Besides being vegan, gluten-free, and truly sugar-free (not just refined sugar free), these adorable mini beet cheesecake bites are sweet and refreshing with a hint of flavors from beet, lemon, and mint.
What is your go-to vegan cheesecake filling? Cashew nuts, tofu, or coconut milk/cream?
Mine? Cashew nuts. As usual.
I have found that using soaked raw cashews for the “cheese” filling is the best choice. I mean the creamy texture with a dash of nutty flavor. Come on!
A couple years ago, I created a non-bake vegan yogurt cheesecake with beets. Not only did my family enjoy the recipe, but it was also appreciated at parties by even non-vegan eaters.
I did, however, struggle a little the first few times I made this recipe. It was the blending process.
Here are the discoveries I made, that made this recipe a great success:
Because I used agar agar noodles as a thickener, the batter became very stiff and difficult to blend, even when warm. Adding more liquid didn’t work either. I considered using agar agar powder that I found at my local Whole Foods Market to avoid this problem, but it was very expensive.
The key is blend everything when they are hot.
I heat beet puree, lemon juice, a little bit of water, and agar agar noodles in a microwave until it’s boiling. Stir with a spoon and let the agar agar noodles soak, soften, and eventually totally dissolve in the mixture. At this point, I warm up coconut oil (into liquid) and the soaked cashew nuts. The key is making sure everything is hot so the agar agar won’t become stiff too quickly.
It’s important to give the filling some extra time to set before adding to the crust.
After blending everything, I transferred the filling into an airtight container. Let the filling set in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. After that, I used a hand blender to blend it, in order to incorporate some air and make it soft and fluffy. It’s all about the texture.
If you were here a few weeks ago, I mean my blog, you may remember the refreshing drink, mint hibiscus orange water kefir I posted. I had bought a large bunch of mint from a store. As you may already know, herbs don’t stay fresh very long when sitting in the fridge. So besides making some mint chutney, I still had some extra to create these mini beet cheesecake bites. Woohoo!
How about have a little fun and get creative with pastry bags? Squeezing the beautiful pink cheesecake filling into the little tart-crust is fun. Good times! And last but not least. I guarantee that everyone at the party will be super impressed with these little cuties.
- 5 Medjool dates pitted
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
- 1¼ cups gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ cup Joyce’s all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
- 40 grams coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- Mint leaves
- In a large microwave safe bowl, combine together beet puree, water, lemon juice, and agar agar noodles. Heat the mixture in microwave for 1 minute. Stir with a spoon to help the agar agar noodles dissolve. Repeat heating at shorter intervals, 15 to 20 seconds, stirring in between, until the agar agar noodles are completely dissolved.
- In another microwave safe bowl, heat coconut oil to liquid. Warm soaked cashew nuts in microwave as well.
- Place the hot mixture from step 1 and the remaining cheesecake filling ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. If it forms air pockets during blending, stop the blender and use a rubber spatula to push and stir the cheesecake filling to get rid of the air pockets.
- Transfer the cheesecake filling into an airtight container, cover with lid, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- Remove the cheesecake filling from the refrigerator before assembling the mini cheesecake bites. Use a hand blender to blend the filling to achieve a fluffy texture. (see picture in post) Fill a large pastry bag with the cheesecake filling.
- Blend the dates in a food processor until it forms a ball. Add coconut shreds, blend briefly. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until it’s well incorporated. It should form a soft ball at this point.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Evenly divide the dough into 16-18 pieces. Approximately 20 grams for each piece. Place each piece into a mini tart tin and use your fingers to shape each piece that fits inside the tin. Use a fork to gently poke a few holes on the bottom of each piece of dough.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Bake the prepared tart tins for 8 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them completely cool to room temperature. Transfer tart crusts out from the tins and set aside.
- Pipe in the cheesecake filling and garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.