The world's first vegan cheesecake featuring Wolffia globosa. This is a classic vegan cheesecake recipe showcasing Wolffia. It's the new Vitamin B12 Superfood that's been around forever!
Say hello to Wolffia globosa, the duckweed species that comes with an abundance of nutrition. Known as Kai Naam in Thailand, this is the world's smallest flowering plant, and it's one of the only known plant-based sources of Vitamin B12.
Kai Naam has been a part of Asian cuisine for centuries, mainly throughout the Northern inland areas which had limited sources of protein.
In this article, I will explain how to incorporate Wolffia globosa into recipes, and share my new Wolffia cheesecake recipes with you.
- Introduction to Wolffia
- Where to source Wolffia
- Why has nobody heard of Wolffia globosa?
- Wolffia B12 Cheesecake
- Ingredients you will need for Wolffia cheesecake
- Equipment you will need
- How to prepare Wolffia
- Ingredient substitutions
- Recipe variations
- Wolffia globosa nutritional content
- How long does this recipe keep for?
- Wolffia Food Safety
- Holistic chefs top tip
- More Wolffia globosa recipes
- 📋 Recipe
- More cheesecake recipes!
- More healthy recipes to try from Holistic Chef Academy
Introduction to Wolffia
Wolffia globosa is a plant that may be small, yet holds a ton of possibilities for your health, your nutrition, and the environment.
As Wolffia globosa is so nutrient-rich, this little green plant can have a surprisingly significant impact on your health.
Wolffia globosa has been collected and eaten as a vegetable in much of Southeast Asia for centuries. In the North of Thailand 'Kai Naam' features in many local recipes.
Where to source Wolffia
I've been working in Thailand for the past 3 years and I'm still discovering new ingredients to cook with.
The Kingdom of Thailand has an abundance of diverse ingredients to explore. As a chef, I'm always developing relationships with growers, farmers, and artisan producers.
These relationships are key to continued evolution and success. A good chef is nothing without a supply of quality ingredients.
Recently, I was introduced to the team at Advanced GreenFarm near
Bangkok. They cultivate Wolffia globosa in a semi-closed system using
potable water with no herbicides or pesticides.
They regularly check for heavy metal and microbial contaminations and thoroughly clean Wolffia after harvest with ozonated water to ensure the product is safe.
I was very excited to discover this ingredient and happy to be sharing all I have learned with you.
Why has nobody heard of Wolffia globosa?
Wolffia globosa is indigenous to parts of Southeast Asia. As a fresh product, it does not travel well. So It has not yet been commercialized into a product that can be shared around the world.
The Advanced GreenFarm team is launching Wolffia globosa in frozen and dried powder form for worldwide distribution.
Wolffia B12 Cheesecake
What better way to get a dose of Vitamin B12 than with a healthy vegan cheesecake? I'm very happy to share this Thai-inspired recipe with you!
Ingredients you will need for Wolffia cheesecake
The recipe is customizable if you cannot source all the ingredients. I will offer some variations and substitutions below.
- White sesame seeds
- Dried longan berry
- Desiccated coconut
- Coconut oil
- Cashews - pre-soaked
- Wolffia globosa
- Coconut milk
- Orange juice
- Passion fruit
- Honey or maple syrup
- Coconut oil
- Pink salt
To garnish the cheesecake
- Fresh papaya
- Dried longan berries
- Fresh Wolffia
See the recipe card below for quantities and methods.
Equipment you will need
No elaborate equipment is needed for making this recipe. You will need a good high-speed blender to make the filling nice and smooth. A cheesecake or flan tin will be required to set everything in.
- I use a 26cm tart/quiche tin to set the cheesecake in.
- Mixing bowls
- Weighing scales
- Tasting spoons!
How to prepare Wolffia
- If using fresh Wolffia from a trusted source within 3 days of harvest, (refrigerated) you can add it straight into the recipe.
- For Wolffia that is older than this, you can cook-chill it by pouring boiling water over it and letting it stand for 2 minutes. Then strain and refresh in cold water. You can now add Wolffia to the recipe.
- If using frozen Wolffia you can let it defrost and add it to the recipe.
- For the cheesecake base, you can use any type of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Use the same quantities as the recipe and adapt according to what ingredients you have available.
- The filling of the cheesecake requires soaked cashews for the creamy texture and coconut oil to set it to a nice consistency. You can add any type of plant milk available. If passion fruits are unavailable, you can add extra orange juice. Add the liquid sweetener of choice, and balance the acidity with fresh lemon or lime juice
- To garnish the cheesecake you can get creative here and add whatever fresh fruits and berries that are in season.
Learn all about Cashew Nuts in my ingredient library
Try making individual cheesecakes or setting the cheesecakes in nice dessert glasses.
Wolffia globosa nutritional content
Wolffia is a complete food, containing all the essential amino acids. It's packed with fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It has a mild and neutral flavor, that lends itself well to sweet and savory culinary applications.
Wolffia globosa contains:
- A complete amino acid profile
- High BCAA
- It's easily digestible
- A great source of Lutein and Zeaxanthin
- Vitamins A, C, E, K
- Vitamin B1, B2, B3 (Niacin), B5, B6, B12
- Folate, beta carotene
- Phosphorus, potassium
- Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc
Bacteria and some fungi are the only lifeforms we know of that produce biologically active B12.
