Vegan Cherry Cheesecake…Using Chickpeas!

Super creamy vegan cheesecake made from chickpeas…no added fats, no dairy, no baking time. It’s actually pretty unbelievable.

In my last post on oil-free falafels, I showed you how I separated the chickpea pulp from the chickpea “milk” before adding in the spices and cooking them up. As I was waiting for the falafels to grill, I actually went to work right away experimenting with a dessert using the chickpea milk. I am so stoked about how it turned out!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients for the cheesecake portion:

  • Chickpea milk (click here to see how to make it)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Lemon juice (lemon zest also works nicely)
  • Sugar, or sweetener of choice
  • Salt (optional)

Ingredients for the base of the cheesecake:

  • I used milled golden roasted flaxseeds mixed with maple sugar, but crumbled up cookies or granola also worked beautifully. (Or, for something a little more decadent, try blending up some dates with almonds and using that as the base!)

I started by heating the chickpea milk on the stove at medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula to keep it from burning. After about 10 to 15 minutes the chickpea milk will start to get quite thick, like custard. The thicker you can get it, the better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once it’s nice and thick, mix in all the ingredients (vanilla, some lemon juice, sugar, and a bit of salt if you like). Then, just lay down your cookie crumbs or roasted flaxseeds at the bottom of some little ramekins, and pour the batter over top. Place the dishes in the fridge to set.

One super important tip — you have to resist the urge to dig in right away! At the very least, let it sit for 24 hours. If you can manage 48 hours, that’s even better. The longer it sits, the creamier and firmer the cake gets. That way, the lemon juice also has the chance to get infused into the batter. It’s absolutely worth the wait!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For the topping, I just made my own cherry sauce by heating together some frozen cherries, sugar and starch. I also tried another batch with blueberry compote, which was also delicious. I found that it was best to put the topping on right away, before letting the cheesecake sit in the fridge for 24-48 hours. This gives the flavors a chance to permeate into the rest of the cake. Enjoy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Japanese “Snowstorm” Sweets

In Japanese, they’re called fubuki which literally means snowstorm. I just love the name! It suits these sweets perfectly. Now that I think about it, they do look a bit like a snowball or a big rock covered in snow.

The outside is a very thin layer of steamed bread made with yam powder, wheat flour and sugar. On the inside is a generous amount of thick, sweet red bean paste. So simple, but incredibly delicious. A lot of Japanese steamed confectioneries have red bean paste in them, but very few have this much! For that reason alone, I’m completely sold on fubuki! It’s like eating a giant ball of bean paste, which happens to be one of my favorite Japanese sweets.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Japanese Bakery, Sweet Red Bean Bread

Without a doubt, one of my favorite things about Japan is its amazing bakeries. The bread is always so fluffy and rich, and the variety is incredible. Bread here is served up in every imaginable flavor, shape, and color, and most come with a whole range of fillings as well, from sweet to savory.

I recently visited this little bakery where everything is handmade fresh each morning. I arrived only slightly past lunchtime and most of the buns had already been bought up. Luckily, there was just one single anpan bun left and I quickly put it on my tray before that disappeared, too!

Anpan are one of the most traditional types of Japanese buns. The bread is sweet and very soft, and inside they are filled with a special red bean jam that tastes a lot like chocolate. They’re a classic. Sooo good!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Super Easy Apple Pecan Crumble (vegan)

I went out into the garden and picked a basket full of apples to make this really simple and healthy apple crumble. The variety of apples that we have growing on the tree is called Transparent, and they are absolutely perfect for cooking. Just a little bit of heat applied for a even short time will turn the skin soft so you don’t need to peel them at all. If you want to make apple sauce (which I often do!), just heat it a bit longer, mix everything with a spoon, and the apples pretty much puree themselves!

apple crumble2

To start with, I sliced up about twelve apples and arranged them in a pie dish. For the crumble topping, I took some rolled oats, pecans, brown sugar, a bit of flour and just a touch of room temperature vegan butter, and mixed this all together very thoroughly. Sprinkle this over the apples and that’s pretty much all there is to it! You can either bake this in the oven, or what I usually do is just pop it in the microwave for just over ten minutes until the apples are soft. The crumble tastes incredible served with soy milk custard or some coconut ice cream.

apple crumble

My First Vegan Doughnut!

Time and time again, I’m getting pleasantly surprised by how the world seems to be quickly getting really vegan-friendly. I went to my grad school orientation the other day, not sure what I’d be able to eat at breakfast or the lunch BBQ…but the university pulled through. Vegan chocolate doughnuts and burgers! Amaaazing!

Date & Bran Breakfast Biscuit!

Now back at home, I enjoyed my cozy little breakfast of a cup of tea and strawberries, together with a date & bran biscuit – one of my favorites growing up.

I just veganized the recipe by substituting the buttermilk for some rich organic soy milk, no problem =)

First, mix all the wet ingredients together:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2 and 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups bran
Mix all the dry ingredients separately:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
Then, stir everything together, adding in 1 cup of chopped dates.
Bake it in the oven at 375 F for 20mins.
…Thought I’d include the recipe this time because they’re just that good 😀