Raw & Fermented Treats

Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe for raw pumpkin cheesecake is vegan, gluten and dairy free to help you get the most out of your pumpkins this season.

Pumpkin is a ubiquitous part of the American fall season—which is understandable, considering that it’s indigenous to this part of the world.

This time of year, many people will carve pumpkins for Hallowe’en. But unfortunately, after the outside is carved, most of the time people throw the inside away. And that’s a shame, because the “meat” and seeds of the pumpkin have some great health benefits.

Pumpkin History

Many Native Americans used pumpkin as both a food and a medicine. The first settlers from Europe added it to their diets and then some of them helped spread it to the rest of the world by returning to their birthplaces in Europe with the seeds.

Pumpkin Nutrition

Pumpkin meat is very high in carotenoids, which are what give pumpkins their orange color. Carotenoids are really good at neutralizing free radicals—nasty molecules that can attack cell membranes and leave the cells vulnerable to damage.

Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which scavenge free radicals in the lens of the eye. Therefore, they may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.

Besides carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all antioxidants, pumpkins have a lot of common nutrients, like iron, calcium, zinc, and fiber.

Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are very high in protein: one ounce of seeds provides about seven grams of protein. They also contain copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

The healthiest way to enjoy pumpkin seeds is to eat them raw after soaking and drying them. Once you’ve removed the seeds from your pumpkin, first wash in cool water to remove any pumpkin residue, then soak them in a bowl of purified, salted water for 8 hours to remove any enzyme inhibitors that could upset your stomach.

After soaking, dehydrate the seeds in a dehydrator (or very low oven) at 105 degrees for at least 12 hours. If you wish, you can sprinkle them with some sea salt or cayenne pepper before you dry them to make them extra tasty!

Pumpkin seed oil is high in phytosterols, plant-based fatty acids that are chemically so like cholesterol that they can replace it in the human body—contributing to the reduction of blood cholesterol levels. Pumpkin seed oil is also high in essential fatty acids (EFAs).

EFAs have many benefits, among them the maintenance of healthy blood vessels and nerves and the lubrication of all tissues, including the skin. And as mentioned above, they can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.

EFAs are not the only constituents of pumpkin seed oil. This oil also contains vitamin A, which (among other things) helps keep our eyes healthy and stimulates the T-cells of the immune system to help fight off infection. And the oil also has vitamin E, which acts like lutein and zeaxanthin to get rid of free radicals.

So the next time you’re carving a pumpkin and are tempted to just throw out the inside—don’t! Save the flesh and seeds and eat them instead.

And if you’re not into pumpkin carving, don’t pass by those small specimens at the farmer’s market or produce section. Pumpkin is a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy the fall harvest season.

Here is one of my favorite gluten and dairy free ways to help you get the most out of your pumpkins this season.


Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe for raw pumpkin cheesecake is vegan, gluten and dairy free to help you get the most out of your pumpkins this season.




  • 1/2 cup soft dates, pitted and packed
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2 hours, drained
  • 1/2 cup young coconut meat (about 1 young coconut)
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (or make it with 1/4 Tbsp. nutmeg, 1/4 Tbsp. cinnamon, 1/4 Tbsp. allspice, 1/4 Tbsp. ground cloves)
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  • 3 ounces Irish Moss OR 4 Tbsp. kudzu OR 2-3 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin, dissolved into 1/2 cup purified water (Follow package directions for dissolving.)


  • 3/4 cup raw pumpkin, chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 Tbsp. purified water
  • 2 tsps. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dates, soaked
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or make it with 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. allspice, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves)



  1. In a food processor, process pecans, raisins, cinnamon, and salt until the mixture begins to stick together.
  2. Press the crust mixture evenly in the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan.


  1. Process the dates, honey, and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Add the pumpkin pie spice, cashews and coconut meat and process until completely smooth.
  3. Add the coconut oil and Irish moss gel and process until well incorporated. (*If you can't find Irish Moss at the health food store, don't worry! You can make the cheesecake without it, but serve it straight from the refrigerator, and keep it cool.)
  4. Pour the filling onto the crust.


  1. Place the pumpkin and carrot along with the water and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the dates and pumpkin pie spice and blend again until smooth.
  3. Spread the pumpkin topping evenly on top of the filling.
  4. Chill at least 3 hours before serving.
  5. Enjoy!


To use the Irish moss in its dried seaweed form (look for whole, not powdered), rinse it well, soak it in water for about 12 hours until it swells, then boil it thoroughly with the liquid you want to set before you strain it out.

Adapted from Rachel Fracassa

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Raw Vegan, Vegan, Paleo

Recommended for This Recipe

Photo credit: We Like it Raw

This recipe for raw pumpkin cheesecake is vegan, gluten and dairy free to help you get the most out of your pumpkins this season.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

About the author

Dawn Gifford

Dawn is the creator of Small Footprint Family, and the author of the critically acclaimed Sustainability Starts at Home - How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. After a 20-year career in green building and environmental sustainability, chronic illness forced her to shift her expertise and passion from the public sphere to home and hearth. Get the whole story behind SFF here.


Click here to comment. (Please note our comment policy. Comments close after 90 days.)

Books You’ll Love


Want to eat healthier?
Starting a special diet?
RealPlans totally customizable meal planning app makes getting a delicious, whole food dinner on the table a snap—whether you're Paleo, vegan or something in between!

Vegetarian • Paleo • Gluten Free
AIP • GAPS • Traditional • Keto
50 Ways to Love Your Mother - Simple Steps for a Greener, Healthier Planet


Get your FREE ebook with 50 simple, “entry-level” ways to go easy on the planet, and your wallet, too.

Thank you! Please check your email now and be sure to CONFIRM your subscription to receive your ebook.