Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

I know it may seem a little early to be thinking about pumpkin pie.  But hey, the pumpkins are out for Halloween so why not?  As far back as I can recall, pumpkin pie has always been my favorite Thanksgiving dessert. What’s better than the blend of spices, creaminess and delectable pumpkin flavor in this pie?

Over the years I have made dozens of vegan pumpkin pies, most of them turning out delicious and extremely similar to the “regular” version.  I’ve even brought them to family gatherings without mentioning they were vegan (don’t want to scare anyone off!) and no one even suspected the difference.

There was a time when it was rare and exciting just to find a vegan recipe for an old favorite.  Now there are billions of ideas at your fingertips with the help of search engines and there is literally a way to make anything without using animal products.

However, the challenge lies with making your desserts not only tasty but healthy.  The way I see it, if you’re going to eat dessert you may as well make the effort to make sure you are getting as much nutrition out of those calories as you can.  I’m talking about using fruit instead of white sugar, seeds, nuts, nut butters and coconut butter instead of oil, and whole grains instead of refined.

The secret ingredient in this pumpkin pie is TOFU.  Tofu gives this pie a creamy texture while also contributing a nice dose of protein.

Even if you despise tofu I guarantee that you will not taste it.  🙂

For this pumpkin pie you can go one of two ways for the crust.  My favorite is nut-based, however if you are looking for a nut-free option you can use oats.  Or, try half nuts and half oats.  Then again you can always buy a pre-made crust, however be aware that most contain refined wheat flour, sugar and/or oils/margarine.

Date-Nut Crust:

  • 2 cups nuts (almonds, walnuts or whatever you love)
  • 1 cup dates (medjool are my favorite– pit them first!)
  • maple syrup, as needed
  • sea salt to taste

or…

Oat Crust:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut butter
  • maple syrup, as needed
  • sea salt to taste

Process all crust ingredients in food processor until they begin to stick together and form a mold-able dough.   The addition of maple syrup may be necessary for the ingredients to stick, depending on how dry your dates are and what type of nut you use.  Press into your pie plate.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 block of Mori-Nu extra firm silken tofu (or similar)
  • 1 cup dates
  • 3-4 Tablespoons coconut butter–softened (helps firm up pie when chilled)
  • maple syrup to add sweetness, as desired
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • sea salt to taste

Blend up all ingredients in your food processor and then transfer to a Vitamix or other high speed blender to get everything super smooth and blended.  Taste, and if you prefer some added sweetness you can always toss in more dates or some maple syrup.

Once blended, pour into your crust and put in the fridge to chill and set for a few hours.  No baking required.

Have you ever made a vegan pumpkin pie with tofu?  What did you think?

 

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