Here are some recipes from my Book, Later Gator. I think it’s appropriate to make something special for the one you love, and this will be a big hit on Valentines Day.
Vegan Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Chocolate Crust
Makes one cake
I originally bought this cheesecake from our vegan friend Jenny Houser. She has a big sweet tooth. Jenny is so active, I think she needs the sweets to keep her energy charged — kind of like a hummingbird needs to sip the nectar from flowers to keep its wings going a zillion miles an hour. She gave me the recipe so that I could start making it at home or in the restaurant. It's always a good sign when customers or friends want to know what's in it because it tastes like the real thing.
Tofutti Cream Cheese, 3 containers
Tofutti Sour Cream, 1 cup
Non-GMO silken or soft tofu, ½ cup
vegan graham crackers, 4 cups (after putting in food processor)
Earth Balance Organic Vegan Buttery Spread, 1/2 cup
Organic ground flaxseed meal, 2 tbsp
Pure vanilla extract, 1 tbsp
Organic cane sugar, ¾ cup
Lemon, one half juice only
Vegan non-GMO semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, ½ cup
Strawberries or blueberries for garnish
Put the graham crackers into a food processor and blend them until they are finely ground. Put the graham crumbs into a medium mixing bowl. In a microwave melt, but don't heat, ¾ of a cup of Earth Balance Buttery Blend (30 seconds.) Add the melted Earth Balance to the graham crackers and mix it together with a fork. Add the mini chocolate chips and continue to mix so that it has a consistent and even texture.
Grease a springform cake pan with additional Earth Balance Buttery Blend sparingly. (A springform pan has a clip that will allow you to take the side of the pan off when the cake has cooled.) Pour the contents of the crust mixture into the springform pan and make an even layer of graham cracker along the bottom and then a ridge along the interior pan about an inch high. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, add the Tofutti cream cheese, Tofutti sour cream, silken tofu, flaxseed meal, organic sugar, pure vanilla extract, and the juice of a half lemon. Blend this mixture for about four or five minutes. Pour the filling into the cake pan and even out the top out with a spatula. I will also tap the pan lightly on the kitchen counter to help even out the mixture. Next put the cake in the oven on top of a cookie sheet. This is important in case the buttery spread leaks out of the bottom of the springform pan (which could cause a fire).
Bake it for about 50 minutes and check. Once the top of the cake has baked evenly and has a slightly light brown hue, it's done. In my oven it is exactly one hour. Let the vegan cheesecake sit on top of a counter top for about 45 minutes and then place it in a refrigerator for it to completely cool. I generally wait a total of four hours before I slice into the cake. Serve the dessert on a large or small plate with a fruit garnish, like fresh strawberries or blueberries.
Allyn's Energy Balls
Makes twelve balls
I am not a big sweets person, which is probably good. It seems that if I start eating sweet things, I want more. My energy balls are sweet, but they are so filling that you only want one or two. These are great for the sweet cravings we all get at times.
Organic oatmeal, 1½ cup
Flaxseed meal, ½ cup
Organic pure maple syrup, ⅓ cup
Honey, 3 tbsp (honey is not vegan: remember, it comes from bees) you can skip this and add a little more maple syrup
Pure vanilla extract, 1 tsp
Vegan chocolate chips, 3 tbsp
Sun butter, ½ cup of (we don't like the organic as much, but you can use that also)
Coconut flakes, 2 tbsp
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend with a spatula until you have a consistent mixture. Refrigerate the mixture until it is cold. This makes it easier to form into balls. Make the mixture into golf ball size balls and keep them refrigerated. Eat as a dessert, snack, or quick pick me up.
Please let me know how you like my desserts and have a wonderful Valentines Day.
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