Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cheesecake

An easy fall-inspired cheesecake from just 6 ingredients (and without the cheese).

Cheesecake was one of my favorite desserts when I was a child. I thought that when I stopped eating cheese I would miss cheesecake dearly. So I looked into other ways to create a creamy, texture without the use of dairy. This is when I discovered the power of cashews. Cashews are a tree nut known for preventing cardiovascular disease. They contain tryptophan and vitamin B6 which synergize to assist in serotonin uptake and therefore increase relaxation and improve brain health. However, cashew-based desserts can get expensive! Now, I half the amount of cashews needed and substitute the remaining for tofu. Not only is tofu cheaper but also an excellent source of plant-based protein.

Pumpkin adds a seasonal twist to this cheesecake with plenty of nutrients. Pumpkin is low in glycemic load which helps balance blood sugar levels. It is also high in beta-carotene which is an antioxidant that may prevent cognitive decline and some cancers.

Pumpkin Spice Vegan cheesecake

Dairy and PCOS

The relationship between dairy and PCOS is complex and still debated by healthcare professionals. A study published in 2014 examined the dietary intakes of 400 women with PCOS in Iran. The researchers found a direct relationship between milk consumption and a diagnosis of PCOS. An Italian study from 2013 compared 100 women with PCOS to 100 controls. The results indicated women with PCOS consumed more cheese than the control group. The two groups were matched for age and BMI.

Milk protein consumption has been reported to lead to an increase in insulin-like growth factor 1 which is involved in the progression of diabetes and cancer.

Paying attention to the impact of our nutrition on our bodies and determining what works for each of us is likely the best we can do with the limited information we have. Individualized support from healthcare providers, if accessible, can be beneficial, too.

Pumpkin Spice Vegan cheesecake

Test this recipe out on your friends and family! See if anyone notices you forgot the cheese in your “cheese”cake. I would love to see or hear about your results! Tag me on Instagram @phruitfuldish.

Ingredients:

Crust:
    • 1/2 cup almonds
    • 1 cup dates
    • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
 Filling:
    • 1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
    • 1 cup raw cashews, pre-soaked
    • 300 g tofu (soft dessert tofu or regular soft tofu)
    • 2 tsp pumpkin spice

instructions:

  1. Leave cashews to soak in a bowl of water for 6-8 hours. If short for time, pour near boiling water over cashews and soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Line cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. Form the crust by pulsing dates, almonds, and 1 tbsp of pumpkin spice in a food processor. it should start to come together, eventually.
  4. Pack crust into base of cake pan. Pop into freezer.
  5. Form the filling by combining pumpkin, tofu, cashews, and 2 tsp of pumpkin spice in a high speed blender (or a food processor). Adjust flavors to your liking. If too thick, add a liquid like nut milk.
  6. Remove cake pan from freezer and pour/scoop the filling into the pan. Spread out evenly.
  7. Freeze for 3-4 hours before serving. You may want to remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving to let the cake thaw a bit.
  8. Feel free to top with maple syrup or decorate how you please.

If you enjoyed this dessert you may like my Lemon Lavender Cashew Cakes.

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Pumpkin Spice Vegan cheesecake

Vegan Quinoa Kale Lentil Burger Patties

BBQ season is for vegans, too! Here’s a plant-based burger that won’t fall apart in your hands.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new recipe so let me reintroduce myself! I’m Dylan Cutler, a holistic health blogger, vegan, fitness enthusiast, support worker, feminist and scientist who recently became “Dr Cutler” after successfully defending my doctoral thesis in May. It’s been a whirlwind of a year (hence the absent blog posts) but if you are curious about what I’ve been up to, I’ve been sharing parts of my journey on Facebook and Instagram (with much more to come!). For now, I welcome you back with this vegan-friendly burger recipe in time for BBQ season. Thank you for supporting me and this space.

quinoa kale lentil burger

Patty Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax + 5 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, red or orange, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup packed kale or spinach, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (or blitz oats in a blender to make flour)

Toppings:

  • avocado
  • non-dairy cheese, like Daiya Foods Cheddar slices
  • pickles
  • spinach

Bun:

