Gluten Free Pumpkin Pecan Caramel Cheesecake… Oh yeah!

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So this weekend we celebrated my handsome husbands 35th birthday, and I tell you, if anyone in this house loves pumpkin flavored food more than me… it’s him! This Cheesecake was indulgence at its finest!  When I coach my clients they are sometimes shocked to see me endorse desserts! And to bring clarity to the matter, I coach my clients to not fear indulging from time to time, losing weight and being truly healthy in mind body and  spirit is never brought about by following rigid rules or by deprivation dieting!

*Coaching tip… I always say when you indulge, make it count 😉 be sure it is the best quality food and that you really truly enjoy it, eat it in the presence of loved ones and with great appreciation for the “sweetness” in your life 🙂 eat it with the understanding and acceptance that we allow no food to be our master.

So back to this beauty! I originally  found this recipe on Pinterest  but as I always do, I made my own additions and modifications to it, and the raves and reviews from my family were well worth the time and effort put into this cake! My mother in law even said that this was the BEST cheese cake she had ever tasted! As for the birthday boy? He was full of compliments for the chef as well! My advice is to make this cake the day before you plan on serving it, this gives it time to really “set” not to mention builds the anticipation for something to look forward to!

Here is what you will need for the crust:

  • 1 cup of ground up Gluten Free Ginger Snap Cookies (I got mine from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 cup of Raw Pecans coarsely ground
  • 1/4 cup Grass Fed Butter melted
  • 2 tbsp organic brown sugar

Coarsely grind up your ginger snap cookies and your pecans and toss them into a medium sized mixing bowl along with 2 tbsp brown sugar. Melt your grass fed butter and pour over your crumb/sugar mixture. mix together until all of the mixture is nice and moist then press into the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan and set aside.

Here is what you will need for the filling:

  • 2/3 cup Raw Turbinado Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 egg yolks from pastured (cage free) hens
  • 3/4 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/4 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages of Natural Full Fat Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Raw Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 Large Pastured egg
  • 1 Pastured egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp Organic Grass Fed heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp Organic Tapioca Starch
  • Additional whole Pecans
  • Jar of Fluer De Sel caramel (I got mine from Trader Joes)

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees. Let your cream cheese get nice and soft at room temp, beat all 3 packages with an electric mixer until they are well blended and fluffy. In a separate bowl, add your pumpkin puree, 2/3 cup of turbinado sugar, spices, salt, vanilla and 3 egg yolks and mix well and set aside. Slowly blend in your 1/2  cup of turbinado sugar to the cream cheese, add the 1 large whole egg and blend in, then add the 1 remaining egg yolk, once this is nice and incorporated add in the 2 tbsp of heavy whipping cream, lastly add the tapioca starch. When the cream cheese mixture is nice and blended slowly pour in the pumpkin  mixture until well combined. Pour into your ready to go 9″ spring form pan (you may want to grease the sides for easy release later, I use trader joes coconut oil no stick spray) Place cheesecake in middle rack of preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 50-55 min (some of the filling may leak out so place on top of foil or a cookie sheet when baking 🙂 )

After the cheesecake bakes for 50-55 min (a knife in the middle should be mostly clean) turn the oven off and let stand in the oven for an additional  60 min. This tip is supposed to keep your cheesecake  from cracking, perhaps you will have better luck than I because mine still cracked : / luckily no one seemed to care, and it sure did not affect the taste!

Once the hour is up, remove from the completely cooled oven and cover with foil and place in the fridge, preferable overnight,  about 2 hours before it is time to serve, take the cake out of the fridge and let sit on your counter for about 15 min before removing the spring form pan. Take your jar of caramel and a clear plastic zipper baggie and fill about 1/3 of the baggie with caramel, cut one corner tip of the baggie off to create a “piping bag” and use this to drizzle or “pipe” lines of caramel over the top of your cheesecake, go up and down, side to side and zig zag. As you can see in my picture above, the caramel ended up all “smooshing” together anyway 😀 but it was still fun to do!

Then lastly add your remaining pecans around the edge and place back into the fridge until cutting time! Enjoy and I would love your comments below!

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Ryan on his 35th Birthday

Gluten Free Pumpkin Waffles

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It’s Fall, my favorite time of year! Its also the time of year when EVERYTHING tastes better with pumpkin!  Did you know that Pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A? Pumpkin contains more potassium than a banana and it is also high in the antioxidant beta carotene which is what gives pumpkin its lovely orange color.  I love to experiment in my kitchen with real food and today was begging me to make something for the season, the weather was a little cooler the clouds were nice and overcast I even noticed there was a little “chill” in the house so out came the inspiration to make some yummy pumpkin waffles (I am never short on my canned pumpkin supply during the fall months!) I used an all purpose gluten free flour mix for these that was made from millet and brown rice, but I have to say I prefer Trader Joes all purpose gluten free as it it much finer and bakes up with a less grainy texture, but these were still pretty good and since the kids gobbled them up and Olivia even asked for seconds I think  its safe to say we have a good recipe (they are usually my toughest critics! 🙂 )

 

Here is what you need for the waffles:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 cage free egg
  • 1 over ripe banana
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

 

In a medium mixing bowl, mash the banana and add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, coconut oil, egg and vanilla, mix until well combined. Add all dry ingredients  and mix well, then add your almond milk. Once your batter is all mixed up (it will be thick, not runny) place a couple of larger scoops into your preheated and greased (I use additional coconut oil for this) waffle iron and cook as directed.

When these babies are ready, serve with some grass fed butter, real grade B maple syrup or a sprinkle of powdered sugar if you desire and enjoy the fall flavors 😀

Raw Chia Seed and Oat Cookie Dough Balls

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AH-MAZING! These cookies dough balls taste like butterfingers and those were one of my favorites when I was growing up! The kids and I made these little delights as part of our homeschool nutrition class today, and it was impromptu, really it was the kids idea to make a “healthy treat” so we did! I love that about homeschool! We googled some ideas, took advantage of what we had in the cupboard and came up with totally raw, yummy and nutritious little snack! And we have decided it is a blog worthy recipe!  So without further ado here is what you will need for these little yummies 🙂

  • 1/4 cup natural no sugar added peanut butter (we used chunky)
  • 1/4 cup raw almond butter (also chunky)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tsp no alcohol vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup raw gluten free oats
  • 3/4 cup shredded no sugar added natural shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (72% or higher)
  • a pinch of sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl, until well combined, then with clean hands 😀 take the mixture  and roll them into 1″ balls until all the mixture has been used, place them on a plate and stick them in the fridge for about 30 minutes before devouring! This makes about 20 balls…Enjoy!

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Victoria and the Ah-mazing “butterfinger” balls (aka Chia and Oat Cookie Dough Balls)