These special dairy free cheesecake bites were shared with us by my good friend Ricki Heller, the queen of vegan, gluten-free, low-glycemic recipes and author of the popular titles, Living Candida Free and Naturally Sweet & Gluten Free. She created these no bake “bites of love” as she calls them as special treats for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or any day that you want to reward yourself or a loved one with something sweet and virtuous.
Ricki includes various sweetener options within this recipe to suit various dietary needs. Note that there is a simple melted chocolate coating option in addition to a sugar-free one in the body of the recipe. You can even make carob dairy free cheesecake bites! Either way, they’re far healthier than your average truffle or cheesecake treat.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy Free Cheesecake Bites
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, and paleo.
- 1 heaping cup (160 g) raw cashews
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut sugar (or agave nectar)
- 10 to 20 drops plain or vanilla pure stevia liquid, to taste (or use more sugar)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract, optional
- ¼ cup (60 ml) plain or vanilla dairy-free milk beverage
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) whole chia seeds, ground in a coffee grinder to a fine powder (about 2 teaspoons/10 ml powder)
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) lemon zest
- 4 ounces (110 g) good quality, unsweetened chocolate (I find Baker’s is too bitter for this recipe)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin coconut oil, preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) carob powder or cocoa powder, sifted
- 20 to 30 drops pure stevia liquid, to taste (I recommend keeping it bittersweet or using the option below - too much stevia leaves an aftertaste)
- Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then drain and rinse (or, if you have time, soak in room-temperature water for 6 to 12 hours, then drain and rinse).
- Line a small square container (about 2 cup/480 ml capacity) with plastic wrap, or set out a dozen silicone mini muffin cups.
- Place the cashews and remaining cheesecake ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until perfectly smooth. Transfer the mixture to the container or distribute evenly among the muffin cups. If using the single container, freeze until just firm (about 3 to 4 hours), then invert onto a cutting board, peel off the plastic, and cut into 9 cubes. Return to the freezer until perfectly hard.
- Follow the recipe in the notes below or in a small, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the unsweetened chocolate with the coconut oil. Whisk in the carob and stevia until smooth. Transfer the chocolate coating to a small, deep bowl.
- To assemble the Dairy Free Cheesecake Bites
- Using the frozen cheesecake cubes (one at a time), dip the bottom of one cube into the chocolate mixture to coat. Then place the cube on the tines of a fork (closer to the tip than to the handle) and hold the fork over the bowl. Using a spoon, spoon more chocolate mixture over the cube so that it coats the top and sides of the cube; be sure to cover all of the “cheesecake” filling. Gently tap the handle of the fork against the bowl to allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, then gently push the cube off the fork onto a clean plastic cutting board or plate covered with plastic wrap. The coating should begin to firm up fairly quickly.
- Repeat until all the cubes are covered. If you have leftover chocolate, drizzle it in a decorative way over the tops of the cubes.
- Place in the refrigerator until the coating is firm and the cheesecake filling is defrosted, at least 1 hour, then remove from the board or plate and enjoy. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 4 days.