  • Grilled or baked portobello mushroom (see instructions here)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Make your flax egg by combining 2 tbsp of ground flax with 5 tbsp of water and whisking together. Set aside.
  3. Cook 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa in 1 cup boiling water.
  4. Cook lentils using a ratio of 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of red split lentils. Bring lentils to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 15-25 minutes.
  5. Combine cooked quinoa, cooked lentils, chopped onion, peppers, garlic, fresh kale/spinach, salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, oat flour and the flax egg. Use a large spoon to mix together then use your hands to mix and mold the patties together to form balls.
  6. To make circular patties I use the lid of a nut butter jar and wrap it in plastic wrap. Then I scoop the burger batter into the lid which will mold to the same shape as the lid. Then carefully remove the batter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat using the same plastic wrap and lid for each patty.
  7. Bake for 15 min then carefully flip before another 15 min, or until crispy and firm.
  8. Meanwhile, bake portobello mushroom on a pan with a lip (the juices of the mushroom will spread).
  9. Build your vegan burger as you please (I prefer an open face burger if using a mushroom bun as I find portobello mushrooms to be quite rich).

I’d love to hear how these patties worked for you! Please leave a comment or contact me through my various social accounts. Be sure to tag @phruitfuldish if you feel the urge to photograph and share your creation with me!

With health and joy,
Dylan

Ps. While this post is not sponsored, I am a brand ambassador for Daiya Foods and was provided the non-dairy cheddar slices used in this recipe.

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Vegan Quinoa Kale Lentil Burger Patties

Plant-Powered Bowl with Creamy Dairy-Free Garlic Dressing

Plant-based bowls offer versatility, simplicity and beauty to healthy lifestyles. Enjoy this macro bowl featuring turmeric roasted cauliflower, spinach, zucchini and more.

Few meals satisfy all my senses, while also energizing me, more than a giant bowl of plants. Part of the beauty in a plant-based bowl (also known as a #macrobowl) is both the versatility and simplicity. I usually start with a base of spinach, brown rice or quinoa, then add in legumes, seasonal vegetables, nuts/seeds and finally top with a creamy homemade dressing.  

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

This bowl features one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories we can eat: turmeric. I previously wrote about the vast health benefits of turmeric in this golden milk post. I make an effort to cook with turmeric (and black pepper to increase its bio-availability) as much as possible (think roasted vegetables, potatoes, dressings, etc). Other foods in this recipe that fight inflammation include leafy greens (like spinach), olive oil, avocado and nuts.

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

Now, would this be a vegan recipe without the addition of nutritional yeast? I’m guilty of putting it on everything! The health benefits of nutritional yeast may include supporting healthy gut bacteria, improving production of blood cells, and maintaining optimal cholesterol levels. It is a small source of chromium and is often fortified with B12. 

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

Ingredients:

Bowl:
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 tsp Finlandia turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin coconut or olive oil
  • 1-2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 cup edamame beans
  • 1/2 zucchini, spiralized or sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • garnish: lemon or lime
Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews, pre-soaked at least 4 hours
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Finlandia ancient sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Finlandia nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Cook brown rice on the stove, as directed.
  3. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower florets, coconut oil, turmeric powder and black pepper until evenly coated. Spread florets on to parchment-lined pan. For crispy cauliflower, avoid florets from overlapping. Cook in oven for 20 minutes (flip florets after 10 minutes).
  4. While cauliflower and rice are cooking, prepare your serving bowl of fresh spinach, cooked edamame beans, and raw zucchini. Set aside.
  5. Add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Taste and adapt accordingly. Note: for easier blending, I place cashews in a bowl of water and let soak in the fridge overnight. Discard of this water before adding the cashews to the blender.
  6. Once brown rice and cauliflower are cooked, add both to your serving bowl.  
  7. Top with sliced avocado, black sesame seeds and dressing. Enjoy!

Anti-inflammatory Macro Bowl and Creamy Garlic Dressing (Vegan)

Thanks to Finlandia Pharmacy & Natural Health for sponsoring this post. Check out their website and extensive herbal dispensary at their storefront in Vancouver, BC.

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PLANT-POWERED BUDDHA BOWL WITH CREAMY DAIRY-FREE GARLIC DRESSING (VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE)