Raw Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake (Vegan)

Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake
Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake

It's PUMPKIN SEASON! Why why whyyy was it 89 degrees today? October anyone? I WANT FALL! Okay. End rant.

Fall means pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake (and pumpkin everything else). I wanted to make pumpkin cheesecake dairy-free/grain-free since that stuff messes my system up. No bueno. I also wanted to find a recipe that I didn't have to bake. I'm so intrigued by making things raw with soaked cashews, so I thought I'd give it a try. Because of that unfamiliar territory, I decided it would be best to follow a recipe. Enter FitandFuel.

So this recipe gives you two options. 1) to bake the crust and 2) a slightly different crust that you don't have to bake. I chose to bake the crust. FAIL. I suggested baking it for 20 minutes or until browned. I check it at 13 minutes and it was getting there, and then at 17 minutes it was burnt. I should have taken it out at 13 because since it was on the metal spring form pan, it kept baking even when I pulled it out of the oven. Needless to say, I couldn't really salvage the majority of it. I decided to make cupcakes instead. I was able to salvage enough crust to make little crusts for 6 of the muffins. (The rest were just crustless, and honestly, I liked those better!)

Outcome: I really like the cheesecake! It was creamy and tasted just like how I remember 'normal' pumpkin cheesecake to taste. However, I was not a fan of the crust (even the none burnt part of the crust). If I make this again, I'd probably use almond butter + almond meal and freeze that instead of using nuts.

Below is the recipe as taken directly from the website. The only difference is what I changed or notes, all which are in italics. 

Makes: 24 large cupcakes (or 24 thin slices if using a spring form pan)
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 2 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Pie Crust*

  • 1 Cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 Cup raw pecans
  • 2 tbsp grassfed butter (melted)

*I chose to go with a baked crust on this. You can easily go 100% RAW by using 5-6 dates instead of butter and not baking the crust. There is a chance that it can get soggy and that's why I baked this part of the pie. (I chose the baked version as well but failed in the baking part as notated above)

Filling

  • 4 Cups raw soaked cashews (roughly 3 cups dry)
  • 2 cans organic pumpkin (28 oz)
  • 3/4 Cups honey (raw, local, and unfiltered preferably)
  • 2/3 Cups coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon cloves
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon xantham gum (I did not use this)
  1. Soak your cashews for 2-4 hours in water.** Just put them in a large bowl and fill to a few inches above the nuts, they will absorb a bunch of the water and become soft. Work on the crust while those soak. **I soaked them for a little over 4 hours and would suggest soaking them for 6 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 and get your ingredients together. 1 cup walnuts. 1/2 pecans. 1/2 macadamia nuts. 2 tablespoons butter.
  3. Combine and blend in a food processor.
  4. Take that mixture and press it down into your spring form pan. You can use a different pan but it can be a pain to get out. Try to make it as even as possible. Start from the middle and work your way our out. Push the extra up the sides a bit but keep it thin.
  5. Bake the crust for 20 minutes or until it begins to brown a little.
  6. Once the cashews are soft drain them and throw 4 cups of them in a food processor.
  7. Blend until smooth. Should happen pretty fast if they have been soaked long enough.
  8. Add the rest of the ingredients: 2 cans of pumpkin 3/4 cups of honey 2/3 cups of coconut oil 2 heaping tablespoons cinnamon 1 tablespoon ginger 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg 1/2 tablespoon clove 1 teaspoon xantham gum (optional) (I didn't use this)
  9. Mix until its really smooth.
  10. Once the crust is done baking, let it cool for a few minutes and then add the filling
  11. Now just stick it in the freezer for a few hours and its good to go! Usually 1-3 hours is enough time. Don't try release the form or cut it before its set or it will just run out slowly.
  12. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge about a hour before you are ready to serve it. It should thaw a little bit but still be cold enough to hold its form.
Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake
Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake

Again, this great recipe came from the interwebs!