Who says delicious cheesecake has to take up half your daily calorie allowance? Real cheesecake is perfect for a celebration, but what happens when you’re just celebrating getting the car washed or (finally!) organizing the basement? Or just the fact that it’s a Wednesday night? For the smaller-scale celebrations, I give you my raw cheesecake.
When I say “raw” here, I’m referring to the fact that this is a no-bake treat. I’m not familiar enough with the process of cheese making to know whether or not commercially available Neufchatel or cream cheese can be considered raw for those who follow a “raw” food lifestyle (for raw food guidelines, see here). If you follow a raw food diet you can make your own cream cheese to be on the safe side. (Googling “raw cream cheese” yields a ton of recipe results…here are a couple I found: Healthy Traditions and The Elliott Homestead. I haven’t tried making my own cream cheese but if you decide to make it, let me know how it turns out!)
1/4 cup rolled oats
4 oz Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese (see note above regarding the “raw” factor)
4 tablespoons milk (any kind you like, such as cow’s milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc.)
1 tablespoon honey (or other sweetener of your choice; more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or pure almond extract)
Topping of your choice, such as jam, fresh berries, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, etc.
In a food processor, process the oats until they have the consistency of a fine powder. Add all remaining ingredients (except topping) and process until smooth. Transfer to individual serving bowls and refrigerate about 2 hours before serving (cheesecake with thicken upon chilling). Before serving, add topping of your choice.
Although I am longing for fall’s arrival (it’s my favorite season, and not just because my birthday is in the fall – I think I got over that after I turned 21!), I will be sad when fresh cherries are no longer available. I am definitely enjoying them while they last!