The 4th of July is not only a grand celebration at the South of the border but also at our home. Our boy was born on the 4th of July seventeen years ago. My, how time flies! At first, I was just like any other mum, very excited and at the same time tired or a bit confused on being a new mother. Sleep was elusive as he was an active baby with no set routine. He loved to interact, played a lot and constantly needed company. I thought I would never survive the early part of motherhood. Then, as if I just blinked and he's a grown young man, taller than his 5'9" dad. And he's 17. How cool is that!
These last few days, I've been reflecting on how much God has blessed my husband and I with this wonderful gift! We had him 4 years after we were married, something we thought would never happen as we had a few hurdles to overcome, mostly me in trying to conceive. Psalm 127:3 says "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. It's a scripture that I hold dear to my heart.
So to celebrate, I made a 3-layered vanilla and berries raw cheesecake. The closest we can get to to red, white and blue. He loves berries and of course the cheesecakes that I've been making lately. It's a variation of this earlier post, my own birthday day cake in January...except it's a bit bigger. Berries are currently in season and many of them are locally available. Just make sure to pick up organic varieties if you can. Strawberries are on the list here of produce with high pesticides called the Dirty Dozen +.
Vanilla and Berries Tri-colour Raw Cheesecake
Ingredients: (Preferably Organic)
1 1/2 c. raw almonds
1 c. coconut flakes
6 Medjool dates, pitted
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture becomes sticky. Transfer into an 8" Springform pan and press firmly. You can also use a 9" and the cake will be just a tad thinner than this one.
3 c. raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours then rinsed
1 /4 c. coconut butter, softened
1 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1 c. coconut nectar or maple syrup
1 1/2 vanilla pods, scraped or 1/2 tsp. ground vanilla
3/4 c. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries, chopped
1 c. fresh blueberries,
1/2 c. frozen blueberries, thawed (it gives it a much deeper purple colour)
3/4 c. blueberries
1 c. strawberries, sliced
In a high speed blender, combine the first 6 ingredients and blend until smooth. Divide the mixture into thirds. Put back 1/3 into the blender, add the strawberries and blend until incorporated. Adjust the taste if necessary. Pour into the crust. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 mins. to firm up. Next, pour the other 1/3 (vanilla layer) over the strawberry layer. Place it back into the freezer for another 10 mins. Rinse the blender and add the last third with the blueberries and blend until smooth. Adjust the taste. Bring out the pan again and pour over. the vanilla layer. Freeze for 6 hours.
To serve, pop out the cake from the pan while it's still frozen. This will keep the cake from sticking into the sides of the pan. Let it soften for 20-30 mins. Run a knife through hot water then cut the cake. Top with berries. I love this cake when it's semi-frozen. It tastes like ice cream!
The sweetener can be reduced to 3/4 cup. I'm serving this to our extended family who would enjoy a much sweeter dessert. Other kinds berries can also be used like raspberries and blackberries. For these types, it's a good idea to strain the seeds for a smoother consistency.
Did you celebrate the 4th of July? When I made this cake, I also gathered some wild flowers near our home. They are so pretty! Summer is such a fun season. I'm trying to enjoy every bit of it since the warmer months in Canada are too short. I hope you are having your own share of Summer fun!