What we love to recreate in the Raw Fusion kitchen are nutritious, delicious alternatives for our favorite comfort foods. This past summer I experimented with making a strawberry banana ice cream pie that brought back a lot of childhood memories, but never got around to posting the photos and recipes, although they were very well received.
So I decided translate the concept to a Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cheescake, part of my “Pumpkin Palooza” this fall. What I had the most fun with is recreating the store-bought graham cracker crust into something raw and healthy, using almonds and glazed pecans.
The Candied Pecans are optional – you can skip them or just use raw pecans as decoration. However, as part of the crust, they really do enhance the graham cracker crust similarity.
This recipe is raw fusion rather than fully raw as I am using a canned organic pumpkin puree and the pecans are “candied” in organic maple syrup, which is not a raw product. You can use raw pumpkin or sweet potato if you want a fully raw dish, along with coconut nectar for glazing the pecans.
1 cup of raw pecans, soaked 10-12 hours
4-5 TB. organic maple syrup
2-3 tsp. cinnamon
1 TB. vanilla extract
dash of sea salt
Directions: Drain and rinse pecans. Place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, tossing to coat the nuts equally. Lay on parchment-paper covered screens on 2 dehydrator trays. You can also line cookie sheets with parchment paper and bake in a low temp oven until dry but they will not be complete raw. Dry in dehydrator at 115 degrees until you can easily transfer to screens and dry until no longer sticky. I like to place them in the freezer for a few hours because it makes them easier to handle (and I also store them there)
3/4 cup raw almonds*
3/4 cup candied pecans (see recipe above)
2 TB. coconut oil
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-3 TB. agave or coconut nectar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
pinch sea salt
Directions: In a food processor with “S” blade pulse almonds and pecans together until they become finely ground. Now add the other ingredients, but start with less of the nectar. This blend will already be sweet if you use the candied pecans but the agave or coconut nectar helps hold the crust together. Pulse again until very blended. NOTE: Make sure to reserve at least a dozen of the most attractive pecans for garnishing!
Line a full size cupcake tin with fluted paper cups. Using about 1 1/2 TB. of crust in each cup, press down in the middle and work some of the crust up the sides. If you prefer less crust and more custard, use only 1 tablespoon.
*I actually soaked and sprouted my almonds, then dried them in dehydrator and stored in freezer. This is a lot of extra work, you can use “plain” raw almonds when in a pinch for time.
Vanilla and Pumpkin Custard
1 cup of raw cashews, soaked for 1-2 hours
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup agave or coconut nectar (you can also replace with stevia, xylitol or erythritol for less sugar content)
2 TB. coconut oil
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 TB. lemon juice
3/4 cup water
Directions: In blender place soaked/drained cashews, vanilla, coconut oil, sweetener, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Blend until silky smooth. Reserve all but 1/4 cup in a bowl. to the 1/4 cup still left in he blender, add the pumpkin puree, additional water and spices. Blend until smooth, adding a little more water if needed. The spices will help darken the mixture to make the swirl more pronounced. Now you can swirl the pumpkin mixture into the vanilla custard OR pour the vanilla into the cups and using a fork or knife you can swirl in the pumpkin blend. Garnish with candied pecans. Cover and freeze for about 2 hours. You can easily tear away the paper cup and have a beautiful presentation.
Why not pair this with a perfectly pumpkin latte? Make sure to sign up for our free newsletter (see right side of page) so you can get the full “Pumpkin Palooza” set of recipes.