The lemon, said to be a hybrid between sour orange and citron, is an evergreen tree native to Asia. Forever prized for its sour flavor, a lemon tree’s fruit juice is approximately 5-6% citric acid, therefore making it a great source of Vitamin C (source).
When used in desserts, the flavor of lemons is brought to a whole new level. I found this delicious and easy recipe on Pinterest the other day and it inspired me to make my own version. Utilizing a mixture of cashews, macadamias and coconut oil to achieve its creamy consistency, my Nearly Raw Lemon Cheesecake Bars have just the right amount of sweet and sour notes to please your palate.
Not only does this dessert contain Vitamin C, both the almonds and cashews contained within have high amounts of Magnesium. This mineral helps prevent asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart attacks, strokes, and even relieves constipation. What’s more, Magnesium alleviates the symptoms of fibromyalgia, premenstrual syndrome and migraines (source). One cheesecake square provides approximately 28% DV Magnesium*, so eat a couple, if you please, and enjoy them without the guilt!
Nearly Raw Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Yields approximately 9 servings
1-1/2 cups raw unsalted almonds
12 pitted Deglet Noor dates
1/2 rounded teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup melted refined coconut oil*
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
zest and juice of 1-1/2 organic lemons (approximately 1/3 – 1/2 cup juice)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup raw unsalted cashew pieces
1/2 cup raw unsalted macadamias**
1/8 rounded teaspoon salt
Begin with the crust by combining almonds, dates and salt in a food processor or high-speed blender. Process just a few seconds, or until almonds and dates are finely chopped. Be careful not to process too long or the result will be similar to almond butter.
Add water and process a few seconds longer until clumps start to form.
Scoop crust mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish, flattening evenly with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Set aside.
Next, place all filling ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree for 30-60 seconds, or until smooth. If using a regular blender, puree for 1-2 minutes, stopping occasionally to stir.
Scoop filling into dish and spread evenly over crust. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or until set. Slice into squares and serve.
* If you enjoy the aroma and flavor of coconut and want to make this recipe completely raw, you may substitute unrefined coconut oil instead of refined coconut oil.
** Raw macadamias can be a little tricky to find, not to mention expensive. Should you prefer, dry-roasted salted macadamias may be used instead. Simply follow recipe as directed but omit the salt in the filling.