Vegan Pistachio Cherry Cheesecake Bars

recipes sweets Jun 16, 2019

I recently returned home to Kansas City to visit my parents and enjoy a little break from my school work. It seems that the older I get, the more I enjoy these trips back home and away from the routine of daily life. Over the years, Kansas City has likewise evolved and changed into a much cooler and more interesting city than I ever previously gave it credit for.

Whenever I’m in town, I can’t wait to return to all of my favorite restaurants, stores and other healthy havens, which you can read all about in Kansas City’s Healthy & Must-Visit Hot Spots. But summertime makes a KC trip even more enjoyable thanks to the gorgeous weather, pool time with friends and incredible farmer’s markets.

My dad and I stopped by the Overland Park Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, and I was truly a kid in a candy store. The produce was so top notch that it was difficult to narrow down my purchases. But when we spied these fresh cherries, we both knew that there was no way we were returning home without them.

While cherries are obviously delicious, these tasty fruits are also packed with incredible health benefits. They’re rich in various nutrients which can aid in a restful night’s sleep and muscle recovery, boost the immune system and reduce symptoms of arthritis.

These sweet and tart farmer’s market finds have so much flavor, I was blown away. Though I still purchase store-bought cherries when available, the intensity of those from the market just reiterated how important it is to buy local, in-season produce. They’re just better in every way!

As for these delicious cheesecake bars, you’ll just need to add a few ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and let the freezer do the rest. The result is a thick, dense and creamy filling without any dairy or refined sugar in sight.

In my other vegan cheesecake recipes, I make my own crust, which requires only a few ingredients and very little time. But for these cherry-inspired bars, I instead decided to use my favorite Purely Elizabeth’s Coconut Cashew Grain-Free Granola.

Just add two bags to a food processor with coconut oil, and your crust is complete. Plus, it adds incredible flavor and crunch to this dreamy dessert. If there is another type of granola that you love, feel free to use that instead.

And for the final touch, pistachios add an extra crunch you’ll love. They have a buttery texture and unique flavor, but they also bring another boost of nutrition as they’re one of the most vitamin B6- and potassium-rich foods, are high in antioxidants and filled with protein. Plus, they’re just so fun to eat in my opinion!

Whether you’re able to stock up on cherries at your local farmers market or pick up a bag at your local grocery, I encourage you to whip up this simple, delicious dessert this summer.

Though the layers and gorgeous toppings will make you look like you slaved all day, these no-bake goodies can be whipped up in no time.

For more no-bake bars that’ll cool you down on these summer days, check out my Mini Matcha Vegan Cheesecakes and Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars  .


 

 YIELDS12 Servings
 

 

Crust
  •  2  bags Purely Elizabeth Coconut Cashew Grain-Free Granola (or granola of your choice)
  •  â…” cup coconut oil, melted
Cherry Cheesecake Filling
  •  ½ cup coconut cream
  •  1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours and drained
  •  ¼ cup maple syrup
  •  1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
  •  juice of one, large lemon
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  pinch of salt
Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
  •  ½ cup coconut cream
  •  1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours and drained
  •  ¼ cup maple syrup
  •  juice of one, large lemon
  •  1 tsp cinnamon
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  pinch of salt
Toppings
  •  ½ cup pistachios
  •  1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and sliced

  

Directions
Add both bags of granola and coconut oil to a food processor. Pulse until well-combined.

Press into an 9x12 pan lined with parchment paper, using your fingers to make an even layer.

Place in freezer while making cheesecake layers.

To a high speed blender or food processor, add drained cashews, coconut cream, cherries, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt. Mix until well-combined and creamy.
Pour on top of crust, using a spatula to smooth into an even layer. Put in freezer for at least an hour to set up.
When cherry layer has set, add the vanilla cheesecake layer.

To a high speed blender or food processor, add drained cashews, coconut cream, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. Mix until well-combined and creamy.

Pour on top of cheery layer, again using a spatula to smooth. Sprinkle pistachios on top.
Place in the freezer for several hours before topping with fresh cherries, cutting into squares and serving.

Enjoy!

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