Need a sweet fix but don't want to go off the deep end since you're in the middle of the CrossFit Open? Well these ridiculously delicious Paleo Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites by Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind will do the trick!
Ingredients: Makes 24 Servings
1 heaping cup raw pecans
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup grade B
a few pinches of pink himalayan salt
1 heaping cup raw cashews (soaked at least for 4 hours, overnight is better)
1/2 cup raw zucchini, peeled and diced
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons canned coconut milk, full fat, room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, grade B
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
The juice of one medium lemon
1/2 cup coconut milk, full fat, room temperature
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
4 tablespoons grass-fed butter (or ghee)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
few pinches of pink himalayan salt
Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor and grind them into fine meal. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and process again until well combined. Line the bottom of a mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the liners. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.
In a high-powered blender, process the raw cashews until they are blended. Add in the zucchini, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon juice. For the lemon juice go by taste as not to overdo it with lemon flavor. I started by juicing half of the lemon, mixing and tasting, and adding more. Add as needed to your preference. Then blend again until a super smooth and creamy batter is formed. If your batter is too thick try adding a little more almond milk or coconut water until the desired smooth creamy batter consistency is reached.
Pour the cheesecake batter into a decorating bag or ziplock bag, cut a hole in the corner and then pour the filling on top of the crust almost to the top, leaving some room for the caramel. Allow to set in the freezer for at least an hour. While the filling is setting go ahead and make your caramel.
To make the caramel, combine coconut sugar, coconut milk, and butter or ghee in a medium sized heavy-bottomed saucepan (2.5qt./2.3L). Over low heat, whisk gently in one direction so the butter doesn’t separate, until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is combined. Then turn the heat to medium until it reaches a soft boil. Add vanilla extract, and salt and whisk until combined. Then bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk gently until the mixture becomes a smooth liquid again. Place back over heat and boil for an additional minute to thicken further. Remove from heat, whisk until mixture becomes smooth liquid again. Repeat a third time for even thicker caramel. The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools. Refrigerate or freeze to cool and thicken completely.
Once your cheesecake bites are hardened, fill a decorating bag or a ziplock bag with the caramel and cut off the tip. Squeeze a dollop of caramel on the top of eat cheesecake bite and use the flat side of a spoon to evenly spread over the top. Once the caramel has set sprinkle pink himalayan salt on the tops. Store cheesecake bites in the freezer in between eating sessions and remove about 15 minutes or so before serving so they can thaw a bit. Enjoy!