This year for Thanksgiving, I decided to forego the traditional pies, and a variety of other traditional recipes, in place of healthier ones...

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

This year for Thanksgiving, I decided to forego the traditional pies, and a variety of other traditional recipes, in place of healthier ones. Part of this was just because that's how I roll, and part was because I'm on a very strange diet, which I will share with you the whys and what's in my next post. I've made this one with berries several times with success, so wanted to try it with pumpkin. And it did not disappoint.
I'm definitely not a food photographer
A note for anyone who hasn't tried a raw, vegan cheesecake...it doesn't taste like real cheesecake, but it tastes damn good and is much healthier, especially if, like me, you have a dairy intolerance. So here's my version adapted from the berry one and this pumpkin one.

(Mostly) Raw, Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake with Coconut Whipped Cream

Ingredients:
Crust
  • 1/2 cups dates (buy pitted or remember to remove pits yourself. My food processor makes a horrendous noise if I forget to remove the pits.)
  • 1/2 cups nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts, whatever you like)
  • pinch of salt
Filling
  • 2 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
  • juice of 2 medium lemons
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2ish cups pumpkin (I cooked mine first but they say you can just soak it for a few hours if you want to keep it raw)
  • 1/3 cups maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/3 cups coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
Whipped cream
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk or coconut cream (refrigerated)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

The night before:
  1. Soak the cashews overnight (or at least 5 hours). 
  2. Put your can of coconut milk/cream in the fridge overnight. 
  3. If cooking the pumpkin, I sliced it into quarters, place them on a foiled and oiled cookie sheet and bake at 375 until tender (40 minutes to 1 hour, depends on the size of your pumpkin). Peel and refrigerate until cold.
At least several hours before you want to eat it:
  1. Throw nuts and salt into food processor or high-powered blender and blend until well ground.
  2. Add dates and blend until it's well mixed and binds together when pressed.
  3. Press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan if you have one (it's on my Christmas list, so I just used the only round pan I had, but you could make a square cheescake, why not? Make sure it's a fairly deep pan though.)
  4. Next warm up the coconut oil (I just microwave for 30 seconds or so- not the raw way but I'm impatient) and pour into food processor along with maple syrup, cashews, lemon juice, vanilla, and spices and blend until well mixed.
  5. Add the pumpkin and blend again until thoroughly mixed and as smooth as possible. This may take many minutes of blending. Pour this mixture on top of the crust and even it out. 
  6. Place the cake in the freezer until solid (a couple hours at least).
  7. Open the can of chilled coconut milk/cream and scoop out the hardened cream into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip the coconut cream until fluffy. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  8. Remove cake from freezer and let warm up at room temperature until easily cut. Or struggle to cut it and get brain freeze when you take a bite.

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