Kitchen Table: Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake

​In the midst of Halloween and bonfire night season, it feels like everywhere you turn there’s a pumpkin. And it’s easy to forget that although they’re great for carving, we prefer them for cooking - namely, baking. Cake making genius Natasha of The Cake Merchant, has dreamt up a sweet, smooth and completely raw pumpkin cheesecake that’s right up our trick or treat street. With a sticky and nutty medjool date base and a pumpkin flesh, cashew and coconut filling, this is the perfect antidote to Halloween weekend’s sugar-filled excesses. So, spare the carving and enjoy some raw baking instead…

Ingredients:
For the base

1 cup pitted medjool or deglet dates
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

For the filling

1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight
2 cups shredded butternut squash or pumpkin soaked for 2-3 hours and drained
1/2 cup raw agave nectar
1/4 cup raw nut milk
1/4 cup carrot juice (optional) for colour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons non-GMO soy lecithin

For the coconut whipped cream

1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 24 hours
1 tablespoon raw agave or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method:
For the base:

  1. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and process until they come together into a ball. The mixture should be pliable.
  2. Press the mixture into a 6 x 3 inch springform or cheesecake pan and set aside.

For the filling:

  1. In a high powdered blender, combine the cashews, shredded pumpkin, agave, nut milk, carrot juice, lemon juice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and blend for about 5-10 minutes until completely smooth.
  2. Add the coconut oil and soy lecithin and blend for an additional 15 seconds until smooth (don’t over blend here or the coconut oil will start to solidify).
  3. Pour the mixture over the crust and tap the pan against the counter a few times to knock out any air bubbles.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
  5. Top with coconut whipped cream (recipe below), cinnamon, and pecans.

For the coconut whipped cream:

  1. Open the can of chilled coconut milk and scoop out the hardened cream into a bowl (you can save the coconut water for smoothies).
  2. Using an electric mixer, whip the coconut cream until fluffy.
  3. Add the agave and vanilla and beat to combine.

View more of Natasha’s recipes here.

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