Happy Valentine’s Day!
We love Valentine’s Day.
We are celebrating this year with these vegan strawberry cheesecake bites. They are actually super simple to make, high in protein, and oh. my. word. are they ridiculously delicious!
Valentine’s Day is a big deal around our house. Growing up my mom always made Valentines special for my sister and me. This is a tradition I have joyously carried on with Evelyn. Last year, Evelyn’s first Valentine’s Day, she was nine months old and had the sweetest little toothy smile.
We did a special V-Day shoot, and I’ll share one photo below. We took these for my husband Chris as his V-Day gift from Evelyn. She was impossibly wiggly to get too many still pictures from, but I LOVE this one (with an added heart for online modesty of course).
Seriously, cuteness overload!
This year, we did another photo shoot. I asked my friend to take some pictures because Chris and I had painted Evelyn’s nails for the first time. She let us do both feet and one hand before she decided she was done (who can blame her really?). We did the Cote nail polish (safer, cleaner, free of all harsh chemicals usually found in nail polish) in a soft pink (#6 Delicate) color and it was just perfect, especially with her little toe freckle!
I’m so blessed to have a good friend who takes amazing photos!
Anyways, back to the cheesecake bites! You can whip these up in no time and they are such a special treat for any day of the week, but especially for Valentine’s Day. The cashews make them super rich and decadent, and the fresh strawberries add the sweetness and flavor. I mean, it’s basically a health food (you could totally take out the maple syrup and it would be sugar free, just make sure your strawberries are super ripe!).
Ingredients (this makes about 12-18 mini hearts)
- 1 1/2 cups RAW cashews, rapid soaked (learn more below)
- 1 pint fresh ripe strawberries, washed and destemmed (reserve 2 berries for topping)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Silicone mold of preferred shape
- Rapid soak cashews:Fill your percolator or tea kettle to the maximum amount of water it will hold and get it boiling. Pour half of the water over the raw cashews in a medium sized bowl and cover with something flat to create a strong seal. I use one of my dinner plates, upside down. Set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer is up for the cashews, drain and rinse them, then place them back into the bowl and pour the remaining hot water over the cashews and recover for an additional 10 minutes. Wash your strawberries during this time!
- Add soaked cashews and 1/2 cup water to a high speed blender (or food processer) and blend until completely smooth. A food processer will take longer to achieve a smooth consistency than a blender.
- Add the melted coconut and blend again for 30 seconds
- Add strawberries, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Blend until well incorporated, about 1 minute or so.
- Get your silicone mold ready, mine was heart shaped. Finely chop up the reserved two strawberries and fill the bottom of each mold with strawberries pieces. There is no exact science to this, so just have fun!
- Pour the batter into silicone molds and either let chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours, or freeze for 30 minutes to set the batter. When you are ready, just “pop” them out. Enjoy!
These are so fun to make, and really fun to eat! Evelyn ate half my strawberries while I was trying to wash them, the token child tax of helping mom in the kitchen, so we had to break into another pint of strawberries. Obviously nothing tastes like “real” cheesecake, but these are just as smooth and rich without all the dairy and eggs. I think you will fall in love with them, and I know your body will thank you as well!
Let me know what you think of these little cheesecake bites. They don’t last long around my house. And with any extra batter, use it to dip fresh fruit in, another great snack!