This year, I’m mixing it up a bit, instead of sharing a full Thanksgiving menu, I’ve picked and choosed my four favorite seasonal selection. I can’t help it that most of them skew in the direction of dessert, by now I know you have your turkey/cauliflower mash/gluten free stuffing recipes down. This selection of recipes includes my favorite innovative ideas that I’ve come across showcasing our favorite fall flavors. I’ve thrown in a vegan dessert option, a fully raw dessert option, a pumpkin chia pudding recipe that you can showcase in roasted pumpkin, and a play on Hasselback potatoes, using nutrient dense butternut squash.
Hasselback Butternut Squash with Maple Glaze
1 small-medium butternut squash
Coconut oil, for brushing
1/3 cup maple syrup or coconut nectar
2 T. Tahitian Vanilla Ghee (could also use plain ghee)
1 T. fresh thyme and 2 whole fresh thyme sprigs
3 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F. Slide rack into the top third of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, trying to keep the two halves as even in size as possible (for even cooking). Scoop out the seeds and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the skin and the whitish layer just beneath it to expose bright orange flesh. Place on baking sheet, cut side down. Brush squash with melted coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Remove squash halves to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut slits 1/4-inch apart in the squash, cutting almost but not all the way through. *Tip: Place the handle of a wooden spoon alongside the squash to act as a guard to prevent cutting too far down.
Return cut squash to the same baking sheet. Heat cup maple syrup (or coconut nectar) and 2 T. ghee in the microwave or a small saucepan until the butter is melted. Stir well to combine. Brush with maple/butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves over squash, trying to get in the slits a bit, if possible.
Return squash to a 425 F. oven for additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, baste with more maple/ghee mixture, then add1/4 of water to the pan and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. Tuck 2 or 3 thyme sprigs between a few slits in each squash half. Add pecans to remaining maple/butter mixture and stir to combine. *Note: If mixture has hardened at all, re-warm before adding pecans so it’s liquid again. Brush pecan/maple/butter mixture over-top of squash. Add a final 1/4 cup of water to the pan and return to the oven for a further 8-10 minutes, or until squash is tender.
Remove from oven. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over each half. Sprinkle with finishing salt.
Pumpkin Chia Pudding
Makes 1-2 servings
½ cup almond or cashew milk
½ cup full fat coconut milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
2 T. white chia seeds
¾ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1-2 T. maple syrup or coconut nectar
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined and no clumpy bits remain. Continue to whisk over the next 10 minutes until chia has absorbed liquid and is not clumpy. It is important to stir frequently during this time.
Place bowl in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight, to thicken and chill.
Garnish with nuts, toasted pumpkin seeds, or coconut cream if desired.
Vegan Pumpkin “Cheesecake” with Kite Hill Almond Cheese
Serves 6 to 8
1½ cups pecans (could also use almond or walnuts)
½ cup almonds, hazelnuts, or toasted pumpkin seeds (your choice)
10 medjool dates, soaked in water, peeled and de-pitted
1 T. vanilla bean powder (could also use 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla)
2 T. coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
2 cups cashews, soaked minimum 4 to 6 hours in warm water and drained
1 container Kite Hill Vegan “Cream” Cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup SO Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk
1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla
⅓ cup Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Coconut Whip Cream
Line a square cake tin with parchment paper.
In food processor, add the pecans and nuts of your choice; start food processor; then add the dates, vanilla, coconut oil, and sea salt. Blend until the consistency of dough.
Scoop this nut “dough” onto your cake tin and firmly press down with your fingers to create a crust about ½ inch thick. Once evenly pressed, place in freezer.
Add filling ingredients to a high-power blender (you may want to make in batches, depending on the quality/power of your blender). Blend until creamy then remove the crust base from freezer and pour this filling over it, smooth with a knife and garnish the top with pecans.
Place back into freezer until firm (approximately 2 to 3 hours). Take out of freezer and cut into squares. Top with coconut whip cream if desired. Can store in fridge or freezer. This will get very soft if not kept cold, so keep frozen or chilled until about 30 minutes prior to serving.
Raw Vegan Pumpkin Tarts
2 cups pecans
1 cup soft dates, soaked in hot water, peeled & pitted
1 T. coconut oil
½ tsp. cinnamon
pinch sea salt
Pumpkin Pie Filling
1 cup pumpkin puree
5 soft dates, soaked in hot water, peeled & pitted
½ cup coconut butter
¼ cup almond, cashew, or coconut milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ground ginger
Blend all crust ingredients in a food processor until you have a thick, uniform crust texture. Scoop dough out and mold to parchment lined muffin pan creating a bowl shape.
Place crust in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Blend all filling ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor until you have a creamy uniform consistency.Remove muffin pan from the freezer and scoop filling into your crust. Place pumpkin pie tarts in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
Take the tarts out of the freezer 20-30 minutes before serving.
***This can also be warmed up if you prefer, simply place in oven on 350 for 20 minutes***