By: Beata Blajer, RD, CDE Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator at Southlake Regional Health Centre
These single serve desserts actually pack a heart-healthy punch. They are rich in Omega-3s – the good fats – from almonds and cashews. The cheesecake shooters are also low in sugar, getting their sweetness naturally from berries. When possible, opt for locally grown or organic berries, which can be available fresh or frozen. The recipe also calls for mascarpone, which is low in artery clogging fat, rather than cream cheese.
About 15 servings, 1 serving = 1 cheesecake shooter)
For the Crust:
•½ cup almonds, dry
•½ cup cashews, dry
•¼ cup pitted dates
•1 tablespoon coconut oil
For the Filling and Topping:
•¾ cup cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
•¾ cup mascarpone cheese
•1 ½ tablespoon coconut oil/paste
•3 tablespoon lemon juice (juice of 1 whole lemon), plus more to taste
•1 tablespoon sugar or xylitol or 1-2 teaspoon Stevia
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste
•½ pound blueberries (fresh or frozen)
•½ pound raspberries (fresh or frozen)
•1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
•1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1. Place cashews in a large bowl, and cover with cold water. Soak nuts at least 1 hour or longer, then rinse, drain, and set aside.
2. In a food processor, pulse dry almonds, cashews, dates and coconut oil to a sticky crumb-like consistency. Set aside.
3. Place soaked cashews, mascarpone cheese, coconut oil/paste, lemon juice, sugar/xylitol/stevia and vanilla extract/paste in the food processor and blend until you achieve a smooth consistency.
4. Combine berries, sugar (if fruits are not sweet) and lemon juice in a saucepan & bring it to simmer over medium heat. Simmer about 10 minutes. At the end, mix in the arrowroot flour or cornstarch to thicken the sauce. If sauce too chunky, you may blend it until pureed.
5. Assemble each shooter glass with nut mixture at the bottom, followed with the creamy filling until about ¾ of the way full. Top glasses with a spoonful of berry sauce and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
6. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
These can be made without the sauce on top in advance and refrigerated until mixture hardens or ready to serve. Just before serving, you can top each cheesecake with berry sauce.