This has got to be one of the best macrobiotic dessert recipes I’ve worked with yet. The basic cheesecake recipe was adapted from a fantastic recipe I came across in an old edition of Macrobiotics Today – the quarterly macrobiotic magazine published by the George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation.
(Side note: George Ohsawa was one of the foremost leaders in the early years of Macrobiotic theory development and influenced some of the greatest macrobiotic teachers including Michio Kushi, and is one of my greatest inspirations in nutritional and spiritual wellness.)
The idea of a macrobiotic cheesecake can be confusing to a lot of people. No sugar? No dairy? How is it a cheesecake?
The only thing reminiscent of cheesecake in this recipe is the decadent flavour and texture – other than that, you could call it a fruit, nut, and grain cake!
I love this recipe because it truly embodies macrobiotic principles in a way that is absolutely delicious to almost anyone’s palette – even people who don’t typically enjoy cheesecake! There are no refined or heavily-processed ingredients in here – no sugar, no tofu or soy, no vegan milks, and its gluten-free.
It’s a no-bake recipe which avoids the heavily condensing energies of baking and can easily be made manually by hand without using any electricity – though it would take a little while longer to get the same results!
And you can flavour the batter or top the cake off with anything you want, from a chocolate drizzle to a homemade fruit compote.
Served with my delicious Maple Apple Caramel Syrup, this was the perfect way to wrap up the festivities at my 2013 Macro Feast.
Serves 12 – 16
- 1 ½ cups nuts (I used half almonds, half walnuts)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup dried apricots, soaked in water for about 30 minutes
- ¾ cup millet (soaked in 2 ½ cups water, overnight)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup raw cashews (covered with water to soak, overnight)
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean *
- ½ cup maple syrup
Remember to soak the millet and cashews overnight.
Begin to toast the nuts for the crust in a stainless-steel pan over medium heat. When the nuts have begun to heat, add the oats, and finish toasting them both together; if you were to start the oats and nuts at the same time, the oats would burn before the nuts were toasted. Remove from heat as soon as they begin to brown and smell very fragrant. Set them aside to cool.
Drain the cashews and transfer to a food processor. Cook the millet in the soaking water with a pinch of salt in a large, stainless-steel dutch oven – bring the millet to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove the millet from the heat and let it cool slightly.
While the millet cools, blend the cashews, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and maple syrup in a food processor – blend until very smooth and creamy. Before the millet cools too much, add it to the food processor and process again until very smooth and creamy. If you wait too long and the millet is too cool, it will not blend as finely.
Chop nuts and oats with the salt in a food processor until you have a coarse meal. With the food processor running, begin to add each apricot one at a time, until a good dough forms. Press the dough into a 9-inch spring form pan evenly, taking the crust up the sides about 1 – 2 inches. Pour the millet filling into the crust and smooth the top. Let the cheesecake set in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. It’s actually perfect to make the day ahead.
Serve with the Maple Apple Caramel Syrup or your choice of topping.
* If you use the vanilla bean, remove the seeds from the bean pod and add the way you would the extract.