Sometimes I have a hard life. Did you notice that gorgeous cover picture? Of course you did, because you just pinned it on Pinterest… Well that magical looking bite didn’t just miraculously appear in the Paleo Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake. I HAD to take that perfect bite. And of course it didn’t happen with the first bite. Like most good things, it took a little work. I was “forced” in my pursuit of perfection to eat 3 of these. The things I do for you wonderful readers.
I made some non-paleo cheesecake for family while I was away visiting, but I think I like this raw, vegan, dairy- and grain-free version better! I know I feel much better after eating it than the cream cheese, gluten and sugar filled version I made on vacation. They sometimes look at me like I’m crazy when I say things like that. I would have done the same a year ago. Would have given someone a funny look like: really? That raw-vegan-paleo-no-sugar cheesecake is BETTER than my classic like grandma-used-to-make cheesecake recipe? Doubtful. But I also felt like garbage, so… I didn’t know.
I love road trips. Music blasting, singing along (in perfect pitch of course) – my car has the most AMAZING acoustics. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket normally (without tripping) but in the car, I am Mariah, Beyoncé, all four of The Beatles, and every other star embodied. I adore the wind blowing past me, whipping my hair around, the smells filling the car, good or bad (mostly bad after the dairy cheesecake, but those couldn’t be blamed on the outside of the car).
I take pleasure in changing scenery, and the sights are incredible, the trip to see my family takes me across the Canadian Rocky Mountains; easily one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are little towns, tourist attractions and rich history all along the way. So it was decided, I would drive instead of fly to go visit family. It gave me a chance to decompress a little, and visit friends along the way.
I packed up my car with just enough clothes. I was impressed with my packing skills: I wore every item I brought minus an extra pair of socks and underwear. I brought gifts, fresh fruits and vegetables. A cooler full of healthy snacks so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat candy, or fast food. Ample sunscreen for my hands and driving arm. Lots of water, and a book of CD’s.
That’s right, you may have heard? Back in the day before iTunes and Google Play, before digital copies there were these shiny disk thingies that held your music. 60-80 minutes at a time. I’m a music fan and in my youth I spent way too much money on said relics. I have approx. 1500 CD’s. I have one book, that is full of disks other people have made for me. The first one was dated 2001… and now I have seriously dated myself.
I didn’t have time to fill my car with gas, but it’s a hybrid, so I wasn’t terribly worried. I listened to the radio, weather and road reports the first hour of my drive. (I know that makes me sound old… but there had been road closures due to construction and accidents, I wanted to plan for that).
The radio station started to fuzz out, and I released the zipper on this gold mine of musical love. Every page is filled with reflective disks: some covered in marker, some have fancy labels, some are written, others printed, a couple have just smiley faces or hearts on the front. Titles include: “Nothing but love”, “I Caught You a Delicious Bass”, “New Beginnings” “Cardio Schmardio, There Are Better Ways to Get Your Heat Rate Up,” “I Grew Them Myself” and so many more. There are more than 150 disks in that book that have been made for me by: friends, co workers, boyfriends, wannabe boyfriends, roommates, and my brother. The cover peeled back to reveal all this love in hard copy sitting on my front seat. I opened to a random page, grabbed a random disk and popped it in.
Windows down, music turned up, eyes peeled and breathing the fresh air pumping thru the car. Some songs made me cry, others made me laugh; every note was carrying away my first world problems and work stress. The things that are so trying day to day, 15 years from now… 15 minutes from now, will they still be important? I was reminded of people and places and things I haven’t thought of in years. I snacked on my cooler of fruit and veggies and sang til my voice was raspy. I felt every drop of love that was embedded in the musical notes of the CD’s in my book.
I came close to running out of gas, but it meant I could stop in Banff National Park. Have you gone? You should go! Put it on your bucket list. It’s truly a breathtaking place and pictures simply don’t do it justice.
I have more stories from my family time and more pictures! Until then: enjoy the vegan, raw, Paleo Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake. Make it: you won’t be sorry.
- ½ cup diced dates
- 3 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
- ½ cup crushed pecans
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked 8 hours
- ¼ cup cocoa
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cup cherries fresh or frozen
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- In a food processor or blender combine dates and coconut oil.
- Add pecans salt and lemon juice, continue to blend until it forms a ball.
- Press into a springform pan, or liners.
- Refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Drain raw cashews and add to food processor or blender.
- Add cocoa and honey, blend until the cashews are the consistency of ricotta cheese.
- Add lemon juice, coconut milk and salt, blend well.
- Add cherries and continue to blend.
- Pour into the springform pan or liners over the crust and refrigerate or freeze.