Cheesecake happens to be one of my all-time favorite desserts! Did you know that you can make a whole-food, plant-based cheesecake that tastes out of this world delicious? Well, you can. And you should! I made this cheesecake for a family party and received ample praise. Everyone kept saying, “Are you sure there is no dairy in this?” and “This tastes incredible!” Yes, my friends, it is possible to create amazing nutrient-dense desserts without dairy, refined sugar, or yucky chemicals that you can’t pronounce! Give this cheesecake a try and impress your family and friends! *Note: You can sub out the cranberries in this cheesecake for berries, cherries, or chocolate chips! Yummy!
1/4 cup agave nectar
20 drops plain or vanilla-flavor stevia liquid
2 teaspoons chia meal
1 tablespoon almond milk
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract (I used 1/4 teaspoon doTerra lemon essential oil)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend of choice
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, solid at room temperature
1 cup fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
20 drops plain or vanilla-flavor liquid stevia
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup whole-grain dry millet
1 cup almond milk
1 (12-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/3 cup light agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (I used 1/8 teaspoon doTerra lemon oil)
Zest of 1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut butter (not coconut oil)
Grease an 8- or 81/2-inch springform pan or line it with parchment paper.
To make Cookie Crust, whisk together agave, stevia, chia meal, milk, lemon extract and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. Drop coconut oil by small spoonfuls over dry ingredients. Using your hands, pinch mixture between your thumb and fingers until it comes together and the oil is completely blended into the flour. Mixture should appear crumbly but hold together when squeezed. (All coconut oil should be blended into the flour.) Add wet mixture to the dry and stir well to create a soft dough. Pat dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
To make Cranberry Swirl, place ingredients in a small pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture bubbles and most of the cranberries have popped, Lower heat. Cover and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make Cheesecake Filling, place millet and almond milk in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir and then lower heat to simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the milk is absorbed. Add coconut milk, agave and salt. Return to boil. Then lower heat again and continue to simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until millet is extremely soft, the grains have begun to fall apart and mixture is very thick. (Stir often to avoid scorching.) Continue to cook until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest and lemon juice (don’t add coconut butter yet).
Transfer mixture to a high-powered blender and blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, until perfectly smooth and silky with no trace of grittiness from the millet. This could take a few minutes. (If your blender isn’t high-powered, blend mixture in small batches of 1/2 cup; transfer to a bowl after each batch.) Once mixture is smooth, transfer to a bowl and stir in coconut butter by hand until perfectly incorporated. Set aside.
Place crust in preheated oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes until top is dry and sides are just beginning to brown. Remove crust from oven and pour Cheesecake Filling over it.
With a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of Cranberry Filling randomly over the cheesecake. Gently swirl with the tip of a knife, taking care not to cut into the crust.
Return to preheated oven and bake an additional 30 minutes, until top is dry and edges are just beginning to brown.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate cheesecake at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. (Recipe source: Living Without)