Both Hannah and Alisa sampled the new Dairy-Free Coconut Milk Kefirs. While the strawberry and vanilla were quite tasty, the original was a bit too sharp for drinking straight up. Using her dessert expertise (she is the author of My Sweet Vegan after all!), Hannah developed a creation this coconut kefir vegan cheesecake, which is not only probiotic-friendly, but downright delicious …
Sweetened just enough so as not to overwhelm the delicate nuances of the kefir, this is a sophisticated but simple treat that would be the perfect ending to just about any meal. You could certainly dress it up with a vibrant fresh fruit sauce or decadent drizzle of ganache, but I’m happy enough with a light border of whipped coconut creme and some toasted coconut flakes on top.
Like all no-bake cheesecakes, the texture is perhaps not what you would first expect from such a treat, but I find that it’s instead much lighter and more refreshing than the traditional version.
Special Diet Notes: No-Bake Coconut Kefir Vegan Cheesecake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 10 ounces vegan wafer cookies*, to make about 2 cup crumbs
- 6 tablespoons margarine or coconut oil, melted
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (Optional)
- 1 6-ounce container vanilla coconut milk yogurt
- 2 cups original Coconut Kefir
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon agar agar powder
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup arrowroot
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- First, finely crush your cookies so that they’re about the texture of almond meal, and mixing in the cinnamon if using. I find that a food processor helps to get a better texture, but you can also smash them in a sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin.
- Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl, and stir in the melted margarine or coconut oil, making sure that you moisten all of the crumbs and leave no dry patches in the mixture.
- Lightly grease a 10-inch round springform pan, and press the crumb mixture into the bottom, smoothing it out evenly with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass.
- Place it in the refrigerator for the time being.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut yogurt, coconut kefir, and coconut milk.
- Separately, mix together the agar, sugar, and arrowroot in a small dish, being careful to evenly distribute all of the dry ingredients. This will help to prevent lumps from forming.
- Slowly sprinkle this dry mixture into the saucepan while vigorously whisking, until you’re certain that it’s all been incorporated, and there are no clumps lurking on the bottom of the pan, too.
- Turn on the stove to medium heat, and whisk occasionally (but don’t walk away!) as it comes up to temperature, until bubbles break on the surface and it feels significantly thickened.
- Turn off the heat, whisk in the vanilla, and retrieve your chilled crust.
- Pour the cooked filling into your springform pan, and tap it a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles and to even out the top.
- Let cool COMPLETELY at room temperature before moving the cheesecake into your fridge to chill; Hastening this process will weaken the gel, and lead to syneresis.
- Chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
Wouldn’t cooking the kefir kill it’s probiotic qualities?
Yes, I believe so. In this case, it is being used mostly for flavor – a tangy soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free alternative for making cheesecake. Those can be very hard to find!