Our no-bake Strawberry-Banana Icebox Cake is raw, vegan, paleo and as delicious as it is healthful.
Depending on how you look at it, dessert is either a sweet treat to enjoy after a sensible dinner or a fool-proof way to foul up your strict regimen. But what if dessert was just another part of the meal, a source of lean proteins, plant fiber, healthy fats–and delicious to boot? I first made the Strawberry-Banana Icebox Cake for the birthday of a friend whose dedication to yoga and a paleo diet keep her lithe, trim and in a bikini at 82 years old. I knew we needed to serve some kind of cake on her birthday, but I was loath to choose between a traditional confection that the birthday girl wouldn’t eat or a crunchy granola cake that the rest of the party guests would eschew? Instead, we settled on the Strawberry-Banana Icebox Cake which made everyone happy and expanded my consciousness of what is possible in the realm of delicious and healthful.
Strawberry-Banana Icebox Cake
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup flaxseeds
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 5 large medjool dates
- ¼ cup raw, unprocessed coconut oil
- 1 t Maple Syrup
- 1 T pure vanilla extract
- 4 ripe bananas, skinned chopped and frozen
- 2 pints of fresh or frozen strawberries, cleaned and de-stemmed
- ¼ cup Maple Syrup
- 1 T pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 ½ cups of raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained
- ⅓ cup raw, unprocessed coconut oil
- ¼ cup ground, desiccated unsweetened coconut
Start by assembling all of the ingredients you will need to make the recipe. Skin, chop and freeze 4 bananas the night before you plan to make the cake. About a half hour before, soak 2 cups of cashews (enough for the crust and the body) and ½ cup almonds in small bowls, covered with hot water to soften up their texture. Drain and pour the almonds and ½ cup of the cashews into a high powered blender such as a Vitamix. Set aside the other 1 1/2 cups of cashews to use in the body of the cake. Add the chia, flax, hemp, dates, vanilla and coconut oil into the Vitamix and blend until you have a paste composed of finely-ground elements. Natural ingredients can vary in their moisture content, so add a few drops of coconut oil if your paste is too thick.
Prepare a 10 square inch plastic container or metal pan with at least 1-inch in depth (or a round container of a similar size.) Cut a thick piece of cardboard to fit into the pan precisely, and cover it with foil or parchment. This will make it easier to serve the cake on a platter upon completion.
Remove the nut mixture from the blender with a spatula, and tamp it down evenly across the bottom and sides of the square container. Place the crust in the freezer while you prepare the body of your cake.
Rinse out your Vitamix after you finish preparing the crust. Add the bananas, strawberries, Maple Syrup, Vanilla, cashews, coconut oil and coconut and blend until smooth, frothy and firm. Pour the body into the crust and place back in the freezer on a level surface to set for at least four hours. Decorate your cake with fresh fruit, if desired, before plating.
Makes nine 150-calorie servings.