As the clouds settled low in the sky, we threw on our boots, hopped in the truck and drove North. The city blocks turned to pasture and rolling hills dotted the horizon. It felt good to be out of the city; to have more space, more trees, more fresh air. After an hour or so, we pulled  into Bow Hill Blueberries for a visit. The farm, run by Susan and Harley, is the oldest blueberry farm in the Skagit Valley. It is rich in history and planted with heirloom varieties, each with unique flavors and characteristics. Susan and Harley take pride in the history of the farm and their berry bushes and farm organically, focusing on soil health and waste reduction. They make several products with the smaller berry varieties that they can’t sell fresh, including a kick-ass cold pressed blueberry juice and blueberry powder made from the pulp that is leftover after juicing. I love that Susan and Harley decided to turn the spent blueberry skins into a value added product instead of throwing it all away. Not only is this product sustainable, it’s nutrient dense. Each eight ounce bag of Organic Heirloom Blueberry Powder contains the skins of 2000 blueberries. This stuff is packed with fiber, manganese, iron and vitamin C and is great in smoothies or if you’re feeling fancy, in this Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake. This cheesecake is dairy free, refined sugar free, super creamy and just right for the Easter weekend. Enjoy!

*This post was sponsored by Bow Hill Blueberries. Thank you for supporting Tending the Table by supporting it’s sponsors. As always, 10% of proceeds go to supporting sustainable agriculture. 

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake

Makes 1 4 1/2 x 14-inch cake

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CRUST

5 ounces (1 package) graham crackers

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

8 pitted medjool dates

pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING

2 cups soaked cashews*

1 cup well-stirred, full fat coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

juice and zest from 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

4 tablespoons Bow Hill Heirloom Blueberry Powder

FOR THE TOPPING

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

3 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup puffed millet

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/4 cup freeze dried blueberries, roughly chopped

Bow Hill Heirloom Blueberry Powder

PROCEDURE

FOR THE CRUST

Using a neutral flavored oil, grease the sides and bottom of a 4 1/2 x 14-inch pan with a removal bottom. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment. Alternatively, use an 8-inch springform pan and double the filling recipe.

Place the graham crackers in a food processor and process until a fine crumb forms. Add the coconut oil and dates and continue processing until the dates are fully incorporated and the crust holds together when pinched between two fingers. Transfer to the prepared pan and press firmly with the bottom of a measuring cup until smooth and well packed. Set aside.

FOR THE FILLING

Combine the filling ingredients in the container of a high speed blender and blend on high for 60-90 seconds, pausing to scrape down the sides of the container once or twice, until the filling is completely smooth. Pour the filling into the pan and carefully smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

FOR THE TOPPING

Combine the puffed millet and chia seeds in a bowl. In a skillet set over medium heat, warm the coconut oil and honey until bubbling. Whisk constantly for 30-60 seconds, until the syrup is smooth and uniform. Pour the syrup over the puffed millet and chia and stir well to combine. Gently press the topping into the top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle the freeze dried blueberries on top.

Freeze for 1-2 hours, until firm.

Before serving, dust the edges of the cheesecake with blueberry powder.

The cheesecake can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for several days. If frozen, let thaw for 1-2 hours before serving.

*To make the soaked cashews: Place 1 1/2 cups raw cashews in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit for 2 hours. Drain and use.