Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

NZ’s animal rights group SAFE asked me to contribute a wee something for their Christmas Dessert Contest “Sweet As” so here’s my entry: Cranberry Cheesecake Bites. Find out about the Sweet As comp here and enter!

These are really easy to make and perfect to take to a shared Christmas as a sweet vegan option.

It helps if you have a good blender and mini muffin tray but you could make bigger ones or even one large cheesecake (I haven’t tested it but I imagine you’d need to double this recipe for a full sized cheesecake).

Inspired by Minimalist Baker’s raw cheesecake bites.

Cranberry Cheesecake Bites 2

Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

makes 12 mini muffin-sized bites

10 dates
1/2 c roasted hazelnuts (or raw almonds)
1 c soaked cashews
2T maple syrup
1 t lemon juice
3 T coconut milk
couple of drops of vanilla extract
pinch salt
1/3 C candied cranberries (you can use the sweetened kind that are easy to find in NZ supermarkets or use frozen and add a little maple syrup to sweeten)
juice of 1 orange
1/2 t arrowroot
4 T water

Blend dates and hazelnuts or almonds. You’ll get a smoother consistency if you blend each separately and then combine. Divide across a mini muffin tray, putting roughly 1 teaspoon in each and pressing down to form a base.
Freeze for at least 30 mins.

Add cashews, maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt to the blender/bullet/food processor. Blend until smooth. Divide the creamy mixture across the mini muffin, filling each muffin section more or less to the top. Give the tray a wee shake and smack it down on the bench a few times to flatten and get rid of air bubbles.

Put the tray back into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Combine cranberries, orange juice, arrowroot and water in a small pan. Heat until reduced to a thick pink sauce and there is no water left.
Spoon over the cheesecakes and return to the freezer.

Freeze 3 hours before serving and serve immediately or within 20 minutes. They’re best eaten while frozen or cold.

*You can make these a couple of days in advance and store in an airtight container in the freezer until serving.

*They will come out of the tray easily if you grease it with some coconut oil and gently pry each one out with a thin knife.

Happy holidays! x

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Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

Early Autumn Savoury Muffins

I never want to see another courgette. Ever. Or at least until next Summer after several months of limp-dick supermarket zucchs at a million dollars per kilo. This year we had a glut. It’s been great but I have pickled, preserved, frittered, fried, gratin-ed and made a freezer-load of rattatouille and I’m officially over them. Here is my last-ditch effort to use up the final few while sneaking green stuff into my toddler’s lunchbox.

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 Courgette, Spinach and Basil Mini Muffins

1 Cup grated zucchini
a few spinach leaves
1/4 small red onion or 1 spring onion
2-3 sundried tomatoes
a handful fresh basil leaves

3/4 Cup soy or almond milk (preferably unsweetened)
5 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 Cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon mixed dried herbs or fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Finely grate courgette (if you squeeze liquid out of the courgette you’ll need to add slightly more milk later on.) Finely chop onion, dried tomatoes, basil leaves and spinach, mix with courgette and set aside.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Combine milk, vinegar and oil in a small bowl.

Mix flour, yeast flakes, pepper, salt, baking powder, baking soda and dried herbs in a larger bowl then add liquids and veggies. Stir to combine but don’t over-mix. Add a little extra liquid if the mixture is too thick. Spoon into mini muffin tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Makes roughly 20 mini muffins.

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Early Autumn Savoury Muffins