Not only are these no bake Vegan Lemon Strawberry Cheesecake Bites delicious, they're also gluten-free, dairy-free, cashew-free and super easy to make!
I've been curious about vegan "cheesecakes" for a while, because as you may know, I love a good dessert! But the majority of vegan cheesecakes are made with cashews, an ingredient I cannot have in my home because of an allergy.
So, I've never been able to try any of the many vegan cheesecake recipes out there. My answer to that is these Vegan Lemon Strawberry Cheesecake Bites.
Not only are these mini vegan cheesecakes cashew free, they're also gluten-free, they require no baking, and they're so, so good!
And if strawberry isn't your favourite, you can check out these other cheesecake recipes:
It's true! It's Vegan Cheesecake with Almonds!
It can be done! I wasn't sure it could, because I've never seen a recipe using almonds, so I had to try. I'm very glad I did because it has become a new favourite for my family.
It took me a few tries (three, to be exact), but I do believe that I've perfected my little vision of a cashew-free vegan cheesecake.
So yes, you can make vegan cheesecake without cashews!
I originally wanted to make these lemon strawberry cheesecake bites with a graham cracker crust, like regular cheesecakes, but I couldn't find vegan graham crackers or crumbs.
Actually, let me correct that.
I did find two brands that made them, but one is not available in Canada and the other is, but it's very hard to find.
Cookie manufacturers, you are missing out, vegan graham crackers/cookies and crumbs would do so well! Please make some.
So, as an alternative, I made a crust for the vegan lemon strawberry cheesecake bites using oats, almonds, and shredded coconut, which worked out very well.
For the strawberries, I used some partially thawed strawberries that I had stored from this year's strawberry picking outing.
Fresh strawberries can also be used, I used some for the garnish as you can see in the pictures.
The good thing about being able to use frozen berries is that you can make this recipe year-round and not only when fresh strawberries are easy to find.
What kind of blender should be used for this recipe?
You must use a high speed blender for this recipe!
This is very important because this recipe will not work with any other type of blender.
You can use a food processor or a regular blender to make the vegan cheesecake crust, but a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec) is absolutely essential for making the cheesecake part of the recipe. The nuts will not break down as well as they should if you use a regular blender and the texture will be way off.
You will also run the risk of damaging your blender. So, keep all of these things in mind.
Now, you may be wondering the following:
What does vegan cheesecake taste like?
Does a vegan cheesecake taste like a regular cheesecake?
And just how does a vegan almond cheesecake compare to a cashew cheesecake?
The taste is sweet, tangy, and amazing. The strawberry flavour comes through strongly, and the lemon gives it a tangy-ness that makes it taste a little cream cheese like.
When comparing it to a dairy-based cheesecake, I'm not going to say that it tastes just like a dairy cheesecake, but I think it comes close.
As for how it compares to a cashew cheesecake, since I've never had one, I asked some friends about the texture of a cashew cheesecake and they let me know that they are smooth, just like a dairy cheesecake.
These bites do have a subtle texture from the almonds, but it's not off-putting, so don't let that scare you.
Almonds, despite being soaked, are just a harder nut than cashews, which are softer and break down easier. So know that this recipe is not going to give you vegan cheesecake bites that are silky smooth like a dairy or cashew cheesecake.
After you have chilled them, they can be enjoyed straight from the freezer. Just thaw them out a bit in the fridge for a few hours, or you can leave them out on the counter to partially thaw for a little while before serving.
I like to have them fully thawed but try them different ways to see how you like them best!
If you make these vegan lemon strawberry cheesecake bites, I'd love to see a picture!
If you like this recipe, you may also like these:
- Key Lime Cups
- Strawberry Sauce
- Easy Strawberry Chia Seed Refrigerator Jam
- Gluten-Free Strawberry Muffins
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Vegan Lemon Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
For the base:
For the cheesecake:
- 1 ½ cups soaked, raw blanched almonds (1 cup of dry almonds will expand to the 1 ½ cups needed, see notes about almonds below)
- 1 ¼ cups fresh or frozen strawberries
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- diced or sliced strawberries and/or lemon zest for garnish (optional)
- Add 12 muffin cups to a muffin pan.
To make the base:
- Add the rolled oats, almonds, and coconut sugar to a food processor or a high speed blender.
- Blend until the almonds and oats have broken down.
- Add the shredded coconut and the coconut oil.
- Pulse until everything has combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups and press it down until it is packed down and no loose parts remain.
- Place the muffin tin in the freezer for the bases to firm up. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
To make the cheesecake:
- Add the almonds, strawberries, lemon juice, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla to a high speed blender.
- Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You may need to use your blender's tamper to keep it going.
- Remove the chilled bases from the freezer and, divide the cheesecake mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Smooth out the tops and place back in the freezer for at least 2 hours for them to firm up.
- Remove from freezer ½ hour before serving so they can thaw a bit. Garnish and serve.
- Store uneaten cheesecakes in the freezer in an airtight container.
- A high speed blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec) MUST be used for the cheesecake part of the recipe. If one is not used, the almonds will not break down properly and you run the risk of overheating/damaging your regular blender.
- 1 cup of dry almonds will expand to be the 1 ½ cups needed for this recipe, so only soak 1 cup of almonds. The almonds MUST be soaked for at least 24 hours to soften them before blending.
- Use only whole, raw almonds unsalted almonds for this recipe, NOT slivered, sliced, or roasted almonds.
- Blanched almonds come with the skins off to make things a bit easier for you, but if you cannot find them, you can also use almonds with the skins on BUT, be sure to peel the skins after they have been soaked. This step is a little time consuming, so be sure to factor this into your prep time.
- You can enjoy this dessert frozen or thawed. I prefer to have it thawed but you can experiment to see which way you like it best!
- Nutrition info is based on 1 strawberry cheesecake bite with no garnishes. Nutrition info is is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.