Dragon fruit, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful fruits! We recently went to a tropical fruit farm on our family holiday up to Queensland and my favourite part was the gorgeous dragonfruit plantations. Dragon fruits are actually a cactus plant, they looked like the pictures of rice fields I’ve seen in Bali. They’re also a wonderful fruit to add to the diet because they are packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, are high in calcium and interestingly can help with blood sugar control as they contain properties that help the pancreatic cells that produce insulin to grow. As much as I love dragonfruit, it’s difficult for me to know what to do with them beyond adding to smoothies or placing on top of smoothie bowls. As soon as I found some frozen dragonfruit chunks (pink ones) I knew I needed to turn them into a dessert.
Although I generally think of dragonfruit as a summer fruit I didn’t want to pair it with other tropical fruits for this recipe. That’s because we have been traveling so much the last month that I’ve missed my own desserts and I wanted to make something that would suit my taste buds! For me, that usually involves something chocolatey and creamy. As you know I have a love-hate relationship with coconut so I decided to skip the coconut cream this time and opt for almond milk. For extra creaminess, I used the beautiful unsweetened almond milk from Califia Farms. Of all the almond milks I have tried none have a better texture than Califia. It’s so smooth thick and creamy (and not watery like most other almond milks). It’s also carrageenan free and because it is unsweetened it is very low in sugar. Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk contains only 0.3g of sugar per serve most of which is likely to be fibre. In contrast dairy milk contains about 13g of sugar per serve, which is not fibre. I think Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk really took this slice to the next level and gave it the perfect texture. You can find Calilfia Unsweetened Almond milk in the fridge section at Woolworths. I loved adding the dragonfruit layer on top for some flavour contrast between chocolatey and creamy and fruity and a little tart. It also adds the most impressive colour on top.
The process of making this raw vegan dragonfruit slice is very similar to making any vegan cheesecake. I like to pull out both my high-speed blender and food processor to do the job (although you can just as easily just a blender or food processor provided they are powerful enough) for this particular recipe I also pulled out my mini blender for the dragonfruit puree on top. A good tip to help blenders do their job well is to add the liquid in first and then add the more solid ingredients like cashews. I’ve found this makes a huge difference and gives my blender a much easier time. As usual, it is always best if the cashews are well soaked before adding them to the blender. For best results, cashews should be soaked overnight or for at least 3-4 hours. If you are time-poor, you can also boil the cashews for 15 minutes or so, but overnight soaking works best.
This recipe is vegan /plant-based, no-bake, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and gluten-free. Enjoy.
|Raw Vegan Dragonfruit Slice with Califia Unsweetened Almond Milk|| |
- 2 cups walnuts
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 3 cups pitted dates
- 4 TBSP cacao powder
- 2 TBSP Califia Farms Unsweetened almond milk
- CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 3 cups raw cashews (soaked for at least 3-4 hours)
- 1 cup cacao butter melted
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk
- Juice 1 lemon
- DRAGONFRUIT COATING:
- 2 cups dragonfruit chunks ( I used frozen)
- ½ cup raspberries 2 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- For the base, break down the walnuts and sunflower seeds in a food processor. Add in the dates and cacao powder and process again. Add in almond milk last and process again.
- Press down base mixture into the base of a lined baking tin. I used a sheet pan but any square or rectangular tin will work. Set aside.
- For the cheesecake filling: add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour evenly on top of the base, tap gently to smooth and place in the freezer for about 30 mins to firm up enough before adding the dragonfruit layer.
- For the dragonfruit layer, place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. If dragonfruit is frozen, you may need to thaw it before blending. Pour dragonfruit mixture over the cheesecake layer. Smooth with spatula and place back in the freezer to set for 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Once set, allow to that slightly, slice and enjoy.