Gingered Pineapple Vegan Cheesecake with Coconut Bliss Balls

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Okay, I'm officially obsessed with making tropical vegan (almost fully raw!) cheesecakes! After the success of this delicious passionfruit and mango creation, I decided the next one on my list had to be pineapple! That glorious yellow fruit with it's funky green crown whose scent alone whisks me away to a nostalgic la la land of poolside Pina Coladas and those delicious Splice ice-creams I used to buy from the milk bar as a kid in Airlie Beach. 

In addition to being rich in vitamin C, pineapple is also bursting with manganese, a trace mineral that is essential for healthy bones, collagen production, and antioxidant defence. Hello beautiful skin! But we knew this cake would make us glow already, right? The pineapples are so sweet and juicy here in Sri Lanka, and they seem to be in season all year round – so I just had to try it. And I'm so glad I did. This cake is seriously yummy – it's sweet and tangy at the same time. Just like a Splice! The addition of fresh ginger, lime and turmeric just gives it that zingy, superfood-y bomb-diggity that will keep you going back for more... 

Ingredients

for the base (and bliss balls)
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1 1/3 cups gluten-free oats
1 1/2 cups shredded toasted coconut
1 tsp kitul treacle (or maple syrup)
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
a pinch of salt

for the filling
2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
2 cups fresh, pineapple (go for very ripe, sweet pineapples!)
1/3 cup kitul treacle (or maple syrup)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp fresh turmeric, grated (or 1 tsp powder

for the gingered pineapple swirl
1 cup fresh pineapple
1 tbsp kitul treacle (or maple syrup)
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp white chia seeds

Method

Line a round 6" pan with parchment paper and set aside. Make the crust first - place the dates, oats, coconut, treacle, vanilla bean and salt into the food processor and pulse to obtain a sticky, doughy mixture. Spread the mixture into the pan and press it down evenly to form the crust. There should be enough left over to form 4-5 small coconut bliss balls. Simply roll the remaining dough into balls and store in the fridge until you are ready to top your cake.

Next, drain the cashews and place them in the food processor along with the pineapple, treacle, lime juice, coconut oil, ginger and turmeric. Process to obtain a smooth cream. Pour the creamy mixture into a bowl and set aside for a moment.

To make the gingered pineapple swirl, place the pineapple, treacle, ginger and lime juice into the food processor and pulse to obtain a chunky puree. Stir in the chia seeds and wait until the mixture becomes jelly-like (should be 10 minutes).

Alternate pouring layers of the creamy mixture and the pineapple swirl into the pan on top of the crust, starting with the creamy layer and finishing with a swirl. 

Cover and freeze for at least 3 hours. For serving, let it stay at the room temperature for 15 mins until it can be cut easily. Top with fresh fruit (I left the pineapple crown aside for this!) and the bliss balls that you set aside earlier. Seriously yum!