Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts: Pumpkin "Cheezecake," Pecan Pie, Pecan Caramel Truffles (Recipes)

Thanksgiving can be rough for vegans. Even side dishes tend to be packed with animal products, like chicken broth and heavy cream. But expend a little effort, and it's not as tough as you might imagine to concoct a cruelty-free menu.

Short Order's own Camille Lamb is the Whole Foods Coral Gables' healthy eating specialist, and we stopped by her Monday night class to get schooled on vegan desserts for Turkey Tofurky Day.

From pumpkin cheezecake to icebox pecan pie, she showed us that there's no need to sacrifice the good stuff come next week's eating extravaganza.

See also: Ten Best Thanksgiving Dinners at Miami Restaurants

Here are the recipes. Since we got to taste test 'em, we can vouch for their dairy-free deliciousness.

Cashew Pumpkin Cheezecake


2 cups raw cashews, soaked one hour, drained and rinsed

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp agave or maple syrup (or honey, if you wanna go the non-vegan route)

1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup chia seeds (for textured batter) or 1/2 cup coconut flour (for smooth batter)

1. In a food processor, combine cashews, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar until mixture is smooth. (You may need to stir a few times if mixture clumps). Add in remaining ingredients one by one, processing to incorporate between additions.

2. Scoop mixture into nut crust (see below) and refrigerate one hour before serving.

Fruit & Nut Pie Crust


1 cup dates

1/3 cup pecans

1/3 cup cashews

1/3 cup almonds

1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Add ingredients to a food processor and process until batter is sticky and consistent. Press into bottom and sides of a pie pan before adding pumpkin cheezecake mixture (or other filling of your choice) and refrigerate to set.

Pecan Caramel Truffles with Cacao and Smoked Salt


1 1/2 cup pecans

1 cup rolled oats, ground to fine meal

3 tbsp almond butter

1 cup dates, ground to a paste

3 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey, if you wanna go the non-vegan route)

1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp smoked sea salt, fine

1. In food processor, grind pecans to a fine meal. Add remaining ingredients (except for 1/4 cup cocoa powder and smoked salt) and mix well in a bowl until it forms a ball.

2. In small bowl, mix the smoked salt and remaining cocoa. Using about a tablespoon of mixture, form truffles and roll in cocoa/smoked salt mix. Store in fridge before eating to firm up.

Icebox Pecan Pie


4 cups pecans, soaked one half hour, drained and rinsed

1 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or raw honey, if you wanna go the non-vegan route)

1.5 cups coconut milk

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract


2 cups whole raw almonds

6 chopped pitted soft dates

2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or raw honey, if you wanna go the non-vegan route)

Pinch sea salt

1. For the filling: In a blender or food processor, combine soaked pecans, agave nectar and coconut milk and blend until smooth. Add shredded coconut, cinnamon and vanilla extract and blend until smooth and creamy.

2. For the crust: In a food processor, pulse almonds until crumbly. Add dates, agave nectar and sea salt and pulse until combined. Press into a pie pan or springform pan and set aside. Finally, pour filling onto crust and spread evenly. Put finished pie in freezer and freeze four hours or until firm. Remove from freezer about 1/2 hour before serving for easy slicing.

And if you want to join any of Camille's Health Starts Here classes, she hosts them regularly at the Whole Foods Coral Gables' Lifestyle Center. And they're free! They're on hold until after Thanksgiving, but they pick up again in December. Check out the store's website for details.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

Follow Short Order on Facebook , on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

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