We are currently on the cusp of fall, and you know what that means – pumpkin spice everything exploding all around us. Gratisfied is definitely partaking in the pumpkin spice craze with the launch of our latest product: Granola Clusters Pumpkin Spice, so of course I wanted to celebrate with a Healthified baked good.
I love cooking, creating and baking with pumpkin puree. I don’t think it has to be isolated to one season. Pumpkin puree is a great ingredient for gluten-free vegan baking in particular, because it adds moisture and volume in the absence of gluten and eggs. However, there is something special about incorporating that spice combination of cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg this time of year. Like finally feeling the crispness in the air after the dog days of summer. Cooler temperatures also mean more comforting foods. From high quality carbohydrates in the form of root vegetables, to warming breakfast bowls, to of course more blood sugar balancing baked goods. Lots of baked goods!
I wanted a primarily plant-based recipe to ring in the addition of our Granola Clusters Pumpkin Spice to the Gratisfied family of products. This recipe also calls for the Empower Bar baking mix, which makes for an incredible crust. Spero foods original cream cheese, cashews, and pumpkin comprise the majority of the filling, making the end result grain-free and vegan. I shared these squares with my group of fellow barre instructors, and everyone loved them!
You will need a high-speed blender or food processor to make the cheesecake filling. With minimal ingredients, and not a lot of prep (aside from having to soak the cashews), these squares come together easily and almost effortlessly. And it is like I always say: they are delicious enough for dessert, and nutritious enough for breakfast. Pair a square with a hot cup of coffee and curl up. Happy fall y’all!
- Mixing bowls
- High-speed blender or food processor
- hand mixer or stand mixer
For the crust
- 1 pouch Gratisfied Empower Bar Baking Mix see note
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup
For the cheesecake filling
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked 4-6 hours
- 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 6.5oz container or Spero Foods Original or sub with cream cheese
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
For the topping (optional)
- 1/2 cup crushed Gratisfied Granola Clusters Pumpkin Spice see note
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8 square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
- Make the crust. Place the Empower Bar baking mix in a large bowl or stand mixer. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil and liquid sweetener until combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the baking mix and beat until a crumbly dough is formed. It should feel like damp course sand, and hold together when you squeeze it. Otherwise you can whisk by hand until a dough is formed.
- Using your hands, press the dough into the bottom of the baking pan until firm. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Make the cheesecake filling. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the cashews, pumpkin puree, cream cheese, coconut cream, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, and vanilla extract. Blend until creamy, using the tamper as you need to to get everything going and blended. Add the arrowroot starch and blend again.
- Pour the cheesecake filling in the baking pan with the crust. Top with the crushed Granola Clusters Pumpkin Spice. Bake 50-55 minutes until the sides are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. The middle will still look darker and slightly undercooked, but it will firm as it cools.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours, before transferring to the fridge for 6-8 hours to completely set. Cut into 9 squares.