Featured Ingredient: Beets
There is a great ice cream parlor in Austin, Texas called Lick. When we were there last winter on a cycling vacation I feel hard for their roasted beet ice cream. Sweet, earthy, minty all at once. Who knew that beets could be so awesome in a dessert? I’ve made red velvet brownies before, but this took things to a whole new level. And it’s that rosy ice cream where I gleaned inspiration for these beet infused cheesecakes.
If you think about it, beets have some of the highest natural sugar levels of any vegetable, so it should be of no surprise that you can manipulate that gift from Mother Nature to create a praise-worthy cheesecake. One that is as fetching to look at as it is to eat. And by dividing things up among muffin cups you end up with 12 individual desserts. A gift that keeps on giving. Oh, they're also no-bake and star a much healthier base than what most cheesecake recipes call for. I swapped out the customary cream cheese for goat cheese as it’s a natural fit for beets. But you can make these with cream cheese instead and end up with something that is just as tasty.
2 medium sized beets, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
3/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup plain Greek or Balkan style yogurt
4 ounces soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
Place beets in a steamer basket set over at least 1-inch water. Bring to a boil and steam covered until beets are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place oats and pistachios in a food processor container and process until pulverized. Add raisins, coconut oil, 2 tablespoons honey, cocoa powder and cinnamon; process until the mixture sticks together when squeezed between your fingers.
Divide oat mixture among 12 silicon or paper lined metal standard sized muffin cups and press down firmly to form an even flat crust. Place pan in refrigerator while you prepare the topping.
Stir together gelatin and 2 Tbsp cold water in a small bowl; let sit 5 minutes. Bring milk, sugar, and 1/4 cup honey to a light simmer over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Add gelatin and stir until it has dissolved in the liquid.
Puree together beets, yogurt, goat cheese, orange zest and a pinch of salt in the food processor. Add hot milk mixture and blend until combined. Pour beet mixture over crusts and sprinkle on cacao nibs if using. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.