Lately I’ve been thinking about waiting. Do you ever wonder how much time you’ve spent… waiting. For your life to happen, start, begin.
About how, so often, we don’t perhaps realize that we’re even doing it. Sometimes waiting is the lie we tell ourselves… maybe I’ll be ‘happy’ when I’m smaller. I’ll be the magical unicorn of “health” if I eat this one way. Maybe I’ll not feel shame if I achieve this very specific thing. Perhaps I can let go of the past once ten years are up because shouldn’t I-be-over-it-already.
But every time I made myself wait, I was wrapping myself in those lies. As armor, as a barrier to happiness that I didn’t think I deserved, because I always made it contingent on Some Other Thing. Because if you’re the one building the wall, layering up the bricks, filling the gaps with cement… well, at least it’s your own partition, right? At least if you built it yourself, you know it’s gonna keep other people out and you safe.
Eventually, though, that wall isn’t safety. It’s the tomb you bricked yourself into – like your very own Poe tale – because you were scared. But when you’re only adding a brick at time, it doesn’t feel permanent until you lay that final slab and realize that the darkness is complete. And now? Now, you’re alone, on one side of your self imposed wall. And instead of keeping others out… all you’ve really done, is separate yourself from your self. The you that you truly want? You’re going to have to punch through that brick to go get her. Because as much as you’ve been waiting for change… the part of you that you hid from out of fear? She’s had that change – she’s been the change – you wanted all along.
It’s not the change that I had to fear, in the end. It was the wasted time, waiting, for something I (could have) had all along. Myself.
What are you waiting for? What if… you stopped?
What if, instead… you raised that fist? And punched?
I stopped waiting for permission to eat, to enjoy, to create. And it worked out pretty well in the end, because, I mean, look… there’s cheesecake, obviously. No bake lime cheesecake, no less.
For so many years of my life, I was terrified by the idea of eating fat. I mean, it’s not that surprising considering I could count calories before secondary school and grew up in the prime “fat is the dietary devil” phase of conventional dieting dogma. So cheesecake was never really on my radar.
But in a twist of irony, the one thing I did gain from an elimination diet was freedom from traditional dieting rules, go figure.
So while these days I don’t hang out with dairy, it’s just because I don’t do so well with it, not because I’m fearful of the fats like I used to be.
Which means that I didn’t hold back with this no bake lime cheesecake recipe. It’s rich and decadent even though it’s dairy free. And unlike a lot of “coconut cream + gelatin = unfortunate milk jello” dessert experiments, I’ve used a perhaps-strange but totally-works surprise ingredient here to thicken things up a little and give this cheesecake just the right type of density that I’ve found other dairy & nut free recipes to lack.
Yes, I said this is also nut free!
This no bake lime cheesecake has a classic coconut cream base (you want to use something like this with a higher fat percentage and steer clear of anything marked as a “beverage”) that I blended with fresh lime juice and infused with even more lime zest for extra zing.
While the fresh lime juice and zest brings the punchy citrus that you want in anything lime flavored, the extra glorious verdant color comes from adding a smidge of matcha powder. The amount you’ll want to use will vary according to the matcha you have, since some are brighter than others. Just add it a little at a time until you’ve got a pretty spring-like green. It won’t take much and it doesn’t actually affect the flavor, so adjust it to your preference.
Typical AIP or paleo cheesecake recipes will usually use a base that’s a blend of squishy dates and coconut for some down and dirty no bake action, but I didn’t want to do that here, because I didn’t want my no bake lime cheesecake to taste overtly coconut-y.
That might sound strange given how much coconut cream there is in this recipe, but that flavor doesn’t really come through because of how strongly the lime flavors infuse into the cheesecake filling. So, instead of using chewy and obviously coconut flavor, well, coconut, I made my cheesecake base with some classic thick cut, salted plantain chips. Once they meet a food-processor-y fate, they are blitzed into something resembling graham cracker style crumbs and their saltiness is a lovely counterbalance to all the natural sweetness of the date base.
Now, back to the aforementioned secret ingredient! I borrowed a little trick from my vegan friends here. Kind of. You know how many vegan cheesecake recipes are actually thickened up and made cheese-like by using blended, soaked cashews?
