I am really liking frozen cherries at the moment for their taste, convenience and potential health benefits, especially the abundance of antioxidants, which may assist with recovery from training (read about this in my previous post). I have been playing around with a Cherry ripe cheesecake recipe and I am pretty happy with this version.
Due to my recent injury – a severed flexor tendon in my right hand – I decided I wanted to include gelatin in this cheesecake. Tendons are composed of type I collagen and gelatin is made from the hydrolysis of collagen, so why not provide my body with the building blocks it requires to rebuild my tendon. Plus I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and wanted to make a tasty dessert. I have found myself a couple of times since the surgery at home, alone, eating peanut butter directly from the jar just because I felt like it. It can be very depressing when you can’t do the things that you love – for me that is trail running, mountain biking, riding my paddle ski, cycling, strength training and surfing – all the good stuff. But I am remaining positive. I have gone through injuries before (two broken wrists and a pinched nerve in my back to name a few) and I know that I will heal and get back into my training and regain my fitness. However, at the time it can be difficult to realise this. Hence the peanut butter and tasty cheesecake.
Despite feeling somewhat depressed, I still wanted to make this Cherry ripe cheesecake as healthy as possible. I used walnuts, flaxmeal and coconut flour to make a low carb, high fibre chocolate base. The filling consists of low fat cream cheese combined with coconut milk and coconut essence. I left the frozen cherries and coconut flakes a bit chunky for some texture. I sweetened both the base and the filling with erythritol, so there are no refined carbohydrates in this cheesecake and it contains a decent amount of dietary fibre. I usually ensure that my diet is rich in dietary fibre but I am especially including it at the moment to serve as prebiotics to help repopulate the bacteria in my gut after all the antibiotics I have been loaded up with.
This Cherry ripe cheesecake made without refined carbohydrates needs at least 2 hours to set in the fridge so some planning in advance is required.
Cherry ripe cheesecake (no refined carbohydrates, high in dietary fibre)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup flaxmeal
½ cup coconut flour, sifted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon erythritol
½ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
½ cup coconut milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
250 grams low fat cream cheese
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons erythritol
½ teaspoon coconut essence
¾ cup frozen pitted cherries
½ cup coconut flakes or shredded coconut
5 gelatin leaves dissolved in ¼ cup water
Food processor or high-speed blender
Measuring cups and spoons
20cm x 20cm baking tray or round baking tray
Microwave safe bowl
- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
- Add the walnuts to a food processor or high-speed blender and process/blend until they are the consistency of coarse crumbs. Tip the walnuts into a mixing bowl.
- Add the flaxmeal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, erythritol and shredded coconut to the mixing bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Add in the melted coconut oil, coconut milk and vanilla extract. Mix well ensuring all ingredients are well combined.
- Line the baking tray with baking paper. Tip the base mixture into the lined baking tray and press down firmly and evenly with wet hands.
- Bake the base for 15 minutes. Remove the base and allow it to cool while you prepare the filling.
- Add the cream cheese, coconut milk, erythritol and coconut essence to the food processor or high-speed blender. Process/blend until the mixture is smooth.
- To dissolve the gelatin, add the gelatin leaves to a microwave safe bowl and cover them with the ¼ cup of water. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix then microwave for a further 30 seconds. Continue until the gelatin leaves are completely dissolved.
- Add the dissolved gelatin, frozen cherries and coconut flakes to the food processor. Process until the ingredients are combined but some small chunks still remain (if you don’t like the chunkiness keep processing).
- Pour the filling over the cooled base and allow the cheesecake to set in the fridge for at least two hours or until the filling is completely firm.
- Slice and enjoy and try to look at the bright side of things in life (that is a reminder to myself).