Cranberry Coconut Cheesecake Bars

As a kid, my Thanksgiving dinner plate consisted of three items: caesar salad (excluding the white crunchy parts), white turkey meat and cranberries. I was so picky, I wouldn’t even try the stuffing because of the green bits of parsley and celery. Vegetables were the enemy.

Nowadays, I enjoy turkey-free Thanksgiving dinners and don’t gravitate towards the cranberry sauce. But it’s such a festive part of the holiday, I got thinking about how I could use them in a dessert. Here’s the result: Cranberry Coconut Cheesecake Bars with an oatmeal coconut crust.

These are perfect if you have cranberry leftovers…hope you enjoy!!

Ingredients

Layer one: The Crust

1.5 c. oats
1.5 c. coconut flakes
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

Layer two: The Cheesecake

1.5 c. soaked cashews
the hard coconut cream from 1 can coconut cream
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt

Layer three: The Cranberry Sauce

2 x 227g bags + 1 c. of raw cranberries (this portion doesn’t have to be too specific — just make sure you have enough cranberry sauce for your layer in a 9×9″ baking dish
1/4 c. maple syrup
water

Layer four: The Crumble Topping

1.5 c. oats
3/4 c. almond meal
1/2 c. melted vegan butter (or coconut oil)
1/3 c. + 2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
1.5 tsp cinnamon
splash almond extract (optional)
pinch cardamom (optional)
pinch freshly ground nutmeg (optional)

Directions

Layer one: The Crust

  1. In a food processor, blend oats into a flour, then add coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup and salt and mix until combined.
  2. Line a 9″x9″ baking pan with parchment paper (and grease any part of the pan that’s still exposed)
  3. With hands, press your crust ingredients into a smooth even layer in the base of the pan and place in freezer while you work on the rest.

Layer two: The Cheesecake

  1. Blend all cheesecake filling ingredients until silky smooth in a high-powered blender then pour into your baking dish as the second layer. You may have a little excess to nibble on. Return dish to freezer.

Layer three: The Cranberry Sauce

  1. Make cranberries according to package instructions (I use maple syrup instead of sugar though — and because of the extra liquid involved, I reduce the water portion a bit). You can’t really go wrong here…if too runny, just continue to cook cranberries until the water reduces. Set aside in fridge to cool.

Layer four: The Crumble Topping

  1. In a bowl, combine all topping ingredients.
  2. If you don’t have almond meal but do have almonds, you can quickly make your meal by blending almonds in a food processor until they form a flour.
  3. With your hands, add topping mixture to your baking dish and press down gently so the oat mixture sticks to the cranberries. Place dish back in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. When ready, slice and serve…maybe with vanilla ice cream? My favourite brands are Nice Vice, Luna and Larry’s, Virtuous Pie, Earnest Ice Cream’s vegan flavour and Rain or Shine’s vegan flavour.

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