Wow it has been forever… A lot has been happening and I can’t wait to share all of this exciting news with you all!
It is finally fall here in Houston and what better way to celebrate than making these amazingly yummy and healthy vegan and gluten free mini pumpkin cashew cheesecakes. I have fallen in love with using cashews as a non dairy alternate to cheese. Not only is it healthier but it allows for vegans and people with allergies to enjoy the cheese texture and taste 🙂 With Thanksgiving right around the corner these are an awesome and healthy alternate to heavy and unhealthy pies. There is fresh ginger in the crusts adding a lovely and warming gingersnap cookie vibe. To top these yummy little cheesecakes off serve, with a dollop or swirl of whipped coconut cream.
Vegan and Gluten Free Mini Cashew Pumpkin Cheesecakes
2 cups raw almonds
10 soft Medjool dates*
½-inch nub of fresh ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons unsweetend shredded coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of sea salt
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
¾ cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
6 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
juice from 1 lemon
lemon zest from that lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
pinch sea salt
Whipped Coconut Cream
water (you may need a tablespoon or two)
pinch of salt
Add the almonds to the food processor and pulse several times until it’s turns into meal, crumbled and broken up, but not a fine flour. A few bits are good. Pour out and set aside.
Add the dates and ginger nub to the food processor and process until only small bits remain and it comes together into a ball. Add the almonds back to the food processor, along with the remaining ingredients. Process until it comes together into a dough. The dough should hold together when you press it in your hands.
Using 12-cup non-stick muffin tin or 12 cup mini cheesecake pan (which is what I use), add about a tablespoon of the crust mixture to each cup. Press down firmly with a spoon, a glass or what I find works the best, is a cocktail muddler. Pack it in nice and tight.
Set into the freezer to set up.
Once the cashews have soaked, discard the soaking water, give them a quick rinse and add the cashews to the container of a high speed blender or food processor. Add the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, lemon juice and zest, maple syrup (or other sweetener) and vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of sea salt. If the mixture is too thick, add just a little water, one teaspoon at a time. It should be a very thick mixture so don’t add too much.
Once blended, divide the filling evenly over each of the crusts. Give the pan a few firm taps on the counter to remove any air bubbles, cover with plastic wrap or foil. Freeze overnight, or until solid, at least 4 hours.
When ready to serve, remove the cheesecakes from the freezer. Allow the tarts to thaw for about 5 minutes (maybe 10), before using a thin knife to run around the edge of the cheesecakes, then carefully pop them out. If using the cheesecake pan, just press up from below to push them out. You may still need to run the knife around the edge.
Top with whipped coconut cream, if you’d like and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- If they aren’t soft, soak the medjool dates in warm for about 15 minutes, then drain
- You can make this into 1 large cheesecake, buy using a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and continue to prepare, as instructed
- If short on time, and you don’t soak the cashews ahead, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour, then drain and blend as instructed
Enjoy your Sunday!