Homemade raw pitaya cheesecake

Time for an afternoon sweet treat…. 🙂

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I’m on a pitaya kick and I can’t.be.stopped.

It’s been a way to switch it up from acai (though don’t get me wrong, I still love my acai). Pitaya is lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants. Oh, and it’s this gorgeous bright pink color, so that’s always fun.

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Lately, I’ve been craving and loving raw and vegan foods, even more than usual. (I’m basically one of the biggest non-vegan lovers of vegan foods out there.) I think it’s because they always seem to make me feel more energized and vibrant, and it’s good opportunity to embrace some extra nutrients. I’m still eating my normal diet, but if something sounds REALLY good, lately it’s a soup, crunchy salad or cold treat.

I had some cashews on hand, and decided to transform them into one of my all-time favorite raw desserts: cheesecake! The soaked cashews give it an remarkable dairy-like texture, with a bonus dose of healthy fats. Bonus: when you’re eating it cold out of the fridge after breakfast, it’s basically like eating trail mix. 😉

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try!!

Homemade pitaya cheesecake

Raw pitaya cheesecake
Serves 12
A perfectly sweet and creamy dessert, reminiscent of the classic fave, minus the dairy. The pitaya adds a burst of bright color and dose of antioxidants and fiber!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
For the crust
  1. 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  2. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  3. pinch of sea salt
  4. 2 medjool dates, pitted
  5. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  6. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
For the cheesecake
  1. 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least one hour, rinsed
  2. 1/4 cup honey (for vegan option; use maple syrup)
  3. 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  4. 1/4 cup almond milk
  5. Juice of 1 lemon
For the pitaya drizzle
  1. 1/2 pitaya smoothie pack (I use the Pitaya Plus brand)
  2. 1/4 cup maple syrup
Instructions
  1. First, make the pitaya drizzle. Mix the smoothie pack (melted) with the maple syrup and place in the dehydrator to reduce at 115 degrees. If you do not have a dehydrator, no worries, just gently heat in a small saucepan until reduced slightly.
  2. Next, prepare the crust. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until dough forms. It will be sticky. Use your hands to press down on the bottom of a standard springform pan.
  3. Blend the cheesecake ingredients on high until smooth. Pour the batter on top of the crust. Next, swirl in the pitaya drizzle using a butter knife or in my case, a chopstick. Place in the freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.
  4. Allow to defrost slightly before cutting. Store any leftovers (dessert leftovers? Does that exist?) in the freezer.
Notes
  1. No pitaya, no cry. You can use pureed berries of choice (about 1/2 cup), and strain the seeds if you'd like.
The Fitnessista http://fitnessista.com/
Hope you have a wonderful afternoon. <3

xoxo

Gina

How would you describe your eating style? Do you fall into a certain category (Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian) or are you more of an omnivore mix like me? 🙂 What’s your all-time favorite healthy dessert?

Here are some more favorite raw treats:

THE BEST chocolate tart (fantastic for get-togethers and dinner parties because it looks fancy, and your gluten-free and vegan friends can enjoy!)

Avocado chocolate chia pudding

Brownie cheesecake raspberry bars

The easiest chocolate pudding

Brownie batter bites

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Comments

  1. How FUN – I’ve never ever heard of pitaya before!

    I remember when you were doing all the raw cooking a few years ago and you came up with a lot of fun and unique foods. I try and keep my carb counts low – so I’m paleo-ish but my severe sweet tooth prevents me from cutting out sugar and sweets altogether.

  2. Yum! This looks delicious! And you’re right, pitaya is so pretty!

  3. This looks UNBELIEVABLE and I cannot believe how simple the recipe is!! My only complaint is the fact that I am on vacation in Europe right now and have to wait until I get home to make it!!

    xx Jill
    Latest Post – The Plank: How My #1 Most Effective Core Move Got Even Better

  4. Alli O'Neill says:

    I am 100% making this, thank you for sharing!!

  5. such a pretty cheese cake!

