I have been loving the local farmer’s markets this summer. They’re a great way to buy local produce that’s in season, allowing us to reconnect with different times of the year and what’s natural in our region. It allows us to taste real flavors. Compare a farmer’s market tomato or one from your garden to one that’s in the conventional produce section at the grocery store and tell me you don’t taste a difference. It’s not even comparable! It also supports the farmers, giving them a fighting chance in today’s agricultural economy. It’s far better for the environment. By not shipping in food from thousands of miles away, you’re saving our natural resources, diminishing waste products and decreasing pollution. And of course you know where your food is coming from. You’re able to ask questions, inquire about new recipes, create a sense of community and although I do not consume animal products, I know farmers at the markets practice humane treatment of their animals, because they take pride in what they do. It’s important for me to be knowledgable in all areas of nutrition and food because all of my clients will not be vegan and I want to steer them in the right direction in finding foods that are of the highest quality and standards. Check out this site to find a farmer’s market closest to you!
At the last couple markets I’ve been to, there has been the most perfectly ripened organic Palisade apricots that I just couldn’t pass up. It was honestly one of the most delicious fruits I’ve ever eaten. It was then that I knew I had to make some sort of dessert out of them. Like I’ve said before, I’m really not a sweets person, but I do love me some fruit desserts like berry tarts, cobblers or citrusy cheesecakes! I didn’t want to bake them because they were just so perfect in their raw state and then it clicked. I made a raw cheesecake back around Christmas time and they are so perfect to add whatever flavors you want to, but also keeping it simple and absolutely delicious. Lemon and ginger seemed like a perfect pairing for the apricots, so this light, slightly spicy and sweet creation was born!
Lemon Ginger Cheesecake w/Apricot glaze
For the crust:
- 2 cups organic walnuts
- 2 cups mejool dates, pitted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp grated ginger
For the filling:
- 2 cups organic cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/3 cup maples syrup
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
For the glaze:
- 1 large organic apricot
- Maple syrup to sweeten (optional)
For the base:
- Using a food processor, process the walnuts, dates and vanilla until sticky and well combined
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan.
For the filling:
- Using a blender, blend all the filling ingredients until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour into the springform pan with the crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Place the finished cheesecake in the freezer to set, about 2 hours, or until the middle of the cheesecake is firm to the touch.
For the glaze:
- Take the pit out of the apricot and add to a food processor
- Blend until smooth (depending on how sweet your apricot is you may wish to add a sweetener)
- Once the cheesecake has set and then had time to slightly thaw, pour the glaze over the top, letting drizzle down the sides.
- Add sliced apricots, lemon zest and edible flowers (optional) on the top to enjoy