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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Sweet Potato Rice

I picked up some lovely Japanese sweet potatoes at the market the other day. The Japanese variety are a deep red on the outside and yellow inside, with almost a slight chestnut-like flavour. In Japan, they are not only used in savory dishes, but are also baked, candied, dried, mashed, ground into flour, etc., and then used in all sorts of sweets.

I have heard of a very traditional style of using sweet potatoes, where people would dice them up and put them in the rice cooker along with their rice. The potatoes get perfectly steamed and the rice is infused with just a mild sweetness. I tried it out for the first time, and I absolutely love this! I also sprinkled on some sesame seeds for extra flavour.

For fun, here are just some of the creative ways that sweet potatoes and purple Okinawan sweet potatoes are used in confectioneries in Japan. They can be mashed into a paste, baked inside a thin layer of sweet dough, and then coated with cinnamon. Or, they can even be baked into little muffins! I have also seen them used in custards, rice crackers, and whipped up into a sort of sweet potato icing. But anyways, I definitely recommend trying out the rice!

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Samosa Squares

I had a lot of potatoes in the house so I decided to cook them into a potato masala with peas and onions. That alone with some rice or chapati is one of my favourite meals, but for dinner I tried baking these really neat little oil-free samosa squares out of atta flour, which is the same kind of flour that I would have used to make the chapati. So, maybe they’re more like chapati squares, or potato paratha squares. I don’t know…what would you call them? Anyhow, with a little chutney on the side, they were fantastic!

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Rosemary and Carom Seed Scones

I made half a dozen little scones using my soy flour, atta flour and wheat flour mix, and just for fun I made each one with its own unique toppings. There was one of each of: rosemary, banana, chocolate, cherry, blueberry, and last but not least, one with ajwain/carom seeds. This last idea was something that I picked up while in India, where I was often served cookies sprinkled with these little savory seeds. I already had some sitting around the kitchen, but now I know how to put them to great use!

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Soy and Atta Flour Biscuits

Here’s another recent creation using my soy, atta, and wheat flour mix! I took about five heaping tbsp of the flour blend and added some water, a pinch of salt, and a teaspoon of agave. I kneaded it all together, pinched the dough into two pieces and flattened them out by hand, and then I just put them into the contact grill until they had browned. The atta and soy flours added such a great flavour, and they came out similar to freshly baked biscuits or scones…Super easy and really really delicious!

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Wheat, Atta, and Soy Flour Bread Mix

I recently made a flour mix that I’ve been experimenting with for a few different recipes, and so far everything has been turning out great!

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I sifted together the following ingredients into a big jar so that I have a ready-made mix:

  • 3 cups atta flour
  • 6  heaping tbsp wheat flour
  • 6  heaping tbsp  soy flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

— The first thing I tried out was some steamed muffins.

A couple weeks ago, I posted about a steamed banana muffin that I had made, but that time I used only wheat flour. I have just made the same kind of thing again only this time using the new mixture. It gives a bit of a different flavour (atta and soy flour have very distinct flavours) and a less chewy texture.

To make a single muffin, I take 2 heaping tbsp of this flour mix, and stir it in with 1/2 ripe banana, agave, and a pinch of salt. I scoop the batter into a little bowl and steam it on the stove for about 15 minutes. I tried making two different muffins, adding in sunflower seeds for one; and beet juice, blueberries, and a little extra banana for the other to make it into a bit more of a pudding.

I’m also trying out this same flour mix to cook up a few other things which I will let you guys know about soon!