I get a lot of requests to review products and most are so off the wall (sugar laden protein bars, soft spoonable cheese yogurt… uh, yeah), that I don’t even entertain the idea. But when Windy City Organics reached out, I didn’t have to give it a second thought!
I was already a huge fan of their raw & sprouted nut/seed butters since they are much easier on my digestion than non-sprouted and/or roasted alternatives. I use the Pumpkin Seed Butter regularly to make an easy-peasy beautifully green milk. Just blend 2 tablespoons with 4 cups water and you’ve got a creamy seed milk that stays fairly emulsified, likely due to the extremely smooth, low-temperature (under 110F!), stone ground nature of their butters.
Their Sprouted Almond Butter and Raw Sesame Tahini, a few of the other products in their line of Dastony Nut & Seed Butters, are just a smooth and creamy! They work really well to bind the pecan crust in this Salted Caramel Cheesecake recipe. So much so that you can forgo the dates altogether if you are wanting to go light on the sweetness. I made baby renditions of the cheesecake to try out a few of the nut butters in the crust. The Almond Butter and Pumpkin Seed Butter were my favorites, but the Tahini also worked really well and gave the crust an even more nutty taste.
As for the Raw Coconut Butter, I honestly don’t think I’ve had one that’s as smooth as this! It’s what coconut butter should be. (Can you tell I’m a really tough coconut butter critic?) So many are often dry and crumbly but not this one! It was rich and moist all throughout, making it perfect addition to the cheesecake. It thickens the cream filling and acts as an amazing binder.
Hands down my favorite items to try were the chocolates from their line of Rawmio Organic Chocolate Spreads & Bars. Having owned a small artisan chocolates business years back, chocolate is another thing I get very opinionated about. Particularly raw chocolate.
In most chocolate, the beans are roasted. And without this step, the chocolate can often come out bitter. But let me tell you, there was absolutely zero bitterness to any of theirs. Extremely creamy and melt-in-your-mouth, I was amazed that it was not only raw but sweetened with just coconut sugar AND free of emulsifiers like soy-lecithin. All of my chocolate requirements satisfied in one fail swoop!
You have GOT to try the Chocolate Covered Sweet Cherries and the Chocolate Covered Macaroons! Seriously, seriously decadent. And my husband loved the Raw Chocolate Truffle Cake (which I sadly couldn’t try due to my cashew allergy).
So as a thank you for reading my thoughts on all things Windy City Organics, they are offering all BRG readers a whopping 20% discount off of their Stone Ground Nut/Seed Butters over at their shop RawGuru.com!
20% off coupon code = DABROOT20
Head over to RawGuru.com to take advantage of this really generous coupon code. All orders over $49 ship for free! PLUS all of their Rawmio chocolate is also 25% for the next 5 days so now is a great time to stock up!
Questions on any of the products I tried or about how to use them in this recipe? Let me know in the comments below!
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Salted Caramel Cheesecake
1.5 c. pecans, soaked 2 hours*
2 tbsp. softened butter, ghee, or coconut oil
6-8 large medjool dates (optional for sweetness)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. sea salt
Vanilla Cream Filling:
2 14-oz. cans full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
¼ c. melted coconut oil
1 vanilla bean, seeded (or this vanilla bean powder)
2-4 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Topping:
1 c. honey
⅔ c. coconut cream (the thick top portion after the can has been refrigerated)
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. butter, ghee, or coconut oil
Depending on your preferences, either dehydrate the pecans at 115F for 12-18 hours (turning halfway through) OR roast at 375F for 5-10 minutes (or until golden). If roasting, allow them to cool before proceeding.
Prepare the crust by combining the cooled pecans with the remaining crust ingredients in the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse until the mix is coarse, crumbly and sticky looking. Press into a 9-inch springform pan in an even layer along the bottom and partway up the sides. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
While the crust is chilling, prepare the filling by combining all of the filling ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until very smooth, about 60 seconds. Stir through with a large spoon to ensure there are no lumps of coconut butter left and blend again, as needed.
Pour the filling into the chilled crust, place the pan on a sheet pan to keep it flat, and move it to the freezer for 1 hour. It’s important to freeze at this step rather than just refrigerate so that the coconut oil doesn’t have time to separate. After the hour of freezing, move the cheesecake to the refrigerator a minimum 2 hours, or until serving. Pull the cheesecake out of the fridge to soften about 15 minutes before slicing.
Before serving, prepare the caramel by combining the honey, coconut cream, and sea salt in a medium saucepan. Mix thoroughly and place a candy thermometer in the pot. Cook over medium heat until the caramel reaches 300F, about 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens greatly and turns a dark caramel color. Remove from the heat, add vanilla extract and butter, and whisk together until creamy. Allow to cool slightly before topping over the cheesecake.
*Notes: the original version of this caramel recipe can be seen here (don’t judge the old school photos, thanks). If you aren’t feeling it, this pretty awesome vegan date caramel sauce works really well in a pinch.
Disclaimer: this post was brought to you by Windy City Organics. All thoughts and opinions are honest and 100% my own.