Rich Roll and Julie Piatt are pretty cool. He’s an entertainment attorney-turned vegan endurance athlete, motivational speaker and plant-based nutrition advocate, and she’s a plant-based chef, healer, musician and yogi. Together, they are two people who remind me that I am generally a lazy turd – but that’s OK, because if Rich can change his life at 40 years old, there’s still time for my 35-year-old booty.
On that note, I got my hands on a preview copy of their new book, The Plantpower Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family. It’s a gorgeous book featuring 120 healthy recipes and lots of tips for a plant-based diet. Of course I gravitated toward dessert, which is why I’m sharing this recipe from the book today. You can pre-order The Plantpower Way now (released April 28th) and check out Rich’s other book, Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself wherever books are sold.
For the crust:
• 1 1⁄2 cup raw walnuts
• 1 cup cacao nibs
• 8 dates, soaked and pitted
• 1⁄2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
Reprinted from The Plantpower Way by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2015, Rich Roll & Julie Piatt.
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Vegan Strawberry Mint Cacao Cheesecake
By April 14, 2015Published:
- Yield: 1 cheesecake
From the author: The people have spoken! Rich’s photo of this pie received our most “likes” to date on Instagram. The combination of real fruit, powerful herbs and raw cacao takes this plantpowered cheesecake to a whole new level. The cacao, coconut, fruit and mint provide a nice variety of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber that will heal your body. Raw pies are so easy to make that once you get the hang of it, you’ll fancy yourself the family baker. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone. You won’t really be baking anything at all because the magic happens in the freezer. But we’ll keep that as our little secret. The one tool you are going to need is a great springform pan. There you have it!
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 1 cup raw coconut meat
- 4 Tbs cacao powder
- 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup whole coconut milk
- 8 dates soaked and pitted
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Place one can of coconut milk into the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours. It’s a great idea to have a few cans stocked in your fridge. If you’re like me, you may get the urge to make a pie in the middle of the night and this way, you’ll be prepared.
- In a medium bowl, cover the dates in filtered water and soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour the coconut oil into the bottom of a 9" springform pan. Using a paper towel or clean cloth, wipe the oil over bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they are mealy in texture. Add the cacao nibs and pulse again until they are mixed in. Remove the pits from the soaked dates. With the motor running, drop in one date at a time until the mixture forms a ball on one side. You may have to remove the lid and redistribute the mixture a couple times to get all the dates blended in.
- Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan using flat hands to create an even crust layer in the base of the pan. Sprinkle Celtic sea salt over the crust. Place in the freezer.
- Remove the coconut milk from the fridge and open it. Spoon out the hardened coconut cream leaving the liquid in the bottom of the can.
- Place all the filling ingredients (strawberries, coconut, cacao, mint, hardened coconut milk and dates) into a Vitamix or high-powered blender. Blend on high using the plunger to distribute the mixture to blend smoothly. Taste to adjust for sweetness. You can add a 1⁄4 cup of agave, maple syrup or a few more dates if needed to sweeten it up.
- Pour the blended filling mixture into the crust and freeze again for at least two hours or until it is very firm.
- Remove the pan from the freezer. Carefully run a fine knife around the edges of the springform and release the buckle. Slowly remove the rim, allowing it to separate from the pie. Now you are ready to begin creating your strawberry mandala.
- To make that super impressive swirl on top, slice the strawberries lengthwise so you have a cross section of these fruits. Begin on the outer edge and lay the strawberry slices with the tips pointing out from the center. When you finish an entire layer around the outside edge, begin the next layer so it lays partly onto the top of your base layer. Continue just like that, around and around until you arrive at the center.
- Garnish with a fresh flower or a mint leaf in the center. Thaw this pie at room temp for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Voila!
- Chef's Note: If you want a taller cheesecake, double the filling ingredients. Can you use a processor or blender other than a Vitamix for this recipe? Yes, you can. However, the mixture will not be as smooth. You may find little bits of date and coconut that will give it a more grainy texture.
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