a resolution. This time of year is known well for gym memberships, cleanses, and promises to reach that special number on the scale. Too often these resolutions don’t last. They fizzle out with our busy lifestyles and before we know it, it’s back to ordering take out and binge watching Breaking Bad. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Getting and staying healthy is all about making small, attainable goals. Being healthy doesn’t mean drinking only veggie juice for a week. It means making small changes every day that eventually lead to a healthy lifestyle that fits into our daily schedules and budgets.

Usually desserts gets the boot when we throw around the word “healthy,” but when we use every ingredient as an opportunity to nourish ourselves, we can have our cake and eat it too. Healthy treats can be used to curb a sweet craving and never feel like we are depriving ourselves. It’s when we deprive ourselves that these major resolutions and  lifestyle changes seems to fail. So instead of kicking dessert all together, why not try making it healthier?

This recipe uses a ton of citrus to give a light, refreshing winter pick me up. Using seasonal ingredients helps cut down on cost and increases availability in the supermarkets. Instead of using dairy like a typical cheesecake, I used cashews and tofu. This gives the cake a rich, smooth and creamy texture, minus the cholesterol, hormones, pesticides, etc. I sweetened mine with honey, but you can also use agave or maple syrup. Either way, you’re cutting back on a ton of added sugar when compared to your typical cheesecake desserts.

This is a No Bake cheesecake, so it takes no time at all, and anyone can do it! topped with fresh coconut and citrus zest, it makes a bright and colorful dessert that is a total crowd pleaser. What is your New Year’s Resolution? Does it include healthy dessert? It does now!


Recipe

Crust

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup almonds

1 cup dates, pitted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling

1/2 cup cashews, soaked in warm water for an hour

1 package silken tofu

Juice of 3 lemons

Zest of 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 1 orange, plus more for garnish

Honey or sweetener to taste

Method

1. Make the crust by placing all crust ingredients except dates in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground. Turn the processor on and add the dates one at a time until the mixture pulls together to make thick crumbles.

2. Press the date and nut mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure that it’s evenly spread.

3. Make the filling. First, drain the cashews from the water and blend until thoroughly broken down, adding a little water as needed. Scrape down the bowl, and add the remaining filling ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour the filling onto the crust and freeze for 1 hour, or refrigerate for 4 hours.

5. Cut into bars, and enjoy!

 

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