Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake {Raw, Gluten-Free, Vegan}

Today is National PUMPKIN Cheesecake Day!  Adding pumpkin to one of America’s favorite desserts allows it the honor to have its own special dayThis amazing vegan pumpkin cheesecake recipe is made with just 10 ingredients!  It's creamy, rich, perfectly sweet, and a hit with Fall and holiday gatherings!

Serves: 8

I N G R E D I E N T S

CRUST

1 cup packed medjool dates, pitted (about 20 dates or 275g | pitted before measuring)

1½ cups raw walnuts (pecans, macadamia nuts, or a combo of the three also work well)

Pinch sea salt

FILLING

1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight or add them to very hot water for 15 minutes)

½ cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)

½ Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

½ lemon, juiced (1 Tbsp lemon juice)

¼ cup light or full fat coconut milk (or sub unsweetened almond milk)

3 Tbsp olive oil (or sub melted coconut oil, though it will add coconut flavor)

½ tsp vanilla extract or ¼ teaspoon vanilla bean powder

¼ cup grade A maple syrup*, plus more to taste

Pinch sea salt

Serve with coconut whipped cream or crushed brown sugar pecans

D I R E C T I O N S for Crust

1. Cover cashews with boiling hot water. Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then drain thoroughly and set aside.

2. Add dates to a food processor and process until small bits remain, or it forms a ball. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.

3. Add walnuts and salt to the food processor and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and process until a loose dough forms - it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If too crumbly, add a few more dates. If too sticky, add more crushed walnuts. Set aside.

4. Prepare an 8 inch springform pan by spraying it with non-stick spray and lining the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. If using ramekins or muffin tins, cut parchment paper into circles the size of the base of your ramekins or muffin tins. Also, cut out two long strips of parchment paper per ramekin and lay them in an "X" shape at the base. Set the circle shape on top of the "X." This creates little tabs that make removing the cheesecakes easier to pop out once set. (For muffin tins, you can also just use cupcake liners.)

5. Transfer your "crust" into your vessel of choice and press down with fingers to evenly distribute. Use a small glass wrapped in parchment paper, or the back of a spoon, to press down firmly, allowing some crust to come up the sides. Set in freezer.

D I R E C T I O N S for Filling

1. Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to blender with all filling ingredients and puree until very smooth, 2-3 minutes. If it has trouble blending add a little more coconut milk (or almond milk). Taste and adjust flavor and sweetness as desired.

2. Divide the filling evenly among the ramekins or tins (or pour into a parchment-lined springform pan). Tap your vessel a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until firm - about 4-6 hours, depending on size of dish.

3. is the cheesecake set? To test this, run a butter knife along the edge and gently remove by tugging on the tabs in an upward motion. They should pop right out. If they aren't quite set, pop them back in the freezer until firm. If using a springform pan, simply pop open and remove cheesecake.

4. Before serving, let the cheesecake thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes for best texture. Serve with a touch of coconut whipped cream and brown sugar pecans.

5. Store leftovers in the freezer for 7-10 days, though best when enjoyed within the first 3-4 days. 

Notes

*Grade A maple syrup is best in this recipe - I didn't prefer Grade B, as its flavor was a bit too intense and overwhelmed the pumpkin.

Enjoy!

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

Detox With Healthy Goods Dim-X

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