This Paleo Strawberry Pretzel Salad is a grain free version of the classic dessert. A pecan crust, dairy free cheesecake layer and homemade strawberry jello topping. It’s fresh, delicious and gluten free, dairy free and naturally sweetened.
I used to love the original version of this dessert. Crushed pretzels, sugar and butter as the base, a cream cheese layer then topped with boxed jello and sliced strawberries. A remake has been on my list to make for a while, but I wasn’t sure how hard it was going to be. It’s really not bad, just takes a little time since everything is from scratch. I made this in one hour which included getting pans and bowls out and chopping the pecans.
Paleo Pretzel Crust
Of course pretzels are used for the crust so pecans give that same crunch that pretzels do. They really work well and the salt added gives it the familiar saltiness. The ghee gives it the buttery taste, but butter flavored coconut oil can be used if you need dairy free. The crust is sweetened just slightly with coconut sugar.
Paleo Cream Cheese
This layer uses cashew-based cheesecake that I’ve used for many recipes. It’s creamy, sweet, and has a slight tang from the lemon juice. It pairs so well with the crunchy sweet crust.
Paleo Strawberry Jello
This layer takes a little time, but it’s not hard. Making homemade jello is simple and just uses strawberries (fresh or frozen), water, and grass fed gelatin. This layer is a little thicker than using box jello, but it all balances together perfectly. It’s sweetened almost all with just the strawberries and only a little maple syrup is added.
I didn’t have fresh strawberries to use for the sliced ones in the jello layer so I used frozen that I thawed out. It worked fine and I think fresh would be a little better, but don’t let that stop you from making them if you don’t have fresh.
I know you will love this paleo strawberry pretzel salad. It is sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy and just so amazing. A great summer dessert that is sure to be enjoyed.
Here are some more summer desserts to make:
Paleo Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- First, make sure the cashews are soaked. You can soak them in hot water for 1 hour or cold water for 4-8 hours. If using hot water, change the water once to keep it warm.
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 8×8 (or 9×9) pan with parchment paper.
- Make the crust. Combine the almond flour, pecans, salt, coconut sugar, and ghee in a medium bowl. Mix together until well combined. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Make sure it is really pressed in well. Bake for 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Let cool at least 30 minutes before topping with cheesecake layer.
- While the crust is baking, make the strawberry jello. Heat strawberries and water over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until strawberries are soft. Turn off heat and blend with an immersion blender. Pour through a fine mesh strainer. Add in the maple syrup and salt.
- Mix gelatin and water together to form a paste. Add to the strawberry mixture, return to the pan and cook over medium heat until gelatin is completely mixed in, about 3 minutes. Pour back into the measuring cup and let cool. Skim off any foam on top. Reserve the sliced straweberries for assembling.
- Make the cheesecake. Drain the cashews and add them to a high powdered blender. Add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and lemon juice. Blend on high until creamy and no lumps remain. Scoop into a bowl until ready to be used.
- Time to assemle. Once the crust has cooled for at least 30 minutes, top with the cheesecake layer. Spread it all the way to the edges of the pan, making sure the gelatin layer won't reach the crust. Place it in the fridge for 1 hour to chill. Remove it from the fridge and carefully pour the strawberry jello on top. Top with slices strawberries and return to the frdige for at least 4 hours for the gelatin to set.
- Store covered in the fridge up to 7 days.