Everday seems to be a Food Holiday. This month alone, we’ve had Vanilla Ice Cream Day, Bagelfest Day, Milk Chocolate Day and even Hot Dog Day to name a few. But did you know that today is National Cheesecake Day?
Rich & creamy cake made with several big blocks of sweetened cream cheese, baked on a buttery graham cracker crust and topped with whip cream. Oh my! Then consider all the flavors that can be blended in this creamy goodness and the toppings you can add to it,,, its a dessert with endless possibilities.
Possibilities that even allow anyone to make it free of dairy by using alternative options such as tofu or cashews. Isn’t that exciting news? I know it makes me happy just thinking about it. Not just because its a dessert, and I LOVE DESSERT, but because it removes the distance between me and my dairy loving friends. No longer do I say “No, I can’t have that”, but instead I say “Want to come over for cheesecake and coffee?”
I have to thank Alicia Silverstone for this recipe and for helping me out of my cooking funk when my son was diagnosed with food allergies 8 years ago. Her cookbook, The Kind Diet, was one of the first I turned to that showed me how cooking without dairy or eggs was possible. It also helped me as I turned towards eating a Vegan diet. And not only is this recipe Vegan-friendly, but it is also nut-free friendly. So many vegan type recipes use some type of nut as its base, such as cashews, macadamias or almonds, but for us with a nut allergy in the home, that just isn’t possible. Instead, this recipe uses tofu, and it’s ok to be a snob and buy only organic, non-GMO. In fact, please do!
For anyone who has Gluten sensitivity, I haven’t forgotten about you either. Simply substitute GF graham crackers for your base. You’ll never know the difference.
Mixed Berry Cheesecake
Yield 8 people
Cheesecake at its finest, made with vegan ingredients, completely nut free & gluten free. Topped with fresh mixed berries. Adapted from The Kind Diet.
3/4 cup Earth Balance butter (soy free, v, gf)
2 cups GF graham cracker crumbs
1 (12oz) silken tofu
1 cup non-dairy cream cheese
1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup maple syrup (plus additional for berries)
1/4 cup So Delicious coconut milk (or other non dairy milk of choice)
2 teaspoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Fresh mixed berries for topping (or use frozen berries, thawed and drained)
- Preheat oven to 250°. Lightly spray or oil a 8" springform pan.
- Melt butter in small saucepan. Turn off heat and stir in graham crumbs. Press crumb mixture into bottom and slightly up the sides of prepared pan.
- Bake 5 minutes then cool completely.
- Combine tofu, cream cheese, oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, arrowroot and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth then pour into cooled graham crust.
- Bake 45-60 minutes, until set. Let cool at room temperature.
- Top with fresh berries, tossed with 2 teaspoons of maple syrup if desired for glazed effect. Chill at least 1 hr or until ready to serve.
Not every product mentioned is TOP 8 Safe. Some labels state that they are "made in a facility that has...". Be sure to double check to make sure what you use is safe for your family.