Are you ready for some big news?!
Recently, (like A WEEK AGO recently) I became vegan. Yeah, basically a week before Thanksgiving!
Yes, I have bid my farewell to cheese. Until the day I am once again in the mountains of northern Italy on a sustainable farm where I meet the happy, grass grazing cows face to face, that is.
THIS YEAR, I FINALLY MADE THE CHANGE.
What made me do it?? Well, I love animals. That is definitely a part of it. But I have been vegetarian for a couple years now, and I have never felt better. To be honest, I think I’m finally at a point where I just want to be as healthy as I can. I’ve been considering my lifestyle choices way more, and the consequences they bring to my body, and the environment. Doing what I can to make sure that my future (and present) are awesome, and helping the world even a little, makes me feel empowered and happy.
Anyway, I’m not getting fully into my ‘becoming vegan’ story quite at this moment. All I want to say is that I’m super excited about going vegan! It’s going to be fun learning and sharing recipes with you guys. And if you are interested in cutting animal products out of your diet, I am not a doctor, but I highly support it.
If you’ve been contemplating it, go watch “What the Health” on Netflix. It definitely inspired me to go vegan, without being at all about veganism. My advice, though, is to do your own research and decide for yourself. I believe everyone has to make that choice for themselves, and for their own reasons.
But… I mean, you could always just do it for the DELICIOUSNESS.
I don’t know about you, but all this past week I have been thinking about the wonders of the holidays; gathering the family, the super cozy vibes, glorious food in glorious proportions, sharing our gratitude for all we’ve been blessed with this year…and then, of course, the dessert!
OH, MY, GOD. Then I realized, I’m gonna need to step up my dessert game with VEGAN recipes! So I promptly started searching my brain(aka google) for ideas on what vegan yummy-ness I could whip up this year.
Boom. I got it.
It’s perfect. My family and I have always loved Pumpkin Pie. Every Thanksgiving, we’d go buy two of those huge Costco Pumpkin Pies, (the kind that can feed about twelve people) and those things would evaporate in front of our eyes. We have a big family, but dang!
Then, a few years back, I somehow discovered …*drumroll*… Pumpkin Cheesecake. The holy grail. Two of my family’s all-time favorite desserts, heavenly swirled into one. So that year, I found a recipe, and I made what might have been the best dessert I have ever made. They were THAT good.
This year, I plan on topping that. AND I’m DOING IT VEGAN STYLE. Wee!
If any of you are also vegan Thanksgiving-ing (definitely not a word) right now, give me a shout with one of your favorite recipes! I’d love to try some out this year! And if you try this recipe, I’d love to know! You can share a photo by tagging #momentsnotplaces on Instagram!
Looking forward to hearing from you guys! ENJOY!!
VEGAN PUMPKIN PIE CHEESECAKE
For the Crust:
- 1½ cups crushed vegan graham crackers (or gluten-free ginger snaps)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 large Medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- a pinch of sea salt
- 1½ cups pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut)
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar or sub maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1½ teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
- ¾ cup raw cashews (soaked in warm water for 3 hours)
- 14 oz or 400 g silken/soft tofu
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2½ Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare the crust by pulsing the graham crackers, nuts, coconut oil, dates, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until it forms a crumbly dough consistency.
- Press this mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan and prebake for 10 minutes before you put in the fillings.
- Make the pumpkin pie layer. Blend on high for 1 minute, pour it out into a bowl and set aside. Rinse off the blender jar.
- Now make the cheesecake layer. Blend the mixture on high until completely smooth. Depending on your blender, this could take up to a few minutes.
- When completely smooth, pour this cheesecake mixture into the springform pan, over the crust. Then take the pumpkin pie mixture and use a large spoon to gently spoon this purée over the cheesecake layer, bit by bit. Alternatively, you can pour the filling onto the back of a large spoon that is hovering just over the cheesecake layer, moving it around so that you fill in any bald spots. If you just pour it over the cheesecake layer, you run the risk of it sinking through the cheesecake rather than forming a distinct layer on top.
- Bake at 350°F for 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, you will notice that the filling still seems a bit runny in the middle–that’s okay. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes in the off, but still hot, oven, remove the pan and place on the counter to cool. When the cake has reached room temperature (2 hours or so), cover it and put it in the refrigerator to chill at least 6 hours. It’s best if you leave it overnight, so it sets up perfectly.
Note: Recipe adapted from Lands & Flavors