It's almost the holiday season. Time to re-think how to make the holiday favorites the healthier way. This year I wanted to try something a little bit more rich in the gluten-free and dairy-free person's eyes (and stomach). And...my husband has been asking me to come up with a healthier cheese cake recipe for months, and well, pumpkin makes it possible. So, this recipe does have dairy in it, but they kind of dairy that is used can be released of the lactose content. There is strained yogurt, so that is becomes kinda like a yogurt cheese. When it is strained it drains the main lactose parts, and the yogurt contains many probiotics to help with digesting. So, if you are a regular reader you know that I don't usually use dairy in my recipes, and this one is an exception. :) Just because. It's a treat. I had no problems with the after affects of eating it, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.
Sometimes you just have to :)
So, here we go. Mix the following ingredients together in a bowl with a fork and then flatten out in a 9x13 Pyrex baking sheet, or a 9x9 spring form pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Until it is golden brown. Pull out of the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes.
1 cup of ground almonds
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of palm oil shortening
1/8 cup of sucant
1/8 cup of water
1/2 ts of sea salt
As the crust is cooling you can mix up the inside pumpkin cheesecake...
3 cups of pureed fresh pumpkin (or canned will work too)
2 cups of strained yogurt (I used Greek Yogurt, or you could strain 4 cups of regular organic yogurt over night to strain out the liquid and come up with yogurt cheese)
3/4 cup of sucanat
1/3 cup of agave nectar
lemon juice from 1/2 of lemon
2 ts. of ground ginger
2 ts. of ground nutmeg
1 TB of ground cinnamon
2 farm fresh eggs
1 TB of vanilla
Whip up all the ingredients and pour into the pan with the crust. Smooth over and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven. Pull from the oven and the tops should be a golden orange and it will not be wiggley in the middle. If you want to check with a toothpick to see if it is not gooey in the middle to know if it is cooked all the way through.
Let cool on the stove and then cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. It gets better the colder it is. Served chilled and with a warm cup of tea or favorite desert beverage.
I needed to try this slice out before I served it... yep it is divine. And it is made with all healthy and whole ingredients! It is a simple way to enjoy something special these holidays without feeling like you are missing anything or indulging in something you will regret later.