Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cashew Cream!

With the heat making a final comeback before autumn can truly settle in, I was inspired to make a very delicious cool treat last night. I had been craving butternut & acorn squash soup, but I want to wait for the weather to cool down again so I can really savor the soup's warmth and flavors. And thus, in want of fall flavors but in need of a cool-down, this creation came about!

(Dusted with a bit of cinnamon powder... Mmm!)

First, you will need to use my Raw Cashew Cream base, originally shared during foodie week. But remember your pumpkin bread recipe from earlier this week? You're going to incorporate some of that autumn magic into this! Your leftover pumpkin from the 1/2 can (unless you couldn't restrain yourself and went ahead and made 2 delicious loaves...) is to be used, along with all your pumpkin bread spices in similar quantities until you feel that it has been seasoned to your liking. Here is the base recipe again.
Ingredients:1 cup soaked cashews (at least 4-6 hours soaked works best), 1/2 cup water (or 1 1/2 cups of water if you are unable to soak the nuts), 1/3 cup raw agave or raw honey, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/3 cup pitted dates (these impart a buttery flavor that is SO good and, of course, still vegan!), 1 vanilla bean OR 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1-2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil or cacao butter

For the pumpkin spice, use your reserved 1/2 can of pumpkin and add following spices: 1/2 tsp. ground/grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, and dash of ground ginger, or more if you want more of that gingery zing! If you'd rather, start off with less of the seasonings and just add a bit more as you develop it unique to your tastes and preferences.

Blend all ingredients in a high-power blender (our preference is the VitaMix, but BlendTec or some other high-powered blender works just as well as you want a smooth, creamy texture and consistency), and place in a REGULAR bowl in freezer for 10-15 minutes for quick-serve or longer if you want it a bit more solidified for several hours. You don't want ice crystals to form on the cream. If you want it to be chocolate pumpkin spice, add 1-2 tsp raw cacao powder into the base and mix or just add vegan chocolate chips to insert a delightful chocolatey surprise into each bite. Basically, add whatever toppings you'd like. **Note: DO NOT use an ice cream maker bowl as the base will freeze to the sides and ruin your batch.**

I love the versatility of this recipe as it can be converted into a pumpkin cashew un-cheesecake by using crushed pecans and dates, pressed together as a mock graham cracker crust and then pouring the base into it and chilling it. Or you can just have a delicious pumpkin spice un-cheeseball to take to fall festivals and gatherings in order to provide healthier fare-- and satisfy your vegan friends, too!

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