  6. I roam all over Vegetarian, Paleo & Vegan. No discrimination here! I just don’t eat red meat. I would totally eat this for the color, but I love the ingredients too.

  7. Jaime M says:

    MMMMMmmm…. Looks yummy! And very PINK! Is this a clue? 😉

  8. I’ve never heard of pitaya but it looks and sounds amazing! I’m right there with you on loving raw, vegan foods and not being a vegan 🙂 A raw, vegan restaurant just opened in our area and I pretty much go every week. Would be everyday if I had endless funds!

  9. love! I’ve been wanting to try pitaya for soooo long but I can’t find it anywhere near me! This is gorgeous by the way!

    Also….since you made a pink cheesecake and had pink flowers on your coffee table a few posts back, does this mean it’s a girl????? 🙂

  10. That looks amazing! Love the color!
    I fall into the I have many food intolerances category. Gluten and dairy free 100 percent and various other foods I can’t tolerate especially beef. The list is long but I’m doing elimination diet right now to challenge things again. If I can do nuts, I’ll put this on my list to make. Looks delicious!

  11. Wow! Yum! That looks so good! And beautiful to boot. I am a raw vegan, and have been for almost 9 years, but I don’t really love the categorization. Mostly I just eat raw foods because they taste best to me and make me feel my best. Life just gets sweeter and sweeter and that is how we should all decide how we want to eat 🙂 <3

  12. Kelster says:

    Wow. That pitaya is gorgeous. I had never seen it before. I am an omnivore.There are very few things that I will not eat.

  13. How beautiful is this?! Wow! Seems like a pretty good “breakfast dessert” to me 😉

  14. This looks soo good! You would fool me immediately if you told me it was cream cheese 🙂

  15. Gina do you think you could use a blender instead of a food processor here? My food processor was kind of crappy so I got rid of it… regretting that decision big time!

  16. I love raw desserts in the summer! so refreshing!

  17. This is magical AND beautiful. I love picturesque foods. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Stephanie says:

    This looks SO good, can’t wait to try pitaya. Though I’m wondering what kind you buy? When I buy acai (pure) it has 0g sugar so not sure how pitaya can have less sugar? The raw pitaya that I’ve seen has 8g per frozen smoothie pack. Either way definitely curious to try!!

  19. Sounds so good! I’ve been wanting to experiment with a raw cheesecake recipe…this looks so tasty!

  20. YUM!! I love this! Raw cheesecakes are the best during the summer!

  21. The color on this is so beautiful! I will have to look out for pitaya, I have a feeling it’s hard to find in East Texas. I’ll have to try out the raw cheesecake soon!

  22. I would love to incorporate more raw recipes into my diet but a lot of them are made with tree nuts and I am allergic. Is there a good alternative to using nuts in this recipe or others?

  23. You have me so interested in pitaya! I loved the dragon fruit we ate in Taiwan. Definitely adding it to my Whole Foods list!

  24. This looks so pretty and delicious!
    I get on kicks with eating styles, right now I am feeling more vegetarian/vegan. I am not sure if it is the warmer weather or what, but meat does not sound good to me right now!

  25. So PRETTY!

    I also love that the dominating flavor here isn’t coconut. That’s my biggest hurdle with raw vegan foods – I like the smell of coconut, but not so much the taste. Gotta try this recipe 🙂

  26. Oh my! This sounds so good I must try it!

  27. I’ve never made cashew cheesecake–sounds and looks delicious.

  28. That does look delicious and it’s one of the few recipes I have seen to use a pitaya.

    The fruit itself looks pretty amazing

    I must give the recipe a try

  29. I’m so surprised that the color is pink– whenever we eat dragon fruit here (se Asia) we always remove the skin. I’m kind of confused as to why they would leave the skin on in the fruit packs?

  30. Wow this looks amazing! Will totally have to give this a go. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Can you use biscuits instead of cashew nuts?

    The reason I ask is that the only cashew nuts I can find locally are all salted.

    I guess that would change the flavor for the worse!

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