Summary: Contrary to what Anthony Bourdain once stated, vegans are foodies. We don’t subsist on a diet of nuts and berries, and many of us love sweet treats. If you’ve given up dairy products, you might occasionally long for a creamy dessert. Cheesecake was one of the things we missed the most, until we discovered that silken tofu, whipped in a blender, makes a concoction similar to cream cheese. The walnut/maple syrup crust is gluten-free and delicious. This recipe is inexpensive, easy to make, and well worth a try.

Contrary to what Anthony Bourdain once stated, vegans are foodies. We don’t subsist on a diet of nuts and berries, and many of us love sweet treats. If you’ve given up dairy products, you might occasionally long for a creamy dessert. Cheesecake was one of the things we missed the most, until we discovered that silken tofu, whipped in a blender, makes a concoction similar to cream cheese. The walnut/maple syrup crust is gluten-free and delicious. This recipe is inexpensive, easy to make, and well worth a try.

INGREDIENTS
4 cups ground walnuts (if you own a grinder, this part should go quickly. If you do the grinding by hand, like we did, the process will take longer, and your walnuts will be coarser)
¼ cup maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup!)
2 lbs silken tofu
1 cup turbinado sugar (not commercial white sugar, it’s usually NOT vegan)
3 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon sea salt (not the iodized commercial variety)
2 tablespoons lemon zest (approximately 1 lemon)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS
Crush walnuts to the best of your ability and combine with maple syrup. Mixture will be slightly sticky, but not gooey. Press the mixture inside a greased cake pan (we love coconut oil, but olive is good, as well) and place into refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Make lemon zest by rubbing a lemon against a fine grater until the peel is completely grated. Then combine the tofu, lemon zest, sugar, almond butter, vanilla extract, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon in a blender or food processor and whip until smooth and frothy.

Remove pan from refrigerator and pour mixture directly into crust. Be sure to fill completely to the top. Your cheesecake will not rise while cooking, so you needn’t worry about overfilling. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. The edges will be slightly browned, but the center should be slightly wobbly. Remove from oven, set on counter to cool for 1 hour, then transfer to refrigerator and chill for 2-3 hours.

cheesecake

This cheesecake will be somewhat heartier than the conventional variety, with a thicker texture. Serve as is, or with fresh berries or a drizzle of vegan chocolate sauce. Serves 6, but everyone had better be hungry. Your dessert keeps well in the refrigerator and will taste even better the next day. Yum! Enjoy.

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Summary: Some folks persist in thinking that folks who follow a vegan, gluten-free diet eat nothing but nuts and seeds. If you have a friend or relative who harbors this belief, slice a couple of pieces of banana bread from this rich, moist loaf ...

bread

Some folks persist in thinking that folks who follow a vegan, gluten-free diet eat nothing but nuts and seeds. If you have a friend or relative who harbors this belief, slice a couple of pieces of banana bread from this rich, moist loaf and place them in front of her/him. Then sit back and smile. S/he will be singing a different tune after the first bite and might even beg you for the recipe. You’ll be amazed by how easy it is to make this bread, and how delicious it tastes. Here’s how:

INGREDIENTS
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour blend (Bob’s 1/1 is still our absolute favorite for baking).
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder (check label to make sure it’s aluminum-free)
½ teaspoon sea salt
7/8 cup organic turbinado sugar or coconut sugar (these sugars are always vegan, unlike
commercial sugar, and they taste much better, as well)
1/3 cup coconut oil or organic canola oil (coconut oil is our favorite—naturally sweet).
2 very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup water

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
¼ cup vegan, gluten-free chocolate chips (be sure to check ingredients on package)
¼ cup poppyseeds

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If you choose coconut oil, heat in pan on stove top or for 15-20 seconds in microwave until
liquefied. In large bowl, mash bananas with fork until all lumps are gone. Pour coconut or canola
oil into bowl and combine with banana mixture. Add apple cider vinegar, water, and vanilla
extract and beat to a nice froth. A large spoon will do well for this task. Blend in the dry ingredients, starting with baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then add the sugar and flour. When all ingredients are thoroughly combined, grease a small bread pan with coconut oil and pour mixture inside. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a fork or toothpick placed in the center comes out clean. Meanwhile, your entire kitchen will be filled with the most delectable aroma!

Serve as is, or with maple syrup, Earth Balance, vegan butter, almond butter, or any other topping of your choice. It’s great for breakfast, dessert, or a late night snack. Serves 4-6, but two people can gobble down this bread in a matter of hours, if not sooner. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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