Yep, you read that right… strawberry lime and parsnip cheesecake. My latest attempt at a good dairy-free & nut-free cheesecake resulted in this beauty. Move over cauliflower cakes, bean cakes, and all… (well, don’t move too far — I still love you, but… ?) … this parsnip cheesecake takes the cake. It’s tangy and absolutely delicious, easy to work with, and the texture is incredible. And the shock value on people’s faces when you tell them what it’s made of has got to be worth the effort ?
On that note… I sent some of this cheesecake over to my friend Rosie and her fam (along with a bunch of other nutty & nut-free cakes to try out) and this was her favorite. She gave it to her kiddo who loved the cake as well, but she didn’t tell her the secret ingredient until afterwards. The exchange between them went something like this:
She finished her slice and said, “Mom, Audrey makes the best cakes!”
To which Rosie replied, “do you want to know what it’s made out of?”
She made a face. Then was told it was parsnips. She made another face, and said: “That is the most disgusting thing ever! I’m never eating that again… unless I want to!”
??? “unless I want to!”
Ok, kids being kids aside, I’m honestly positive that anyone would be pleasantly surprised with this cake. I’ve been working on quite a few parsnip recipes lately and got to know this veggie quite well. It has a sweet flavor that can be very distinct, but in this cake you can taste none of it. It just gives the cake a beautiful smooth (not icy at all) texture.
Well, the texture is in part due to the cooking of the strawberry and lime mixture, which both eliminates the iciness factor and brings a most delicious flavor to this cheesecake. Strawberries and lime are one of my all-time favorite combos (if you’re into it, you might also like this cult favorite raw strawberry lime macadamia cheesecake or this strawberry rhubarb & lime pie recipe).
I just love that the parsnips enabled the filling in this cake to be entirely nut & seed free, which not only lightens up the cake a fair bit, but is also a big bonus for those with actual allergies to nuts. If you’re one of the latter people, you can use tigernuts in place of the pumpkin seeds in the crust — an ingredient I recently worked with on another nut-free cheesecake.
P.S. If you need more tips on how to make raw & no-bake cheesecakes like a pro, check out my book Unconventional Treats.
- 1 cup hulled strawberries (I used frozen, and thawed them out a little)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1½ tbsp lime juice
- ¾ cup pumpkin seeds (or any other nut or seed, or tigernuts for the nut & seed-free)
- 1 soft medjool date, pitted
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tbsp coconut oil
- ½ cup steamed parsnips (rough chopped)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tbsp lime juice
- ½ tbsp tapioca flour
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- more pumpkin seeds, edible rose buds and petals
- Steam your parsnips (for later use in the filling layer)(takes about 15 mins until they are fork-tender)(I didn't peel mine -- just discarded the tops and sliced in half and then into quarters). Remove from heat and cool off to room temp. Meanwhile place all strawberry lime mixture ingredients in a small sauce pan, combine and bring to a light boil. Once the mixture begins to bubble let it simmer for 7-10 mins, stirring occasionally (until the mixture thickens a bit). Remove from heat and cool off to room temp as well.
- Process all crust ingredients into a sticky crumbly mixture in a food processor. Transfer into a 5" springform pan and press down into a flat crust. Place the pan in the freezer while working on the filling.
- Place all filling ingredients as well as the cooled off strawberry lime mixture into a power blender and blend into a smooth uniform consistency. Transfer this mixture into the cake pan over the crust. Smooth out the top and decorate with desired toppings. Return to freezer and allow the cake to set for 5-6 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, remove from pan, thaw out a touch and enjoy! (keep leftovers frozen).