I wanted to keep this recipe nut free, but I thought… why couldn’t that technique work with something else? Unsweetened banana chips (like these, with no added flavorings or weird stuff) taste of exactly nothing, but they’ll soften and blend up nicely. I’ve actually used them in the past in this way, like in my Salted Caramel Date Shake recipe, where they thicken without flavoring the ice cream like texture. So, here, they work in the same way to give some denseness without sweetness, lending themselves to the task of making a dairy and nut free cheesecake-a-like.Print
No Bake Lime Cheesecake with Salted Ginger Crust, Kiwi & Mango
This no bake lime cheesecake is the perfect allergy friendly dessert, since it’s grain, gluten, dairy & nut free. Make it ahead and then top with your favorite summer fruits just before serving.
For the salted ginger crust:
- 1 1/2 cups / 110 g lightly crushed plantain chips
- 1 packed cup / 200 g pitted medjool dates
- 1 tbsp / 9 g ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
For the no bake lime cheesecake filling:
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml room temperature water
- 2 3/4 tsp / 7 g unflavored gelatin powder (I like this one)
- 2 cups / 480 ml room temperature coconut cream, divided (I like this one)
- 1 cup / 240 ml fresh lime juice (see notes)
- 3 tbsp / 15 g fresh lime zest (see notes)
- 2 1/2 tbsp / 20 g arrowroot powder
- 1 – 2 tsp / 2 – 5 g matcha powder (I like this one)
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml raw honey
- 1 1/2 cups / 150 g lightly crushed unsweetened banana chips (I like these)
- sliced mango
- sliced kiwi
- lime slices
- handful of raspberries
- matcha coconut sprinkles (see notes)
LINE: Lightly oil the sides of a closed 9 inch / 23 cm springform pan and line the base with parchment paper for an easy release.
FILL: Add the plantain chips to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they resemble graham cracker crumbs. Add the pitted medjool dates, ground ginger and salt. Process until you have a slightly sticky mixture that is flecked evenly through with the plantain crumbs. Pour the crust mixture into the bottom of the lined & oiled springform pan and use your fingers or the back of a measuring cup to press the mixture into an even layer on the base. Chill the crust while you make the filling.
BLOOM: Pour the water into a bowl and sprinkle it evenly with the gelatin powder. Set the bowl aside for the gelatin to bloom.
WARM: Reserve 1/4 cup / 60 ml or so of the liquid coconut cream. Add the remaining coconut cream, lime juice & zest to a saucepan over low-medium heat to warm through. Measure the arrowroot and matcha powder into a small high sided bowl, jar or jug. Add the reserved liquid coconut cream a bit at a time, stirring constantly, until you have an evenly combined slurry without any lumps. Pour the slurry into the saucepan and whisk to combine. When the lime infused coconut cream is warmed through but not too hot to dip the back of a finger into the mixture comfortable, remove it from the heat.
WHISK: With the saucepan off the heat, add the bloomed gelatin and raw honey. Whisk together until the gelatin has melted and you can’t see any lumps. Carefully pour the warmed filling mixture into a high powered blender pitcher.
THICKEN: Add the crushed unsweetened banana chips to the blender pitcher, using a spatula to make sure they’re all covered by the liquid. Set the pitcher aside for about 15 minutes to rehydrate and soften. (If you have a really high powered blender, this softening step may not be necessary).
BLEND: Pop the lid onto the blender pitcher and blend until the filling mixture is completely smooth.
FILL: Remove the springform pan from the refrigerator. Pour the filling into the springform pan and gently rock the pan until the filling is level.
CHILL: Put the no bake lime cheesecake into the refrigerator, uncovered, until the filling is chilled and set, at least 6 hours or overnight. Once the cheesecake is set, you can cover it with a layer of cling wrap if you like.
REMOVE: When you’re ready to serve the no bake lime cheesecake, carefully run a sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake where it meets the side of the springform pan. Gently release the clasp of the springform pan so that the pan comes away from the sides of the cheesecake. Use a palette knife or slice to release the cheesecake from the springform base. Peel off the parchment paper and carefully transfer to a serving platter or cake stand.
GARNISH: Arrange sliced mango, kiwi and lime on the top of the no bake cheesecake. Scatter with additional raspberries or matcha coconut sprinkles, if you like.
For the measured lime juice and zest, you will use approximately 7 – 8 medium limes total.
This recipe is scaled to fit a 9 inch / 23 cm springform pan.
To make the matcha coconut sprinkles, just add unsweetened shredded coconut to a bowl with a little matcha powder and run together between your fingers until the coconut sprinkles are evenly coated and green in color.