Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

PLEASE NOTE THAT NO PUMPKINS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS CRUELTY-FREE CHEESECAKE  (smiley face)

Unmolded and ready to serve. This recipe is ridiculously easy

This concept has been brewing in the back of my mind for several years. I wanted to keep the recipe RAW and VEGAN so the first ingredient I tossed out the window was canned pumpkin (not raw). I substituted carrot juice (finally a good use for carrot juice!).  I then assembled ingredients that are typically used in vegan cheesecake: cashews for the body; coconut oil and butter for the consistency; lemon for the acidic tang that you taste in cheesecake; agave and spices.  Yes, this dessert is raw. And yes, it is vegan. And yes, it is made with whole foods.  However, it is calorically dense and a little will go a long way. In the “plus” column for this dessert are the following:

  • Because there is no dairy or raw garlic is the recipe, it has the shelf life of infinity—well, maybe not that, but it will keep a couple of weeks.  Dunno why I added the part about the garlic….it’s not like you would be considering adding garlic to a cheesecake….as IF!)
  • Geoff liked it. So did Tempo, but Tempo’s opinion really shouldn’t count because he is part goat/part Labrador and eats everything but raw button mushrooms. Geoff is very picky, so for him to like a raw/vegan/no pumpkin/no cheese/no sour cream/no egg cheesecake made me feel confident about the end result
  • I made this, from start to finish (including juice but minus the chilling time) in 20 minutes.

Notes

  • If you have a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix), there is no real need to soak the cashews.  However, if you want to ensure that the consistency of the filling is silky-smooth, soak the cashews in the carrot juice for an hour. Just throw both into blender and pop the blender into your refrigerator
  • You can use all coconut oil if you don’t have coconut butter
  • Agave, Carrot Juice and Lemon are all liquefiers.  You can vary measurements of these as long as the total sum is 1¾ cups plus 2 Tbsp of Liquid. This ratio will give the cake the perfect amount of moisture.
  • I used Pecans in crust, which are a soft nut.  I thought that the flavor would work well with “pumpkin”.  However, you could use Almonds, Pistachios, Walnuts, or any combination of nuts. Basic “raw vegan pie crust” is equal parts nuts to dates
  • In this particular cake, I didn’t use Ginger in the crust, but after tasting it, I thought that it would be a nice touch
  • I would keep cake in refrigerator until serving.  Coconut Oil liquefies at 75 degrees.  If your room is hot, the cake will be a tad on the soft side
  • You can always use more spice in raw food production because without the application of heat, the spices don’t intensify.  That is why there is a boatload of pumpkin pie spice in this.
  • With that said, don’t add too much clove or the cake will taste like the streets of Jakarta

 

Ingredients for crust ready to go in food processor

Process Dates and Nuts until you get a crumbly cookie dough-type mixture

Press into springform pan. I pressed the crust mixture both onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan

Pouring the “batter” into the crust. I then popped it into the freezer overnight so that it would chill; and then I moved it to the refrigerator a few hours before unmolding

Crust

  • 2 Cups Raw Pecans
  • 2 Cups pitted Medjool Dates
  • pn Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1” Ginger Root, Grated (optional) or 1 tsp ground Ginger

Filling

  • 3 ¼ Cups Raw Cashews
  • 1 Cup Carrot Juice
  • ½ plus 2 Tbsp Cup Agave Nectar
  • ¼ Cup Lemon Juice
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Butter
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/8 tsp ground Clove
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt

Garnish

  • Sliced Persimmons
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Method

For Crust

  • Line a 9” springform pan with a parchment round and lightly coat bottom and sides with coconut oil
  • Combine all ingredients into food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cookie dough
  • Press onto bottom and up ½ the sides of springform pan

For “Cheesecake”

  • In high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) combine all ingredients
  • Process until smooth and creamy. If you like a tangier cheesecake, replace some of the Agave with Lemon Juice
  • Pour into springform Pan
  • Chill. I put this in the freezer until firm and then moved it to the refrigerator a couple of hours before serving
  • Unmold by running a paring knife around the perimeter of cake, and then release spring. Transfer to serving stand and garnish with Persimmon slices, Pomegranate and pumpkin seeds

2 thoughts on “Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

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