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No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)

raw vegan pumpkin cheesecake on a white plate on a table
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Pumpkin is a ubiquitous part of the North American fall season—which is understandable, considering that it’s native 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 are delicious and have some great health benefits.

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. Pumpkins also 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 are one of the highest plant sources of 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!

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.

Other Pumpkin Recipes
raw vegan pumpkin cheesecake on a white plate on a table

No Bake Pumpkin "Cheesecake"

This recipe for no bake pumpkin "cheesecake" is vegan, gluten and dairy free to help you keep your diet while enjoying the delights of pumpkin this season.
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CuisineGluten Free, Paleo, Raw Vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time30 minutes
Chilling Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
Servings8 slices




  • 1/2 cup dates softened, pitted and packed
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh 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. fresh 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



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


  • Make the Irish Moss into a gel according to package instructions.
  • Process the dates, honey, and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth.
  • Add the pumpkin pie spice, cashews and coconut meat and process until completely smooth.
  • 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.)
  • Pour the filling onto the crust.


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


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 539mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 680IU | Vitamin C: 5.3mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4.3mg

Photo credit: We Like it Raw

About the author

Dawn Gifford

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.


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