Casein/Dairy FreeFebruary-March 2013

Dairy-Free Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake


Dairy Free Cheesecake

Ricki Heller

So much like the real thing—but there’s no dairy in this cheesecake. The cranberry swirl adds a delicious burst of color, ideal for Valentine’s Day. This dessert will keep, covered in the refrigerator, up to 4 days. Not suitable for freezing.

Cookie Crust

cup agave nectar (light or dark)
15-25 drops plain or vanilla-flavor stevia liquid, to taste
2 teaspoons chia meal
1 tablespoon plain or vanilla rice milk or milk of choice
teaspoon pure lemon extract
teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons Ricki’s All-Purpose Flour Blend or flour blend of choice
teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if already in your flour blend)
teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
cup coconut oil, solid at room temperature*

Cranberry Swirl

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
15-25 drops plain or vanilla-flavor liquid stevia, to taste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
-Zest of lemon
1 tablespoon water

Cheesecake Filling

cup whole-grain dry millet
1 cup rice milk or milk of choice
1 (12-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
⅓ cup light agave nectar
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
-Zest of 1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
⅓ cup coconut butter (not coconut oil)

1. Grease an 8- or 8-inch springform pan or line it with parchment paper.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Preheat oven to 350F.

5. To make Cheesecake Filling, place millet and rice 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 cups. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest and lemon juice (don’t add coconut butter just yet).

6. 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 5 to 8 minutes. (If your blender isn’t high-powered, blend mixture in small batches of cup or so each; 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.

7. 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.

8. With a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls (7 to 8 dollops) of Cranberry Filling randomly over the cheesecake. Gently swirl with the tip of a knife, taking care not to cut into the crust.

9. Return to preheated oven and bake an additional 30 minutes, until top is dry and edges are just beginning to brown.

10. Allow to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate cheesecake at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.

Each serving contains 466 calories, 25g total fat, 20g saturated fat, 0g trans fat,0 mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g protein.

*TIP Coconut oil solidifies at 76F. If your kitchen is warmer than that, refrigerate coconut oil before adding to cookie crust mixture.

Ricki's All-Purpose Flour Blend


Use this blend for all your baking needs. To make your own millet flour, process whole-grain dry millet into a powder in a blender or coffee grinder.

2 cups millet flour
⅔ cup garfava bean flour
⅔ cup potato starch (not potato flour)
⅔ cup arrowroot starch/powder or tapioca starch/flour or cornstarch

1. Blend ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks until used.

Canadian Ricki Heller is a holistic nutritionist and author of Sweet Freedom: Desserts You’ll Love Without Wheat, Eggs, Dairy or Refined Sugar.

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