No-Bake Cheesecake Bars, Vegan + Gluten-Free
If you’ve spent a little time around the blog, you probably already know that my all-time favorite dessert is vegan cheesecake. I love it in all it’s forms, (see my many, many cheesecake recipes) but I especially love no-bake versions since they’re so easy to make with wholesome ingredients.
Before we get into the details of this delish dessert, I want to give you a little update on what’s been going on at The Colorful Kitchen HQ lately. After the first month or so of quarantine, I really lost steam on coming up with creative things for my family to eat. We’ve been getting by on extra simple meals like smoothies, PB & J’s and frozen veggie burgers. For the first time in my adult life, cooking started to feel like a chore, which was depressing in and of itself since it’s usually such a source of joy and a creative outlet for me. Not to mention that creating recipes is my livelihood!
Quarantine life aside, summer is usually a less productive season for me as far as new recipes go, since we keep our menu simple anyways: farmer’s market salads for lunch, tossing everything on the grill for dinner, etc. This is usually balanced out by an abundance of recipes once the weather cools down, because fall is my favorite food season (side note- I am truly counting down the days until we can get back into soups, stews and chili).
After a few months of feeling the effects of my cooking burnout, I started to channel that energy (or lack of energy) into an idea for a new business. If cooking dinner during this wildly stressful time in life is a struggle for me, as someone who’s entire life is about food and who’s actual job it is to create recipes, I can’t even imagine how challenging it must be for everyone else, particularly families who are now working and schooling from home, to make dinner every night.
And with that, Dinner Delivery by The Colorful Kitchen was born! I’m so excited to bring the recipes from my books and blog to your table, literally! I’m working on getting my legal ducks in a row so we’re able to (hopefully!) launch in early fall, so stay tuned on much more about this new venture soon. For now, I’d love to invite my New Jersey friends to join the waitlist here.
All of this is basically the long winded version of me saying that after a long break, I’m excited to come back this fall with more recipes and more food for you than ever! Until then, today’s Vegan & Gluten-Free No-Bake Berry Cheesecake Bars are a great way to soak up the end of summer. I used blueberries and strawberries because we’ve had a bunch around, but you can really use any kind of fruit (I’m planning to make my next batch with peaches). I hope you love these bars as much as my family does!
This recipe is fairly simple, but it does require a bit of planning ahead. Make sure to refrigerate your can of coconut milk the night before and start soaking your cashews 4 hours ahead of time!
No-Bake Cheesecake Bars, Vegan + Gluten-Free
Author: Ilene Godofsky Moreno
Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: vegan, gluten-free
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- 8 medjool dates, pitted (soaked in hot water for 5 minutes if not soft)
- 1 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup chopped strawberries and/or blueberries
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked at least 4 hours)
- ½ cup coconut cream (refrigerate can of full-fat coconut milk for at least 8 hours, then scoop out cream)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- Line a 9″ x 5″ baking dish with parchment paper.
- To prepare the crust, pulse the oats in a blender or food processor until a flour is formed. Add the remaining crust ingredients and blend until a mostly smooth, but textured, mixture is formed. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and use a spatula to press it down evenly on the bottom of the dish.
- Place the berries on top of the crust layer.
- To prepare the cheesecake layer, drain the cashews and place them in a blender. Add the remaining cheesecake layer ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the cheesecake layer over the crust and berries and use a spatula to spread it out evenly.
- Place the bars in the freezer to harden for 1 hour.
- When the bars are almost finished hardening, melt the chocolate chips (either in a small saucepan on the stove or in the microwave). Alternatively, simply sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the bars.
- Remove the baking dish from the freezer and use the parchment paper to gently pull it out of the dish. Slice the cheesecake into 10-12 bars. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge.