It might seem a bit weird showing a vegan cheesecake recipe and not being vegan… BUT I love food. I love growing it, preparing it and most of all eating it. Naturally it interest me how others perceive food as well. In this post I am introducing you to a close friend
of mine Björn, who has converted to a vegan lifestyle*. He is a passionate and experimental cook, who also always checks the ingredients in products and the effects they have on our bodies. Our conversations (also on the phone) are filled with food talk, exchanging ideas on how to prepare foods, spices and herbs which could be fitting to compliment their taste and even help them explode with flavour. Björn is a 34 year old urbano** with a modern chic style to be found in his interior as well as fashion. So how does such a guy become vegan and then bake one of the best cheesecakes I have ever had…?!? I was lucky to be invited for cheesecake and tea and while we waited for the baby to bake and cool down (which we were not very good at☺️) I chatted to him about his tips on how to accomplish the changeover, costs involved and how one´s lifestyle change after going vegan.
*Björn followed a vegan diet for half a year and has now converted to a vegetarian.
**urbano – A fun, loving, energetic, athletic and charming person. A great friend, and excellent dedicated boyfriend. Strong and masculine character, and with a strong and masculine name must be straight.
for the dough:
- 300g wholemeal flour
- 175g margarine
- 80g raw cane sugar
- 2 tsp. tartar baking powder
for the filling:
- 500g soy quark
- 200g soy cream or rice cuisine
- 200g margarine
- 50g sugar
- a pinch of vanilla powder
- 1 grated rind of a lemon
- 1 tbs soy flour
- 40g starch
- Blueberries (he could not find fresh ones so we used ones in a jar, which worked out perfectly as we could also use the sauce to create patterns 😀) I am sure you can use other fruits as well…
- Optional: We found lemon and lime soy yoghurt in the fridge and added 2 tbs for extra freshness)
Mix all the ingredients for the dough.
Preheat the oven to 160 deg°C
Using your hands, knead the dough even more. Spread the dough in a springform pan (diameter: 26cm) and raise the rim.
For the quark mass, melt the margarine and let it cool down. Then blend it with the rest of the ingredients until it has a smooth consistency. The sugar should be fully dissolved. 💡Björn´s tipp: Mix the sugar with the margarine while it is still warm so it dissolves easily.
Pour into the springform pan and bake for 60-70 mins. The cheesecake has to cool down completely for the mass to become firm. (This was the most difficult step for us😊)
Let´s chit chat with Björn…
The ulterior motive to being vegan…
Last year, the decisive factor for him to follow a vegan diet was his dad who suffers from gout. Gout is known as the common aftermath of having a too high meat consumption. After extensive research on the internet, he learnt that one of the main causes is a high purine level, which is contained in meat and fish. In order to eat purine-low food he decided to eliminate meat and fish completely from his diet. Even though this is not of concern to him (yet), he decided to tackle this proactively, rather than having to cure the illness at a later stage with medication.
Last year he went on for weeks without eating meat, so his body had time to adapt. This is what he´s also recommend to others, especially if one has a fast metabolism. One should take the time to find out what s/he eats or when, basically getting to now her/his body.
He used many sources: books, internet, youtube where some channels have short videos (3-5mins) helping others with the transition. Eg. How to substitute eggs or how to make things yourself, which is the best according to Björn. Especially since it is not obligatory to list all the ingredients in products.
The price to pay for going vegan…
In the beginning one does spend a bit more than usual, because you expand your filling basics with the likes of quinoa, lentils, etc. However, once you are stocked up it is not more expensive than when you also spend on meat and fish. Clearly, it does become more expensive when he buys organic foods, but there are several options that are not organic and therefore also cheaper.
In the meantime…
A delicious yet easy go-to cheesecake to have in your repertoire. The most difficult part is really to wait for it to cool down, especially having those aromas hanging in the air. If you have any questions you´d like to ask Björn concerning vegan cooking or living, write them in the comments below. Or if you have any experiences you would like to share, somebody out there could find it really useful.
♥ Thanx to Björn for the invitation and his patience ♥
Till next time and stay as awesome as you are,
♥ Danielle ♥