HERE IS THE FULL SCIENTIFIC STUDY AND REPORT ON THE VITAMIN B12 AVAILABILITY IN WOLFFIA
How long does this recipe keep for?
This cheesecake recipe will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can store it in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
You can defrost the cheesecake from the freezer by leaving it in the fridge overnight or leaving it at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Wolffia Food Safety
Wolffia globosa is a fresh product, so there are precautions to take.
- It is advised to consume Wolffia from a trusted source. Fresh Wolffia can be
kept refrigerated for about 7-10 days.
- Raw consumption of refrigerated fresh
Wolffia is recommended within 3 days of harvesting, only if it has been
cultivated in a semi-closed system and thoroughly cleaned with ozonized
- Beyond 3 days, fresh Wolffia should be cooked through heat.
- To preserve it for longer than this, you can cook-freeze, or cook-chill to extend
the shelf life.
I cook Wolffia by pouring over boiling water and leaving it to sit for 2-3 minutes.
Then, I strain and stop the cooking process by refreshing it in cold or iced water.
Holistic chefs top tip
- Use a good high-speed blender to the cheesecake mix smooth and creamy.
- Allow it to set in the fridge overnight for best results.
- Try serving with a nice zingy blueberry chia seed jam to balance the richness.
More Wolffia globosa recipes
I have lots more Wolffia-inspired recipes on the way. Please stay tuned! You may sign up for my newsletter here to keep up to date with all new recipes as I publish them.
- Here is my Wolffia globosa 101 post with lots more information on this superfood of the future.
We hope you enjoy this delicious recipe. We're happy to share it with you. If you make this recipe please let us know in the comments below what you think. We love seeing your recreations. Happy cooking friends!
Wolffia Globosa Cheesecake
- Weighing scales
- Mixing bowl
- Citrus juicer
- Cheesecake tin - 20cm
- Chefs knife
For the base
- 150 g Cashew
- 25 g White sesame seeds
- 75 g Longan berry - dried
- 10 g Coconut desiccated
- 10 ml Coconut oil
For the filling
- 200 g Cashew pre-soaked
- 200 ml Wolffia Globosa
- 50 ml Coconut milk
- 50 ml Orange
- 1 each Passion fruit
- 1 each Lime juice and zest to taste
- 80 ml Honey or maple syrup
- 90 ml Coconut oil
- 1 pinch Pink salt
- 40 g Papaya
- 20 g Cashew toasted
- 10 g Wolffia Globosa
- 10 g Longan berry - dried
- 5 each Butterfly pea flower
Prepare the Wolffia Globosa
- Boil the kettle and pour boiling water over the wolffia, stir and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Strain through a very fine strainer and pour cold water over to cool down the wolffia as quickly as possible to keep a nice green colour.
For the cheesecake base
- Assemble your ingredients.
- Soak the longan berries in warm water for 10 minutes is they are very dry.
- Add the toasted sesame seeds and cashew nuts to the blender and pulse for 10 seconds until they resemble breadcrumb consistency.
- Add the longan berries, desicatted coconut, and coconut oil - blend for another 10 seconds until the mix come together.
- Transfer this mix to a bowl. Mix everything together well until it forms a ball.
- Press this ball into the base of the cheesecake tin, making sure it's nice and even throughout.
For the cheesecake filling
- Cashews will need to be pre-soaked overnight, or for at least two hours in filter water. Drain and rinse the cashew before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- Juice the limes and oranges.
- Add the pre-soaked cashews, passion fruit juice (no seeds), wolffia globosa, coconut milk, orange juice, lime juice, honey, and pink salt to the jug of a high speed blender.
- Blend on high speed, scraping down the sides until everything is nice and smooth. (Do not blend for to long or the mix ill overheat and discolour)
- Blend for about 30-40 seconds. Next, add the melted (cooled) coconut oil while the blender is running to get a nice smooth and shiny consistency.
- Transfer the filling into a bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Maybe it needs some extra lime, sweetner or a pinch of salt to balance the flavors.
- When you are happy with the final seasoning, pour the mix onto the frozen base.
- Using a spatula or spoon you can smoothen out the filling.
- The mix will start to set quick when it hits the frozen base. Tap the pie a couple of times on the work surface by dropping it (carefully!) 1-2 inches from the work surface. This knocks out any air pockets and evens out the distribution.
- Allow the cheesecake to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours before slicing. You may put in the freezer to speed up the setting.
- To take the cheesecake out of the tin, it's best to freeze the cheesecake for a couple of hours and then you can easily remove the cheesecake from the tin. Transfer to a plate to garnish.
To garnish the cheesecake
- I love the color contrast of white cashew and orange papaya with the green Wolffia Globosa cheesecake. It's best to garnish just before serving or shortly before. Feel free to use whatever seasonal fruits and berries are in season in your region.
More cheesecake recipes!
''A little of what you fancy does you good''
More healthy recipes to try from Holistic Chef Academy
- Vegan coconut yogurt
- Thai black rice berry pudding
- Black sesame milk
- Life changing bread
- Thai vegan omelet
- Thai nam prik kapi
FloWolffia in Thailand is cultivating Wolffia globosa. You can get in contact with them to check availability. There is a link to their website in this post.