Paleo Cheesecake Dip


If you read my ramblings on my Paleo Chicken Alfredo Pasta post, you know how I feel about cashew butter.  On its own, I think it tastes "funky"... a little too cheesy/sweet for me.  

However, that cheesy/sweet weirdness is what led me to make my favorite Alfredo sauce ever.  So, this time, I decided to take that inspiration in more of a sweet direction... a cheesecake direction to be exact.

I knew I wanted to create with cashews, and was also inspired by the good ol' cheeseball dip mixes we used to have when I was younger.  You know, the powdered mix where you just add cream cheese to make a creamy dip?  While most people loved the savory ones for dipping crackers & veggies, I always loved the sweet versions with flavors like strawberry and key lime.

My last inspirational thought behind this dip was to make something we could enjoy with our sliced apples on the Whole30 (because plain almond butter can eventually get old).

With just a few simple ingredients, and a "Sunday-recipe-testing-day", my Paleo Cheesecake Dip was born.  It's light, creamy, and absolutely delicious!  Almost as if cheesecake and a whipped topping had a baby...  :)


I made two flavor variations to start, but the options are endless.  My favorite was the "Pumpkin Pie" version, while Dathan really loved the "Mixed Berry Cheesecake".  We brainstormed together to come up with even more varieties you could try~  but keep in mind that this is also awesome plain!

One last note:  I used dates to lightly sweeten and add texture to the dip.  However, you could also substitute honey or maple syrup if you're not on a Whole30, and want it extra sweet.  Just skip the dates & soak your cashews alone.

I hope you enjoy!  Let me know if you have any other flavor ideas, and what you would dip into this creamy creation!




Ingredients for the Cheesecake Dip:

  • 3 pitted dates (or honey, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews*
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

*  I use "cashew pieces" because they're cheaper & soak quicker


Flavor Options:

  • Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake:  1/4 cup pumpkin puree + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Berry Cheesecake:  1/2 cup berry of choice (fresh or frozen), pureed
  • Almond Joy Cheesecake:  3 Tbsp shredded coconut (unsweetened) + 2 Tbsp chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • Salted Caramel Cheesecake:  1/4 cup Paleo-friendly caramel sauce (this one from Living Healthy With Chocolate looks great!) + 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Banana Cream Cheesecake:  1 ripe banana, pureed + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Key Lime Cheesecake:  3 Tbsp lime juice + 1 tsp lime zest


Directions:

  1. Soak the cashews and dates in a small bowl with 2 cups of hot water, uncovered, for about 10 minutes to soften (or longer if you're patient!)
  2. Drain the water, and transfer the cashews & dates to a food processor or blender.  Add the coconut milk and lemon juice (+ honey, if you're using it), and blend until super smooth.  You can add a bit more coconut milk as needed until you reach your preferred consistency.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl, and enjoy plain or stir in the ingredients for whichever cheesecake flavor you choose.  Refrigerate until cool & serve chilled.
  4. Enjoy with sliced apples or pears to dip, spread on some grain-free bread, or eat it with a spoon.  :)


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