Here’s a dairy- and gluten-free, mostly raw calendula and honey cheesecake to cool you down when it’s just too hot to be baking. It’s the perfect treat after a day in the garden, when you want something cold to help cool you down and maybe a little indulgent to reward yourself for all the magic you just helped along its way. It’s summer, it’s hot, and everyone deserves something delicious.
I saw this meme the other day that cheekily outlined the seasons for Western North Carolina. It went from winter to fake spring to second winter to summer and then to now, a season dubbed as Hell’s Front Porch.
In other words, it’s real hot.
And when it’s too hot to be working away in the kitchen over a hot oven all day, raw treats can be so incredibly cooling, nourishing, and downright delectable. Our bodies appreciate and even crave more raw foods in the warmer months.
food as medicine
This calendula and honey cheesecake is made with a base of cashews and full-fat coconut milk, healthy fats that make it ultra rich and creamy.
And in addition to their incredible medicine, calendula flowers give an ever so slight floral flavor to this cheesecake that compliments the sweetness and floral undertones of raw, local honey. Plus, rosehips and honey go together like peas and carrots.
Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant that develops as the flower fades. They’re often full of seeds and bristly hairs, but once the seeds and hairs are removed, the skins have a perky sweet-tart taste that can enliven any recipe. Their sweet-tart taste is due to the high vitamin C content, and as a carminative, they also aid in the absorption of nutrients. In this recipe, they give a tart little crunch to the crust.
(If you’re rosehip curious, this is a great post with beautiful pictures on how rosehips are harvested and processed.)
High in antioxidants
quercitin, rutin, & others)
Promotes wound healing
Stimulates menstrual flow
Supports & builds immunity
Stimulates bile & aids digestion
Stimulates the lymphatic system
Demulcent (cooling, soothing, healing, relaxing)
|Honey, raw||High nutrient profile that|
includes B vitamins, calcium,
copper, iron, magnesium,
phosphorus, potassium, & zinc
Calming & conditioning for skin/hair
|Rosehips||Incredibly high in |
calendula & honey cheesecake with pecan & rosehip crustCourse: Sweets
This dairy- and gluten-free, mostly raw cheesecake is a dream! The rosehips, high in vitamin C, give a little crunch to the crust, the nuts & coconut milk are full of healthy fats, & the calendula adds a little anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant plant magic to top it off. This cheesecake takes several hours to set, so plan ahead. I find it best to make a day ahead of time.
1 cup pecan meal (or 1 1/2 cups whole pecans)
1/4 cup date paste (or 4-5 Medjool dates, pitted, & chopped)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon rosehips (dried, cut & sifted)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk infused with calendula*
~1/4 cup fresh or dried calendula petals (petals only, remove green parts)
1 1/4 cups raw cashews
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup honey (if vegan, used maple syrup)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
- To make the calendula-infused coconut milk:
- Bring coconut milk to a low boil. Remove from heat, add in calendula flower petals, cover, & let infuse.
- While the coconut milk & calendula infuse, make the crust.
- To make the crust:
- Line the bottom of a 6″ springform pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients. (If using date paste, I like to drop the date paste into the processor in dollops, as opposed to one big clump, just to help all the ingredients combine more uniformly.)
- Pulse until all ingredients are thoroughly & uniformly combined. The crust should still look crumbly, but should hold together when squeezed into a ball.
- Spoon the crust mixture into the prepared pan and press down evenly. (The back of a spoon, bottom of a small glass, or clean & wet fingers can be helpful.) Set aside while you make the filling.
- To make the filling:
- In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients together, including the calendula flower infused coconut milk. (Do not strain.) Blend on high speed until creamy.
- Once smooth & creamy, pour filling over crust. Tap pan lightly on countertop to release any air bubbles. Set in freezer for 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Once set, run a small knife under hot water, towel dry, and then use the knife to separate the cheesecake from the springform ring.
- Decorate as you please & enjoy! Leftovers are best stored in the freezer in a sealed container. When ready to enjoy, let thaw about 10-15 minutes before eating.
- *Be sure to use a full-fat coconut milk. The high fat content helps to stabilize the filling, preventing it from melting into a puddle if left unrefrigerated for long. Other non-dairy milks, such as soy, rice, or hemp, will yield different results.
Wishing you all a little nourishing relief from the summer swelter! If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Comment below or find me on the ‘gram!