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Blueberry Heaven

November 14, 2013

Nut-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free "Cheesecake"

Nut-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free “Cheesecake”

Recently, my husband and I went on a trip to Far North Queensland and participated in an Organic Experience Food Tour.

We toured the hinterland region of Cairns and saw vanilla being hand pollinated at the Broken Nose Vanilla Farm, had lunch cooked by the gorgeous and very talented, Jo Whitton of Quirky Cooking fame and learnt about fermented vegetables with Wayne Rankine at his biodynamic farm, Brolgas Pass.

Immature vanilla pods on the vine

Immature vanilla pods on the vine

The lovely Jo Whitton

The lovely Jo Whitton

 

 

 

The highlight for my dear husband, was our visit to the biodynamic dairy farm, Mungalli Creek, where we sampled yoghurts and cream and cheese before being served an enormous morning tea of cheesecake.

It became very evident how much that my (long-suffering) husband has missed real cheesecake in his life! Being dairy free since 2011, I have stopped cooking with dairy (except butter) and my cheesecake making days are few and far between. I have made lots of non-dairy efforts, which I might add, have been pretty successful and well received, but had not quite cut it for my ever supportive husband!

His eyes lit up like saucers when he was presented with a HUGE piece of REAL cheesecake, chock laden with dairy cream and fresh cheese (and SUGAR and mango)!  He polished it off and was eyeballing my piece before I had even started!

Yes, I did have a piece, albeit a smaller one, and yes, it was yummy – overly sweet for my non-sugar adapted palate – but a very very yummy non baked cheesecake. Although I have a dairy intolerance rather than allergy, I choose to stay away from dairy as my skin & brain behaves itself better. I was expecting a bit of a lactose influenced gut ache afterwards which didn’t eventuate, but did suffer a brain fog the following days.

Oh well, what’s that 80/20 rule again? The best thing about digressing from conscious food choices is learning what makes you feel well and what doesn’t. I don’t think I will ever go back to drinking cow juice again but imbibing once in a blue moon isn’t going to worry me.

But…….what digressing does do to me is open up a can of worms! It sends me into an experimenting frenzy – when there’s a will, there’s a way! I had to repeat the taste sensation WITHOUT the milk! I had to get my husbands eyes to light up like saucers for MY cheesecake!! he he he!!

After several attempts (read 4) I came up with this recipe. My previous attempts used almonds and macadamias as the base, but I couldn’t get away from the “slight graininess” on my tongue that these bases create, however creamy they are. So I decided to go nut free. This resulted in the dilemma of what is going to give me the substance to the cake? I had read about using young coconut flesh and decided to give this a try.

Don’t be put off by using young coconut flesh as I first was. Young coconuts can be very fickle as to how much flesh they will provide. They are predominantly bred for their water, which is delicious, so weight is no measure.

The soft gel like flesh can be thick or thin and like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get until you open one! I used 3 coconuts at $2.50 each so they are cheaper than using macadamias!! They also have the added bonus of providing the water which is fought over in my house! If the flesh has a pink tinge, it is not as fresh. The water will be fine for drinking but you will need to use different flesh. Open up another one.

Base
100g sunflower seeds or pepitas (or a mix)*
30g dried apricots or dates
30g coconut
pinch cinnamon
20g coconut butter or oil
 
Blitz all the ingredients in your TM on SP 8 for 15 seconds until it comes together in a mass that can be pressed into a 22cm spring-form pan. Freeze until needed.
 
Filling
340g young coconut flesh (approximately 3 coconuts)
125g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
120g coconut cream
1 teas lecithin (optional – helps for creaminess, I use this one)
120g light coconut sugar (I used Natvia & stevia)
1 strip of lemon rind
1/4 teas salt
juice of 1 lemon
260g mild tasting coconut oil**
60g water
1 teas instant agar agar***
 
Mill the sugar and rind on SP 9 for 10 seconds. Add the coconut flesh, blueberries, coconut cream, lecithin, juice and salt. Mix on SP 6 for 1 minute until smooth and creamy.
 
In a small saucepan, stir the water and agar agar until smooth and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and stir well. It will be thick and gelatinous.
 
To the coconut mix, add the coconut oil and agar agar gel. Blend on SP 4 until smooth. If the mix “splits”, gently heat to 37ºC on SP 4 for 30 seconds. This will bring it back to smooth again.
 
Pour into your prepared base and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until firm. Do not freeze as it will go grainy and you will lose the creamy texture. Decorate with coconut yoghurt and/or fresh fruit.   
 

For my other non dairy cheese cake recipe – a baked one, look here. Or for just cheese, go here. Or for a dairy cheesecake check my recipe here.

 
 
Footnotes 
*I prefer to use almonds here but if you have a nut allergy, this works perfectly.

** A word on coconut oil. Some have a stronger taste than others – use a mild tasting one for this recipe or it will overpower the blueberry flavour. Read about refined and unrefined coconut oil here.

*** I have made this with both gelatine and agar agar. I do think that agar agar produces a better texture, gelatine is more wobbly. If you choose gelatine, use 1 heaped teaspoon to 50g water and add the whole mixture as it is less strong.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 21, 2013 9:32 am

    Reblogged this on Eat Live Travel and commented:
    Oh my goodness, this sounds and looks DELICIOUS!!!

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