Looking to impress this Thanksgiving?! Make this:
- 3 cups almonds (previously soaked)
- 2 cups walnuts (previously soaked)
- 3 cups pitted dates
- 1-2 cans pure pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
- 2 cans coconut milk (previously refrigerated)
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup crushed pecans for topping
- cinnamon to garnish
- OPTIONAL: 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
When creating this recipe I kept telling myself: “keep it simple. keep it simple. keep it simple!” Even though pumpkin pie is an old shoe, it’s at the top of the Thanksgiving dessert list. Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Quite impossible. I found some beautiful inspirations for alternatives on Pinterest, however, none of them suited my personal preferences; which were to make the dessert RAW vegan. I looked around to find fresh off the field sugar pumpkins, but there were none ~ yet. Early September is still high season for squash. So I went for the plain old canned pumpkin puree instead! Safeway’s “Compliments” brand carries a great tasting, unsweetened canned pumpkin puree. I highly recommend it!
After what seemed like an endless labor of love, and half a day in the kitchen with my big helper Ozzie bear, the wonderful “Pumpkin Lasagna” came into being. Ozzie enjoyed watching me process all the nuts for the base, while licking the whipped coconut cream off the beaters. I highly recommend involving your children in the process of baking. Even if they are messy, have a short attention span, and might not want to stop “taste-testing”. Let them make a mess. Let them play with the ingredients, let them have their cake and eat it too. I love watching my son do these things, it gives me great joy. And when their little faces light up after showing them what they helped you create — that is pure magic!!
Anyways, let’s get started by making the base: simply combine previously soaked almonds and walnuts, and pitted dates in a food processor. No spices needed. You will end up with a lovely sticky, sweet & fragrant paste. Mold that paste into your lasagna dish (preferably glass). Next you will pour all of your pumpkin flesh into the dish. I like to sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp of pure maple syrup on top. Place in the fridge while you prepare the whipped coconut cream!
Scoop out the hard, creamy part of your canned coconut milk, this is what we will be using to make your whipping cream (it’s crucial that it be refrigerated at least 24 hrs beforehand!). Add 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract; and, if desired, more maple syrup to taste. Once whipped, spread all over your lasagna until covered in a thick layer of coconut whipping cream goodness! To finish, sprinkle with crushed pecans and dust with fresh cinnamon. Enjoy this dessert with family and friends, or, impress them at Thanksgiving dinner!
Storing tip: can be refrigerated for up to one week. Wouldn’t recommend freezing, as this makes the lasagna rock hard!!
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