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Fun Summer Brunch Ideas: Pink Pitaya Tart and Vegan Cheese

Aussie Jo Ross, Food Alchemist, Plant-based Foodie + Blogger Healthy Eating Jo



Something new to try in the kitchen

Kala namak, or black salt as it’s often known. It’s actually light pink in color and has a strong sulphuric smell. I add it to frittatas, creamy pasta sauces and shakshuka. It adds an eggy taste, which is great if you like that or are a transitioning vegan.

How has food impacted your life?

I’ve probably had an unhealthy relationship with food since I was a teenager, and my health has been impacted dramatically over the years due to this. Learning more about what I put in my body and filling it with nutritious whole foods (and lots of them) has changed my life. No need to survive on fresh air and lettuce; there are so many amazing whole food recipes out there to be enjoyed.

What truth do you know for sure?

You get back what you put out into the world. So, work hard, be kind to others and always be grateful for everything that you have.

Pink Pitaya Tart Recipe


½ cup chopped dried fruit (eg., dates, currants, apricots), soaked in boiling water for 15 mins and drained

1 cup almonds

¹⁄³ cup shredded coconut

2 tbsp cacao powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Pulse dry ingredients in a food processor until they are a meal, then add the drained fruit and pulse again until a dough forms. Add a little water if required. Press into the base and sides of a tart tin. Place in the freezer while you make the filling. *Use extra crust to make bliss balls.


300 g silken tofu

1 pink pitaya or pitaya powder

1 tsp beetroot powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup coconut oil

Pinch of salt

Blend until smooth. Pour over crust and smooth. Place in the freezer to set overnight. Decorate with more pitaya if desired. Slice and enjoy straight from the freezer.

Vegan Cheese Recipe

½ cup cashews, soaked overnight in water, then drained well

1 tsp pink Himalayan salt

4 probiotic capsules

1 tsp water, if required

Add ingredients, except capsules, to a high-powered blender. Open the probiotic capsules and empty the powder into the blender, discarding the cases. Blend, increasing speed to high and using the tamper to push the ingredients into the blades for about 2 mins until nice and smooth. Line 2 small ramekins with a square of nonstick baking paper, leaving enough to overhang. Place half the cheese mix in each ramekin, pressing down until filled. Fold the extra baking paper over the top of the cheese until covered. Place ramekins in a dark, warm place for 2 days to ferment. After 2 days, place the cheeses in the fridge for another 1-2 days or more to chill and harden further. They can be eaten immediately, but do improve further if you leave them the extra few days. Enjoy your cheeses as normal.

For flavored cheeses, prepare cheese as normal, but layer the bottom, middle and top layer with your flavorings when placing in the ramekin; 1-2 tablespoons should do the trick! *The recipe above is for 2 cheeses, to help with blending. If you use less ingredients, you will have difficulty blending. So 2 cheeses is always better than 1! For 3 cheeses for this picture, I used 3 cups of cashews and 6 probiotic tablets.

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