The first thing to say about this delicious dairy-free vegan lemon cheesecake is that it contains tofu. Surprised?!
Cheesecake is delicious, creamy and smooth. It is ordinarily made from high fat, calorific animal products, such as cream cheese and heavy cream. Many plant-based cheesecakes take their creamy, rich texture from blended nuts – soft soaked cashews being a favorite. However, nuts are also a calorie dense, high (healthy) fat food. If you are looking for a light plant-based cheesecake, look no further than this Vegan Lemon Cheesecake.
The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook
This vegan cheesecake recipe is from the Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant-based recipes for your Holiday Meals. In that cookbook are 10 complete menus for 10 Jewish holidays.
A modern update with a bright taste
This Vegan Lemon Cheesecake is a modern update on an old favorite. It has all the creamy texture and flavor that we love, with the bonus that it includes a healthy dose of healthy plant-based protein. The lemon flavor keeps the taste bright and light, and makes this dessert best served with fresh summer berries.
Do we have to eat dairy on Shavuot?
Shavuot is the Jewish holiday 7 weeks after Passover. Shavuot commemorates the giving of Torah on Mount Sinai. To celebrate this holiday, it is customary for Jewish people to eat a dairy meal, followed by a break, then a meat meal. Cheesecakes have become an extremely popular dairy food to eat on Shavuot. A good introduction to Shavuot can be found here.
However, it is possible for us to participate fully in our traditions and to have a ‘dairy eating experience’ without consuming animal products. Previously, those who opted out of eating dairy on Shavuot were usually people with a specific allergy to dairy products. However, now that vegan and plant-based diets are rapidly becoming mainstream, an overdue update in how we think about and honor our holiday food rituals is taking place.
Plant-based alternatives to holiday eating
Customs should not mean that it is compulsory for us to eat animal products to show our commitment to our faith. Today, many people are choosing to follow plant-based, vegan or vegetarian eating patterns. They may do this as a way to honor their own health and the wellbeing of our environment. Israel is fast becoming a centre of vegan eating, so it is no surprise that many Israelis are promoting delicious plant-based ways to enjoy Shavuot.
Looking to the origins of our traditions, wheat loaves and the best fruits were offered at the temple. Be sure to remember that point if your plant-based holiday eating meets resistance!
Plant-based cheesecake for the holidays
This Vegan Lemon Cheesecake is a perfect option for Shavuot. It allows us to get all the dairy feelings without any of the animal products. Blended tofu and tahini give the rich, creamy denseness that we expect from a cheesecake dessert. There is plenty of added sugar, along with crushed graham crackers and blended dates in the base – so make no mistake that this is an indulgent treat holiday food!
This is a yummy, lower-fat, plant-based version of cheesecake. With the addition of lemon, it tastes light and is the perfect summer dessert. Enjoy this Vegan Lemon Cheesecake on high days and holidays all year!
Here are some of the special ingredients you will need to make this delicious dairy free vegan cheesecake
Graham Crackers that are vegan and soy-free
More healthy holiday menu ideas
For more meal inspiration, take a look at:
- Lily’s Sweet Maple Vegetable Barley Salad – a dish created to honor our biblical heroine Ruth. This recipe is featured in Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves, a Jewish female community cookbook. If you like this recipe, you will find many many more in the book to enjoy.
- For complete menus of plant-based dishes for special holiday tables, look to the Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Your Holiday Meals
Shavuot resource from Jewish Food Hero
The holidays are a special time, and its important we know the date of the holiday in advance. This annual Jewish calendar helps with that.
Next Year for Passover, resources
Passover Seder Place Cards
These printable Passover Seder Place Cards add an elegant, decorative design element to your table. Place cards also allow you to intentionally place guests at your Passover table. All you need is a printer and a pair of scissors. You can even get family involved in helping to prepare these cards. Children will love to add their own extras too!
Click here to purchase the Passover Seder Place Cards from Jewish Food Hero’s Etsy Shop.
Passover Seder Cheat Sheets
I made these printable Passover Cheat Sheets to add a beautiful design element to our Passover table and to be help all our guests feel comfortable and included. Some of us remember all the details and symbolism of the Passover ritual. For others, having these simple and stylishly designed cards on hand will help them relax and enjoy the experience.
Click here to purchase these Passover Cheat Sheets from Jewish Food Hero’s Etsy Shop.
For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the filling:
28 ounces silken tofu, drained
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons tahini
Garnish: Lemon twists and fresh berries
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Make the crust:
- Place the graham cracker crumbs, dates, and sea salt in a food processor
- Blend until crumbly (it should stick together when pressed with your fingers)
- Transfer to a lightly oiled spring-form pan and press evenly onto the bottom to form a crust
- Rinse and dry the food processor bowl.
- Make the filling:
- Place all the cheesecake batter ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth
- Pour the batter over the crust and smooth the top with a spatula
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until set in the middle
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the springform pan, and place on a decorative dessert platter
- Chill and serve:
- Once cooled, refrigerate for up to 4 hours to chill
- Garnish with lemon twists and fresh berries, and serve
Keywords: cheesecake, tofu, dessert, shavuot, dates, plant-based, vegan