Here's the deal. I'm begging, nay, willing San Diego to cool down. It's been hot for far too long and I'm ready to bust out my (lightweight) sweaters. So, without Mother Nature’s cooperation it’s seeming more and more likely that I’m going to have to eat my way into fall; and more importantly all things PUMPKIN. If you didn’t already know, I’m living the dream in a 500 square foot mansion of an apartment near the southern california coast - my simple homage to my past of living in a 500 square foot “is this even liveable” apartment in New York City. With this small space comes an even smaller oven and an even hotter apartment when said oven is turned on, so I’ve become quite the Raw Vegan Baker. You guessed it - no heat, served cold and 100% plant based.
Enter my FIRST of TWO Pumpkinspired (spell check isn’t even trying anymore) recipes for your enjoyment. PS the second recipe isn’t RAW but it is VEGAN and for that I should get a few (raw vegan sustainably sourced organic) Black Bean Brownie points, right? Right! Oh and even better yet you can get almost all the ingredients on Thrive Market, my absolute go to for all my organic dried goods!
#FISHMANFIT Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Squares
inspired by the Minimalist Baker
1 cup packed medjool dates, pitted
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
Pinch sea salt
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked in very hot water for 1 hour or Overnight in room temperature water)
1 lemon, juiced (2 Tbsp)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 Tbsp olive oil (or sub melted coconut oil, though it will add coconut flavor)
1/2 cup grade A maple syrup or light agave nectar, plus more to taste
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
Pinch sea salt
1 packet Ground 2 Table Spice Blend 12 or ½ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cover cashews with boiling hot water. Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 hour. Then drain thoroughly and set aside or soak cashews overnight in room temperature water.
Put dates in a blender (or food processor) and blend until small bits remain, or they form into a ball. Remove and set aside.
Add walnuts and salt to blender and process into a meal. Add dates back into blender and mix until the two are loosely combined into a “dough”
This recipe works great in an 8X8 glass baking dish, but you could also use cupcake tins with liners.
If using an 8X8 dish place all of the crust in the dish and press firmly to cover the entire bottom of the dish, letting some creep up the sides. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If using a cupcake tin, place the cupcake liners into the tin and firmly cover the bottom of each liner with crust. This recipe should make 8-12 mini cupcake sized cheesecakes.
Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to blender with remaining filling ingredients and puree until very smooth, this will take longer than expected. You’ll know the filling is done when it isn’t grainy anymore. I did not add any extra sweetener to my batch, but if you feel so inclined, now is the time!
Pour the filling in the 8X8 dish and let the magic begin. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and set in the freezer. Do the same if you’re using the cupcake tin, just keeping in mind to evenly distribute the filling. The cheesecakes should be set in around 4-6 hours, but I’m all about making these the night before you plan on serving them so you can just pop your bars in the freezer and wake up to ready to eat deliciousness! #dessertforbreakfast anyone?
Once set, remove from the freezer and remove the plastic wrap and use a knife to evenly divide the cheesecake into squares. This recipe should easily divide into 10-12 squares.
It is imperative to store these in the freezer, the filling can get a bit melty if you leave the cheesecake out for too long so do your best to leave them in the freezer until 10-15 minutes before you serve!
You can store the leftovers (if there are any) in the freezer for up to 10 days!
Well, there you have it! Stay tuned for my Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Pancake recipe coming later this week!