Plant-Based Pumpkin Spice Freezer 'Cheeze'cakeNov 26, 2020
This recipe was inspired by Thanksgiving, but is a healthy snack for all of the family (including babies 6 months and above) any time of the year. I adapted this recipe so that it is free of any sugar or sweeteners using only dates and some vanilla essence for the natural sweetness. This means it is suitable for your baby during complementary feeding. Of course always consider your own baby's development and risk of allergies as this recipe contains nuts.
We love it with the pumpkin spice flavour or even plain and served with fruit. These are super easy to make and last well in the freezer. My little one enjoys them still frozen especially when she is teething as it cools her gums. If she is off her food but will have one of these I know it is packed full of healthy fats and protein from the coconut milk, cashews and pecans. I prefer them defrosted, they feel like a real treat as the cashew mixture is creamy and melts in your mouth.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
Makes approximately 12 rectangle or round muffins
1 cup of pitted dates
1 cup raw pecans
1.5 cups raw cashews soaked overnight
1/4 cup dates
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix (add up to 3 depending on how strong you like the flavour)
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1. If your dates are quite dry soak them for one hour prior to use. If they are soft and gooey then blend dates as they are. Remove the dates and then blitz the pecans until all finely ground so they are safe for your infant. Add the dates and blitz again until the mixture sticks together between your fingers. If too dry add more dates.
2. Using a silicon mould of your choice, I use a mini rectangle shapes so that the 'cheeze'cake is easy for little hands to hold. But normal muffin trays with paper muffin cases inside would work as well. Pack approximately 1 tablespoon of the pecan mix into the mould/muffin paper and press down firmly using your fingers or the back of a spoon.
3. For the pumpkin pie spice mix, I found that store bought ones always contain a lot of sugar which I want to avoid for my little ones, so I mix my own. Add all of the spice mix ingredients to a mason jar, replace the lid and give a good shake until it is well combined. This mix will last well in the cupboard and can be used to spice up lots of other recipes. I like to add it to our porridge in a morning, or if I make breakfast banana and oat bars, or sometimes mix half a teaspoon into my coffee for a pumpkin spice latte!
4. Blend all of the filling ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add more coconut milk if the mixture seems too dry.
5. Spoon or carefully pour the mixture on top of the pecan crust. Try and remove the air bubbles by patting with a spoon or carefully shaking the mould. Cover with cling film and place in the freezer for 4-6 hours or overnight.
6. If you are using a silicone mould you can run a knife around the edge and then lightly push on the bottom to pop each one out. If you have a metal mould you can easily pop the 'cheeze'cake out of the muffin paper before enjoying.
These are great eaten whilst frozen, just allow 10 minutes before offering to your little one to allow the initial frost to wear off so they don't stick to baby's hands and mouth. Alternatively allow to defrost for an hour if you prefer a softer cheesecake texture. We think it is delicious both ways. Serve with fruit of your choice, we like sliced blueberries and strawberries.
These will keep in the freezer for a couple of weeks.