I can remember a time when the word “cheesecake” inflicted euphoric thoughts. Stop laughing—it actually did. It was my all-time favorite dessert in my teens and twenties. Yes, my cheesecake obsession span over several decades.
My two favorites at the time were Romano Macaroni Grill’s NY Style Cheesecake with a Caramel Sauce and Olive Garden’s Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake. My college roommate and I would make frequent visits to New York’s Times Square Olive Garden in order to infiltrate this very cheesecake whenever we finished a big school project. As a penniless college student, I was so committed to our routine that I would charge it to my credit card. Every. Single. Time.
After college and as I reached my thirties, the desire for the decadent dessert was still there, but the pounds it added to my lower region gave new insight to the phrase “junk in the trunk,” so I was not as dedicated to frequenting the Olive Garden.
I would still indulge from time to time, but I noticed that besides the weight gain, there was another by-product of my cheesecake consumption – the stomach aches. Sometimes, out of the blue, I would experience stomach cramping soon after eating it. I wasn’t medically diagnosed as lactose-intolerant, but eating rich and decadent cheesecake began to challenge that.
Because I was never a big fan of taking a pill in order to eat a dessert rich in dairy, my relationship with cheesecake regrettably diminished – – well, kinda. A girl can dream.
EP4L’s plant-based – yes, dairy-free All-American Berry Cheesecake will satisfy your cheesecake craving without causing the painful side effects for the dairy sensitive. It’s light and creamy with a hint of lemon flavor and it won’t leave you feeling bloated like the regular stuff.
The Vegan gingersnap crust adds another layer of sweetness. If you’re not a gingersnap fan, Oreo cookies (minus the cream filling) or graham crackers can be crushed and used instead.
The fruit topping can be fresh fruit or canned pie filling. I used fresh fruit because I’m not a huge fan of the added sugars and artificial colors associated with most pie fillings.
Create a flag theme and serve to cap off a Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Independence Day gathering.
Prefer to make individual servings? Make them into shooters! I made these two ways – one with a gingersnap crumbs and the other with Vegan chocolate cookie crumbs.