Sometimes in spring or summer, we wish that it was fall, just so we could make this pumpkin cheesecake! The crust is so gingery and snappy and the filling is so good, you can eat it on its own. Of course, you can serve this at any holiday gathering with pride. It is especially handy because you create it in advance, giving you time to be social and explain to your friends and family why you don't need cheese in cheesecake. For Your Smarts: At some point in your life, you may cut into a piece of ginger and see a blue-greenish ring of color inside! Let us congratulate you, you just scored a Hawaiian variety of ginger called (you guessed it) blue-ringed ginger! The flavor and texture are extraordinary. Use it just like you would use any other variety. For Your Parts: About 99 percent of pumpkins in the United States are used for Halloween jack-o-lanterns, but that's not all they're good for! These winter squashes have been used to treat bronchial asthma, as they help dispel all sorts of nasty things from your lungs and throat.

Pumpkin Cheesecake With a Gingersnap Crust [Vegan]

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Serves

8 - 10

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegan gingersnap cookies (about 24 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons neutral tasting oil
  • 1/4 cup brown or palm sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Pumpkin Filling:

  • 2 8-ounce containers vegan cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin, or pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
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Preparation

To Make the Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place cookies, almonds, ginger, oil, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and sea salt in a food processor and pulse until uniform, about 20-25 times. Mixture should be a crumbly, even consistency that pulls away from the walls of food processor.
  3. Grease a springform pan. Use damp hands to firmly press mixture into pan to form crust. Be sure to evenly distribute mixture and use thumbs to press crust into corners of pan. Bake for 7 minutes, to help crust stick together.

To Make the Filling:

  1. In a food processor, add cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, flour, lemon juice, oil, and sea salt. Blend until uniform.
  2. Pour filling into baked crust and gently tap mixture on the counter to release any trapped bubbles. Bake for about 40 minutes or until mixture is slightly browned on top and feels firm when pan is slightly shaken.
  3. Remove from oven and allow cheesecake to cool on counter for at least 20 minutes, then refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight before serving to firm up.
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