Author Pho­to by Lau­ren Volo

No-Bake Cashew Cheese­cake”

Serves 10

3 cups [420 g] raw cashews

11/2 cups [210 g] raw almonds

1/4 tsp fine sea salt, plus a pinch for the crust

2 cups [300 g] pit­ted Med­jool dates

21/2 tsp vanil­la extract

2/3 cup [145 g] coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup [120 ml] plus 1 tsp agave nectar

4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 cups [240 g] straw­ber­ries (fresh or thawed if frozen)

1 tsp chia seeds

My sis­ter Mar­gaux is a pow­er­house in the kitchen. As a reg­is­tered dietit­ian and nutri­tion­ist whose men­tal­i­ty is stick to whole foods, not diet fads, her phi­los­o­phy pairs sci­ence with enjoy­ing food, bal­anc­ing fla­vor with health. She is also a fuss-free food­ie! Trust me, this no-bake cheese­cake recipe of hers is just that. Make this cheese­cake when you are feel­ing like a deca­dent treat with­out a ton of work. Sit back, relax, and reclaim your time and health with her dairy-free recipe. (Note: This is an over­night recipe.)

  1. Place the raw cashews in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. Soak overnight. (You can soak them for as lit­tle as 2 to 3 hours, but if you wait over­night, the cheese­cake will be creamier.)
  2. Line a 9 in [23 cm] spring­form pan with a cir­cu­lar piece of parch­ment paper and set aside.
  3. Place the almonds and a pinch of the sea salt in a food proces­sor and process until you see medi­um-size chunks of almond. Add the dates and 1/2 tsp of the vanil­la and process until the pieces are small, uni­form, and stick togeth­er when you squeeze a tiny bit between your fin­gers. Pour the crust mix­ture into the pre­pared pan and press it down even­ly with a glass or your palm. Put it in the freez­er to firm up for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Drain the soaked cashews and put them in the bowl of a blender or food proces­sor (I like using a high-pow­ered blender like a Vita­mix). Add the coconut oil, 1/2 cup [120 ml] of the agave, 3 Tbsp of the lemon juice, the remain­ing 2 tsp of vanil­la, and the remain­ing 1/4 tsp of sea salt and blend on high speed until smooth. Remove about half of the fill­ing and lay­er that into the spring­form pan. Use an off­set spat­u­la to smooth and even it out. Place the pan back in the freez­er to set for 30 minutes.
  5. Mean­while, add half the straw­ber­ries to the remain­ing fill­ing, process until smooth, and set the blender carafe in the fridge for 30 min­utes to chill. Before adding it to the first lay­er, give it one more whirl in the blender to ensure every­thing is mixed even­ly. Pour the straw­ber­ry lay­er on top of the cheese­cake and freeze for an addi­tion­al 30 minutes.
  6. While the cheese­cake is set­ting in the freez­er, slice the remain­ing straw­ber­ries and add them to a medi­um bowl with the remain­ing 1 Tbsp lemon juice, the remain­ing 1 tsp of agave, and the chia seeds Set aside for 5 min­utes to allow the chia seeds to plump up.
  7. Pour the top­ping over the cheese­cake and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set and firm up.
  8. When ready to serve, dip a knife in a cup of hot water and slice the cake, wip­ing the knife dry between each slice. Serve frozen or let thaw for 15 min­utes before serv­ing. The thaw­ing makes it a bit soft­er and eas­i­er to slice.
  9. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freez­er for up to 2 weeks.

Food for Thought: Wor­ry­ing is a down pay­ment on a prob­lem you may nev­er have.

Excerpt­ed from Mind Over Bat­ter: 75 Recipes for Bak­ing as Ther­a­py by Jack Haz­an, © 2023. Pub­lished by Chron­i­cle Books. Pho­tographs © Lau­ren Volo.

Jack Haz­an, MA, LMHC, is a New York City – based psy­chother­a­pist and the founder of Mod­ern Ther­a­py Group. He’s also the Chief Bak­ing Offi­cer of Jack­Bakes, whose breads are car­ried in over 500 phys­i­cal and online retail­ers. Jack has been fea­tured in the New York Post, the Wash­ing­ton Post, and Time Out New York and has appeared on the Food Net­work and Bravo’s Watch What Hap­pens Live