Yesterday was one of those days when I really craved holiday food for no reason. So after exhibiting some tremendous self-control and passing on the famous pumpkin pie at the Urth Cafe, I came up with this healthy alternative.
I had some pumpkin puree left in the freezer (yay Halloween pumpkin carving leftovers!:) and some cream cheese lurking in the fridge. No graham crackers? Even better! Granola makes an amazing gluten-free crust that has lots of fiber, a good amount of protein and healthy fats from coconut oil.
2 tubs (8 oz. each) Fat Free/Light Cream Cheese
1/2 cup coconut sugar (half of this can be substituted with about 1/2 tsp liquid stevia/sweetener of choice)
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (put 1/2 tsp more if you like the flavor to be a bit stronger)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups Heart & Seed Granola (any kind)
¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
40g crushed pecans (walnuts/pumpkin seeds or a combo of all)
¼ cup Heart & Seed Granola (any kind)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp raisins, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp maple syrup/honey/coconut nectar
Make the crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a food processor, pulse 1 cup granola with the sugar and cinnamon until fine crumbs form. Drizzle in oil, and process until combined. Add remaining ½ cup granola, and process until combined but mixture is still crumbly.
3. Transfer to a 9-inch baking dish, and press mixture evenly into bottom and up sides. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake until crust is golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
1. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer/blender until combined. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Don’t overbeat! Remove 1 cup batter; place in medium bowl. Stir in pumpkin and spices.
2. Get the pie crust out of the oven, and top it the pumpkin batter. Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set.
While the cheesecake is in the oven, prepare the crumble:
1. Preheat a small pan over medium high heat. Add granola, pecans, salt and cinnamon and toast until fragrant, 3-4 minutes.
2. Add raisins and maple syrup. Stir until well combined.
3. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
4. After taking out the cheesecake from the oven , sprinkle the crumble over it.
Refrigerate the cheesecake for 3 hours or overnight. Serve this delicious and healthy goodness with greek yogurt or, if feeling indulgent, some whipped cream and enjoy!