Are you sick of pumpkin yet? I know, me neither! I’m trying to find more ways to stuff my face with pumpkin while I still can. Honestly I’m actually really excited for eggnog too. And Christmas music! When is it socially acceptable to start playing Christmas music? Hmm…let’s think about it for a minute and get back to talking about eggnog. I think I want to try making it from scratch this year. Have you ever done that? is it worth it? I seriously can’t believe it’s already the Holidays. This year flew by. It’s so weird how the older you get the faster time goes by. Do you think it ever slows back down? This time last year I was neck deep in my cookbook. Speaking of cookbook, this was actually a recipe that didn’t end up making it. Fun Fact: my cookbook was originally over 550 pages. Say what?! I know, can you believe that? The cut off was 432 pages, so I ended up having to take like 7 recipes out. I call these, “The Lost 7”. This is one of those recipes and I thought what better time to share the recipe than now during the height of pumpkin season! This is a great recipe for people who like pumpkin, but aren’t pie fans. This would be a terrific recipe to bring over to your in-laws and knock everyone’s socks off. It even had hidden veggies in it. Don’t you just love hidden veggies?
So where did I leave you last on the book tour re-cap? Ah, yes, I told you all about San Diego and what a great first tour stop it was. The second stop on our tour was Manhattan Beach, CA. So for those of you that aren’t familiar with California, Manhattan Beach is one of the many beach areas of Los Angeles. I had never been there before, which is funny, because it’s really not that far from San Diego. Maybe 2 hours? I never really go to LA because the traffic sucks and all the people are so good looking. It’s like why would I want to drive 2 hours in traffic just to loathe myself? Ya dig? But I thought LA would be a good tour stop since it’s such a huge city, they’ve got to have a Paleo community right? Well we were in luck because they definitely did!
I also thought LA would be the perfect place to wear my really cute skirt that I got at H&M. I was totally right. I didn’t even end up hating myself as much as I thought I would against the backdrop of all the good looking LA people. They are like their own breed of good looking. A 10 anywhere else would be a 6 in LA. Oh crap I totally almost forgot to tell you about the crazy drunk guy that came up to our car. We ended up getting there about 30 minutes early, because you never know with all the damn traffic. We had to park in front of a bar (which is like my number one no parking rule, never park in front of a bar!) but I wasn’t driving and there was no other parking. So anyway this super rando drunk guy comes up and starts hitting on Juli while we were sitting in the car. He’s like, “Do you know how many Instagram followers I have?” Apparently that’s how people hit on each other in LA. Dude obviously didn’t know how many followers Juli has. Haha. Anyway he was part owner of what he called, “The Dollar Shave Club, but for beards”. Huh? Wouldn’t that like be the exact opposite of Dollar Shave Club? SMH. He also called me, “Curls”, which honestly, I kind of liked.
We ended up at this cute little independent bookstore called Pages. It was a warm week in So. Cal. which meant it was 4 million degrees inside the store, so after pitting out under the bright lights while giving a paleo talk inside the bookstore, we decided to go sign books outside where it was nice and cool. Good call. We ended up meeting tons of people and also meeting a few other Paleo bloggers in the area like Valerie from Cocos Paleo Kitchen and Kim from Paleoschmaleo. I even met a Woody Show fan! (The Woody Show is my favorite morning radio show, based out of LA, check out their podcast if your life feels empty and shallow.)
After the book signing we went out to this restaurant across the street, I forget what it’s called (not important, it wasn’t life changing) but they did serve yucca fries. They were so fluffy. “It’s SO fluffy!” Then Juli, Stacy and I all rolled back to the Stacy Mansion to crash for the night. We sat and watched the Disneyland fireworks in Stacy’s driveway forever because…free fireworks show, duh.
So until next time, get your pumpkin swerve on, enjoy life, and be good to others! I don’t know why, but I feel like I should leave you will happy life advice. Is that weird? Kinda, I mean this is a food blog after all. Okay then I’ll just say peace out bitches. You aren’t bitches though. I love you. Speaking of being good to others, my friend Ashley and I went to get our nails done the other day, and this lady gave up her massage chair seat so that Ashley and I could sit next to each other. It was such a nice small rando act of kindness that really meant a lot! I loved that lady, she rules. I also loved the foot massage I got and I definitely love this Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake. So there’s that.
- 2 heaping cups (8½ ounces/240 g) pecan pieces
- 1/4 cup (40 g) coconut flour
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup, dark
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons smooth almond butter
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 cups (310 g) raw cashew pieces, soaked at least 4 hours or better yet overnight
- ½ cup (120 ml) melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, dark, divided
- ¼ cup (60 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup (185 g) peeled and diced zucchini
- ¼ cup (35 g) coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup (240 ml) canned pumpkin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- Line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper or an 8-inch by 8-inch glass pan. Place crust ingredients into the bowl of a high-powered food processor. Process until crumbly and combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed.
- Press the crust evenly into desired pan, starting with the sides and working down to the middle. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Drain the soaked cashews and put them in a blender. Process the soaked cashews until they are somewhat broken down. Then add the coconut oil, ¼ cup (60 ml) of the maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Next, add the zucchini, coconut sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Blend until a smooth and creamy batter has formed. Taste and add up to 1 tablespoon more lemon juice, go by taste to make sure the lemon flavor is there but not overdone.
- Measure out 2 cups (475 ml) of the batter into a separate container and set aside. To the remaining filling in the blender, add the pumpkin, remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and ground cloves. Blend until smooth.
- Pour half of the pumpkin mixture into the prepared crust. Then pour half of the plain batter over the pumpkin layer. Repeat this process twice. Using a butter knife, gently swirl through the layers to create swirl designs. Place the finished cheesecake in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours. Remove from the freezer and let thaw 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Store any remaining in the freezer for up to two weeks. Let thaw 15 minutes before eating.
- Subs: Unsalted butter in place of almond butter in the crust. ¼ cup (60 ml) unsweetened vanilla almond milk or cashew milk in place of canned full-fat coconut milk in the filling.
- Depending on what types of lemons you use, the flavor could be stronger or weaker. That’s why I recommending starting with 2 tablespoons and tasting before adding more to get the perfect flavor.
- Crust – 1 day ahead