No-Bake Two-Bite Pumpkin Cheesecakes (Paleo, dairy-free)

No-Bake Two-Bite Pumpkin Cheesecakes (Paleo, dairy-free)

Note from The Natural Nurturer: As all you mamas and papas know, life moves pretty quickly...especially when you are watching your children grow. Too fast. Absolutely too fast, so sometimes you have stop the world and soak in those precious and important moments. While I am off to Disneyland, celebrating my daughter's birthday with my little family, my fellow healthy-living mama, Cristina from The Castaway Kitchen, generously offered to share this wonderfully festive fall recipe with the TNN community.  Thank you so much, Cristina!

As my son gets older (and pickier) I find myself at a loss of what to make for him. Although he won't always partake of my paleo diet, he loves protein and he loves fruit. So I roll with it. 

No Bake Two Bite Pumpkin Cheesecakes (Paleo, dairy-free)

But then of course, there's all the junk. The chips, crackers, cakes etc which he wants to eat because he sees other kids eat. But no. I'm sorry. Ok, no, I'm actually not sorry. I am THAT mom. I don't want him thinking that Doritos are real food. When he can make choices for himself, he can have {insert frankenfood here} but he will do so knowing that it's doing him more harm than good. 

No Bake Two Bite Pumpkin Cheesecakes (Paleo, dairy-free)

On my watch, I will create, even with his limited, tyrannical, three year old preferences,  healthful, delicious and nutrient dense foods which he can enjoy. These fall treats are a perfect example of that. How great is it that you don't really have to worry if they eat it too late (no sugar high here), or if they forego dinner because they want a treat. 

Packed with pumpkin or butternut squash, cashews and grass fed beef gelatin... yeah, go ahead. Have another baby, you enjoy that treat. 

No Bake Two Bite Pumpkin Cheesecakes (Paleo, dairy-free)

These are super cute and the creamy cashew based "cheesecake" part is delicious and light. The dark chocolate pecan "crust" adds the right amount of crunch to these two-bite cakes and you can feel good about enjoying them, after all, they're made with whole food ingredients! 

No Bake Two Bite Pumpkin Cheesecakes (Paleo, dairy-free)

 

These are great make ahead, as they last in the fridge three or four days, and freeze really well! Keep them in their muffin liners until ready to serve. 

Looking for more Paleo fall treats? Try Cristina's Don't Tell Them It's Paleo, Apple Pie or her Healthiest, Super Delicious Paleo Pumpkin Pie

No Bake Two Bite Pumpkin Cheesecakes (Paleo, dairy-free)

Ingredients For Pumpkin Filling:

  • 8 oz whole raw cashews
  • 2 cups diced pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp grass fed beef gelatin (I use Great Lakes)
  • 1/4 cup hot water (from where you boiled squash/pumpkin)

Ingredients for the crust:

Directions for Pumpkin Filling:

1. Set your cashews to soak ahead of time, about three hours (or overnight).

No Bake Two Bite Pumpkin Cheesecakes (Paleo, dairy-free)

2. Bring a small pot of water to boil and add in diced squash or pumpkin. Boil until pumpkin or squash is fork tender (about 20 minute).

3. While the pumpkin/squash cooks, measure out the spices, lemon juice, vanilla and maple syrup and combine in a blender.

4. Drain your cashews and add in 1 1/2 cups soaked cashews to the blender. 

5. Blend mixture on high, using prod to keep the mixture moving.

6. When your pumpkin or squash is cooked, drain. Save cooking water to be added later. 

7. Add 2 cups pumpkin/squash to the blender (careful it will be hot!).

8. Next, add 1/4 cup of the hot water you cooked the pumpkin/squash in to the blender. Also, add in the beef gelatin at this time.

9. Blend again on high again. Keep the mixture moving until it's completely smooth. 

10. It will be a light orange color, thick and creamy. This will be your pumpkin cheesecake mix. If you want the pumpkin cheesecake filling to be sweeter, add another tbsp of maple syrup and blend again. If you want it tangier, you can add a little lemon rind and blend again. Now is the time to adjust to your preferred flavor. Mixture may seem runny. Don't worry the gelatin will solidify the filling as it cools.

11. Line your muffin pan with 12 aluminum or silicon muffin liners.

12. Distribute the pumpkin cheesecake mixture evenly between the twelve muffin cups, about 1/4 cup in each hole.

13. Tap your pan down on the counter so the mixture settles flat in the cups. 

14. Set the muffin pan in the fridge to set for about an hour. After they cheesecakes have set, they should be firm yet creamy to the touch. 

Directions for Crust:

1. In a glass measuring cup or other microwave safe, non-reactive cup melt the chocolate chips. You can do this in a double boiler or on low heat in the microwave (about 45 seconds). As the chocolate begins to melt, you should be able to stir it.  

2. Add in the coconut oil to the chocolate and stir to combine.

3. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cheesecakes, then spoon one to two teaspoons of melted chocolate over each one, spreading it out gently.

4. Set the muffin pan back in the fridge. It will take about half an hour for the chocolate to set. It will be hard to the touch when ready. 

5. When ready to serve, carefully peel away the liner and flip them over to reveal the creamy pumpkin cheesecake over the hard chocolate shell! 

These are delicious, healthy and tasty. They will melt in your hand! So keep them cool until you're ready to enjoy. 

These cuties are Jack approved! 

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