Mondays are my Sundays, and I had a wonderful day. Started with a five mile run, cleaned the house, and listened to Christmas carols as I gave the Post Punk Kitchen's Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe a whirl, before I attempt to make it for Christmas. More about that below. Also, please check back soon because I'm currently working on a Vegan Christmas Shopping Guide that will point out some really neat vegan brands- everything from nail polish and cosmetics to cute boots and hipster bow ties!
The cheesecake came out really good. I think I may have went a little heavy on the orange zest but I also think it works well to give the cheesecake a more Christmas-y feel rather than Thanksgiving-y! So, what exactly goes into a vegan cheesecake? Well, there are two ways to go about it. You can use vegan cream cheese, which costs about $5 a pop and you would need about 5 cartons to make a cheesecake, which is obviously outrageous. Not to mention that I'm afraid of excessive quantities of any processed foods, vegan or not. The other way to do it is to use silken tofu and flavor the heck out of it. Scary? Yes. Can you taste the tofu? Absolutely not. The cheesecake ends up having the exact same consistency as any non-vegan cheesecake.
A friend recently mentioned to me that I should talk about the benefits of vegan cooking a bit more. So here it goes! This cheesecake was made with coconut oil, which has some benefits for you but also a lot of saturated fat, which is bad. A regular cheesecake would have a ton of saturated fat and cholesterol from the butter and cream cheese too, so I think they're roughly equal on that level, although the vegan cheesecake probably has less fat overall. This cheesecake is also made with a normal amount of sugar for a cheesecake, which is a lot, so that doesn't really make this cheesecake healthier than a non-vegan one either.
HOWEVER. The filling, despite having sugar and a bit of coconut oil, is made of tofu, a banana, and cashews. All of these things are very good for you. Cashews have a lot of "good" fats and substituting the tofu for the cream cheese has a lot of benefits. Tofu has virtually no fat, and is chock full of complete proteins. Cream cheese is basically fat with a bit of protein. So that's great news! The fabulous thing about vegan cooking is that often, when substituting for a dairy product that is full of saturated fat, you end up using something that actually has a lot of protein and often the results are just as, if not more, delicious! It's a win-win situation for all! Healthier you, healthier planet, happier cows!
A quick note about the recipe- Graham crackers are not vegan. Depending on how stringent you are, they contain honey, and there's no way to know where that honey came from. With the recent findings that most generic honeys like CVS brand have been altered to hide their origin you might as well try to find some vegan ones, which is difficult. I couldn't find any. I ended up getting some ginger snaps instead and they were delicious!
Here is the link to the recipe, and good luck!!