Original salty Vegan Cheesecake with black beans, avocado and cucumbers (very light and pleasant)
Time: prep 15 min
cooling 2,5 ore
Yield: 2 servings
We are all attracted to the bright, shimmering colors of the cheesecakes, but we can’t always enjoy them as much as we would like because of their high sugar and saturated fat content. So what are we supposed to do, that we should only meet with them in our dreams? In part yes, but we can at least satisfy our eyes: and given that looks matter, I would ensure you that the following recipe is a winning compromise!
The recipe I’m proposing has both the right colors and the ‘sex appeal’ of the original, but it replaces the ‘undesirable’ ingredients with the totally healthy ones. If there are kids in the house who are fickle refractory to vegetables, legumes and so on, this salty vegan cheesecake would become useful as an excellent Trojan horse. Black beans are beautiful to look at and have all the nutrients that normal ones have. They also contain ‘quercetin’, an anti-inflammatory substance very beneficial for reducing plaque in the arteries for people with cardiovascular disorders. At the same time they are a very rich source of flavonoids, which have the peculiarity of fighting free radicals. But, which is fundamental for the recipe, they have a sweetish taste that makes them ideal for the simulation of cheesecakes. So make a gift to yourself and to those you care about, and prepare this delight.
for the bases
5 wholemeal rusks or multigrain melba toasts or two slices of cereal wasa
1 tablespoon of tahin
the juice of ½ lime or lemon (1,5 tablespoon)
a splash of apple vinegar
In a bowl, crumble the whole toasted slices or other, add the lemon juice, tahini and a few drops of vinegar. Use a spoon to create a uniform dough.
for the avocado and cucumber layer
1 mature avocado
1 medium cucumber
1 tablespoon vegan ricotta cheese (optional, if you are not vegan you can use yogurt)
the juice of ½ lime or lemon
1/2 finely grated garlic clove
salt, pepper, chili pepper if desired
for the top layer of black beans
1 glass of previously boiled black beans (about 200 g)
1 tablespoon of extravergin olive oil
the juice of ½ lime or lemon
some cilantro leaves, or parsley
¼ of finely chopped onion (red onion would be more scenic)
salt, pepper, fresh hot pepper to taste
To save time, I always prepare and cook legumes in large quantities. My pressure cooker has a capacity for a maximum of 750 grams of dried legumes, which I soak and cook for this quantity each time. After soaking for at least 24 hours rinsing with fresh water every 6 hours, boil the black beans together with two bay leaves. Long soaking times are used to reduce the content of the anti-nutrients, so for me this is an obligatory operation that must always be carried out(1). Then I divide the cooked food into three parts: one to be eaten during the day and another two to be put in the freezer and defrost when necessary.
Prepare a marinade with oil and lemon juice, and dip the boiled, cold black beans in it. Put them in the fridge for a few hours so that they can get the best flavor. While you’re waiting, take a large pastry cutter (I use the one with 12 cm of diameter) and lightly grease it inside. Place it on a serving plate or on a cake board with adequate dimension. Make the base by rusk mixture, about 1 cm high (press it well). It should stay in the fridge for half an hour, or 10 minutes in the freezer. In the meantime, cut the avocado lengthwise. Recover the pulp with a spoon, after cutting it into horizontal and vertical strips. Put the tiny squares created in this way, in a bowl and immediately squeeze the lemon juice on top, so that they do not oxidize, thus preventing them from blackening. With a fork, or with a hand blender mix well all the ingredients of the avocado layer. Be aware: that cucumber, should only be cut with a knife, otherwise it releases all its liquids, ruining the aesthetics of your plate. Add salt and pepper and if you want also chilli pepper.
After half an hour take the base out of the fridge but do not take it out of the mould and fill it this time with the avocado and cucumber mixture for about 2 cm; then add the marinated beans filtering the liquid; put it back in the fridge for at least 2 hours, in order to make it solidify. Just a few minutes before serving, chop finely the red onion (or other) that will decorate and give a vivid taste to the turrets, and without stinking up your fridge. A few coriander leaves will add some exotic aromas, but if you are not looking for a long-distance destination, you can replace it with very local parsley.
A plate of a great style, and of great nutritional value. Healthy fats, plant based proteins, wholegrain carbohydrates and fiber, combined with a large amount of vitamin C, allows our body to assimilate the maximum amount of non-heme iron(2); and such a delicacy at the cost of a cappuccino taken at the bar.
Salty vegan cheesecake requires just a little patience, but not a great culinary skill. From November to June it could be an ethical dish, since it is the only time when fresh avocado grown in Europe is available. However, for those who have a freezer, here is some good advice on how to extend this period.
Good revolution and bon appetite to all
(1): R.Y. Khattab, S.D. Arntfield. (2009). Nutritional quality of legume seeds as affected by some physical treatments LWT – Food Science and Technology ISSN: 0023-6438, Vol: 42, Issue: 6, Page: 1113-1118.
(2): Teacher B, Olivares M, Cori H. (2004). Enhancers of iron absorption: ascorbic acid and other organic acids. International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research 74(6):403-419