Thanksgiving dinner may not complete without the traditional pumpkin pie for dessert or it might just be too much to have after a full meal. If you are open to add a little twist to your dessert selection, a pumpkin pie cheesecake is a lighter pumpkin option—add it to the dessert menu or replace the pie! Dessert will never overcome its stereotype of too much sugar and not enough health benefits, but there certainly can be exceptions. Among the benefits of pumpkin as an ingredient in any recipe is the high fiber content it provides. For those continually looking for ways to combat inflammation, fiber is linked to lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) blood levels, which is a common inflammatory marker used to access disease activity in rheumatic conditions. The beneficial bacteria in your gut feeds on high fiber foods, then releasing substances to aid in lowering levels of inflammation throughout the body. As a seasonal ingredient, pumpkin is common to crave this time of year and fiber can be incorporated all year through as it has proven benefit beyond these mentioned here.
- 3 cups raw almonds
- 10 pitted medjool dates
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2/3 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground all spice
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, to taste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, to taste
- Line an 8-inch spring form pie pan with parchment paper.
- Add ingredients for crust to a food processor or blender. Pulse until well-combined and forms a sticky dough.
- Transfer crust mixture to pie pan, pressing into an even layer. Put pan in freezer while preparing topping.
- Soak cashews in water for at least 3 hours (up to overnight). Drain and add to a high-powered blender with remaining topping ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add additional cinnamon, maple syrup and sea salt, to taste.
- Pour topping over cake crust and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate cheesecake for at least 3 hours until the topping is firm.
- Serve with whipped coconut cream.