Pumpkin Cheesecake That’s Better Than Pie

Did you know that somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 million pumpkin pies are baked every year?

According to the American Pie Council, 1 out of 5 Americans has eaten an entire pumpkin pie by themselves. I’m going to hope that those people took at least more than one day to complete the task, but again, I’m not here to judge. You do you; it is a vegetable, right?

If you want a pumpkin pie you can feel good about consuming in mass quantity, I’d like to suggest something a bit more wholesome than the conventional approach, at least in terms of ingredients. Though this gorgeous ode to the autumn classic tastes even more decadent than the original, it’s a superfood-packed healthy choice by comparison.

What makes this pumpkin cheesecake the best recipe ever?

Oh, let me count the ways. It’s…

  • Vegan
  • Dairy-free
  • Eggless
  • Gluten-free
  • Raw/no-bake
  • Keto
  • Paleo
  • Refined sugar-free
  • Zero cholesterol

Skip the packaged and processed goods to create an even more compelling treat, truly worthy of a special occasion.

Cashews make up the bulk of this creamy filling, blended with maple syrup for a more balanced, flavorful sweetness. You get plenty of lemon tartness, like tangy cream cheese but fresher and brighter, livening up the humble squash flavor of canned pumpkin puree. Though optional, the candied pumpkin seeds on top really elevate each slice to a whole new level, providing contrasting crunchy texture to cut through decadent, silky-smooth slab.

Even if it’s too late to amend your Thanksgiving menu, keep this one in mind as the winter holidays grow near. Pumpkin isn’t going out of season anytime soon.

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Best Vegan Pumpkin Recipes to Fall in Love with Autumn

Pumpkins have sustained and inspired us for centuries, rising to great acclaim as a social media darling after centuries in the root cellar. They were one of the first domesticated crops, dating back over 9000 years in Mexico. Those earliest ancestors were comparatively tiny, bitter, and tough, with little in common with any of the 45 different varieties that currently exist. It’s a good thing that all parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the leaves, flowers, and stems, securing the pumpkin’s place on homestead farms as it continued to evolve.

Of course, the pumpkin’s greatest claim to fame today has more to do with the associated spices than any of its natural charms. My feelings for the trend have come full circle. I’m no longer dismayed by the disconnect, but encouraged by the possibilities. Now we’re primed to fully embrace all the squash has to offer.

Get ready to fall harder for pumpkin this year. I’ve got the very best vegan recipes right here for you to explore both the sweet and savory sides of pumpkin, ranging from wholesome to indulgent, simple to complex. Canned puree is always available, but pumpkin cravings only peak this season. Don’t waste another autumn without knowing just how incredible pumpkin can taste.

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Chickens Coming Home to Roost

As a summer-lover, sun-worshiper, and heat-seeker, I never thought I’d be so grateful to say goodbye. I’ve also never experienced a year with nearly 70 days at or above 100 degrees before. When you can’t go for a walk midday without burning to a crisp, or using your car for anything but baking cookies, it shifts the script significantly. There’s still a lot to love, from ripe heirloom tomatoes to warm late night swims, but for the first time ever, I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to embrace fall with open arms.

To that end, I’m diving head-first into cozy comfort foods. Bring on the pasta drowned in browned butter, the sautéed mushrooms dancing in white wine. It’s the season of wild mushrooms, flourishing in cool, damp weather. Nestled at the base of oak trees or hidden beneath fallen leaves, they cluster together like a bouquet of flowers, blooming in earthy shades of browns and greys. Springing up where you’d least expect it, luck is often a more important factor than skill when it comes to foraging.

This is my favorite type of backyard chicken. Hen of the woods mushrooms get their name from those feathery, frilled caps, said to look like a sitting hen. Given that they can grow into masses upwards of 50 pounds, I’d like that think there are no barnyard animals that can really measure up.

What makes hen of the woods mushrooms so great?

Also known as maitake mushrooms, they’ve long been touted for their medicinal properties, such as:

  • Boosting the immune system
  • Reducing cancer risks
  • Stabilizing blood sugar
  • Helping regulate blood pressure

What I’m most interested in, however, is their culinary value.

What do hen of the woods mushrooms taste like?

Both subtly nuanced and boldly earthy, delicate yet peppery and assertive, hen of the woods mushrooms are a brilliant bundle of contradictions. One moment they’re soft and tender, buttery and supple, the next they’re almost audibly crunchy, chewy and crisp. There’s no alternative that exactly replicates such a unique eating experience.

Pair that with a luscious blanket of caramelized onions, slowly browned over low heat, with a cascading sauce of nutty browned butter, spiked with a splash of dry white wine. Vegan tortellini tumble and tangle within the wilted mushroom fronds, springs of curly kale sprouting wildly like an overgrown forest floor. It’s a rustic, untamed, and understated plating for a powerhouse of flavor. Toasted pecans rain down like a gentle shower, ending with a clean, clear crunch.

While it’s a dish that could exist in any season given greater accessibility to farmed mushrooms and imported produce, the heart and soul of it can only exist in autumn. In the growing darkness and increasing cold, let it envelop you in warmth. Take comfort knowing that there’s so much good to come of this new season.

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Take it Easy

Rosh Hashanah without an apple cake would be like Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie; an unforgivable travesty. Combining the most essential edible harbinger of a sweet new year, you’re practically asking for another 365 days of misfortune if you should overlook this staple. As we turn the page on the year 5781, let’s not leave anything to chance.

Dense with tender fruit and a moist crumb, it’s a homey, humble dessert that’s as soothing to make as it is to eat. Anyone who can wield a spatula will pull out a perfect ring of dark brown cake, aromatic spices infusing the whole kitchen with their sweet bouquet. Fool-proof and crowd-pleasing, this formula has withstood the test of time, rising to the occasion to feed parties big and small. Such a generous cake is an excellent guest itself, perfect to make ahead or keep for days after the event.

Such an easy-going treat would be welcome for any celebration, but is also just as well suited for an everyday simple indulgence.

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