Baked Apple Cheesecakes

I saw these on, actually I saw the video that one of my Facebook friends posted and decided to veganize and make these healthier. They looked so interesting though I will say I was not super excited to bake apples since the skin was still on them and I wasn't sure I would enjoy these. But I took a few bites out of one and they are soft and warm and very delicious. I ditched the cream cheese and butter and made these with whole foods. Also, even better, I got another dessert out of the ingredients I made these apples with. So, I am pretty stoked right now to share not one but two apple desserts.

I am full on into marathon training; today is a month until I run the five boroughs and I'm excited and also very nervous. I ran 12.5 miles on Tuesday and felt fine but there is always risk of injury in the back of my mind. I'm trying not to worry about what could be and instead take on what does happen but I do have chronic lower left leg issues; muscle strains suck! However, Tuesday was a huge boost of confidence because I felt great during my run and it kicked off a totally positive week for me. For the past three weeks I've felt so down due to a couple things happening in my life but somehow I find ways to think about the good.

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you. I've just embraced fall as hard as I can. My bike rides are beautiful in the crisp air. Walks are chilly and exhilarating. Pumpkin is everywhere. Lattes are abound. I love this break from the hot, sticky summer and now the only thing that can top this is the changing of the leaves in Central Park.

I took pictures of this recipe with both my Canon camera that I'm still learning how to use and my phone. Most times my phone pics turn out better but I'm determined to maximize my camera effects and take high quality pics. Food pics need the right light and angle, they need a little dressing up and making sure the food looks pretty. I ran out of light as it is almost 7PM so tomorrow I resume photographing the second apple recipe. After I go on a run and bike ride! Some of the pics are mess-ups; the apples were hot when I tried to move them out of the casserole dish and they spilled  over. Hence, the cheesecake in the bottom of the dish.

All of the ingredients I used in this recipe I measured out for just the apple recipe but I ended up sharing the ingredient amounts with the second mini apple pie recipe. It was a great way to save time and money and I was pleased that I got two recipes done in one day. I tend to overdo things and when I realized I could conserve some ingredients, I realized I don't need as many scoops of cheesecake or that much date syrup. This apple cheesecake recipe is not raw as it calls for baking but the second dessert I made is raw. I know, I love raw desserts. I hate turning on my oven! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and get going!

4 organic apples
2 cups of deglet dates
6 oz of filtered water
1  1/4 cups of raw cashews, soaked in warm water
3/4 cup of coconut cream
Juice from 1 small lemon
2 tsp of vanilla extract
Lots of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Cut the top off the apples then use a spoon to the scoop out the insides of the apple. Get out all seeds and leave a hole in the apple. Save all the apple insides and plant the seeds again if you do that. Do this for all four apples then place them in a casserole dish.

To make the date sauce, put all the dates in the food processor, making sure they are pitted first, add the water and some cinnamon and process on high for a little bit. Scoop out the date sauce into a smaller dish.

Take your date sauce and brush it into the apple, coating the inside of the apple with sweetness. Do this for all four apples; you don't need to use a lot of date syrup; in fact you should save some. Bake the date coated apples in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

To make the cheesecake, in your food processor combine the soaked cashews, coconut cream, lemon juice, vanilla extract and the rest of the date sauce and process on high.

When the apples have baked for 20 minutes, take them out of the oven and leave the oven on. Scoop cheesecake into each apple, sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin spice and bake again for 10 minutes.

Remove the apples after 10 minutes and top with anything else you would like. Make a raw crust out of oats and dates and sprinkle that on top. Or top with oats or raisins or whatever else you love.

It never hurts to make a lot of date sauce and leave it in your fridge. It is a natural sweetener, you can add it to yogurt or dip your fruit in it. You can also add even more water to it and make date syrup. Pour that on pancakes or use in recipes where you would maple syrup. Not to take the shine off maple syrup because it's awesome but pure maple syrup can get expensive; date syrup is a great alternative.

Stay tuned for my next apple recipe. I'm so psyched to share with you!

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