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PUMPKIN "CHEESECAKE" SHAKE (& HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PURÉE)

One of my girlfriends who has always been a diehard smoothie-lover and pumpkin cheesecake fan recently adopted a plant-based diet.  She was the inspiration for this recipe, which uses coconut milk and yogurt to create a satisfying, creamy and healthy shake, minus the dairy!

During pumpkin season — September and October here in Ontario — I like to use homemade pumpkin purée.  It is super delicious and easy to make (see instructions following the smoothie recipe).  However, canned purée certainly does the trick.  Just be sure to get pure pumpkin and not pie filling!

For 2 servings, blend together until smooth:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

  • 1 cup steamed-then-frozen cauliflower

  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée (or more to taste)

  • 1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt (or substitute Greek yogurt)

  • 4 frozen coconut milk cubes (see note below)

  • 1/4 cup raw pecans (optional; pre-soaked for better digestion)

  • 1 scoop Nuzest vanilla protein powder or 2 to 4 Tbsp shelled hemp seeds

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

  • pinch of black pepper

  • pure maple syrup, raw honey (nonvegan) or stevia to sweeten as desired

Note: To make coconut milk cubes, pour well-shaken coconut milk into a standard ice cube tray and freeze overnight.

HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PURÉE

Be sure to use a pie pumpkin since they have better texture and sweetness for eating.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400F.

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise and scrape out the stringy pulp and seeds. These can later be washed & roasted for a delicious healthy snack!

  2. Place flesh-side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

  3. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the flesh is nice and tender when pierced with a fork.

  4. Cool for an hour.

  5. Use a large spoon to scoop the pumpkin out of the skin and put it into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

This will keep for several days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

This recipe was first published Oct 7, 2017.