Are you ready for this? It’s raw, vegan, no bake pumpkin pie, my friends. Let me say that again, for the people in the back. RAW. VEGAN. NO BAKE. PUMPKIN PIE. *and the crowd goes wild, roaring with applause!!*
I know, I know. Pumpkin pie is as classic and traditional at Thanksgiving as the turkey. How can you change it?! Sometimes, change is good. Sometimes, you need a pie that you can devour and not feel one ounce of guilt. (Not that you should ever feel guilty eating pie in the first place, because pie is an essential food group.)
Back in the broke college days, I made a version of this pie from patty pan squash I harvested from the farm that I worked at in Snoqualmie Valley. This is now the grown-up, blossomed, mature version of that pie. The pie crust, made solely of dates and nuts, is so crunchy and crumbly. I promise, you won’t miss the butter. And the pumpkin filling – mmhmmm! It’s so creamy and luscious and rich. I may have eaten an entire bowl of the filling in one sitting… Trust me, this will not only satisfy every pumpkin-and-sweetness-loving molecule in your body, but this will also impress anyone you serve it to, because this pie is that good.
Yes, it’s totally vegan.
This pie crust is made solely of cashews, pecans and dates, and it is incredible. Like, so good that you could just snack on it by itself like granola. The dates hold the pie’s shape and add a delectable sweetness while the nuts add a satisfying crunch and crumble in each bite.
The pumpkin filling has zero dairy or eggs. But, how does it get thick and creamy? Aha, I’m glad you asked. Behold, the power of cashews. Dates are not the only star in this pie. Cashews are soaked in water for several hours, drained and then blended to make the pie filling extra thick and creamy.
What is raw food? Just like it sounds, it is food that’s never been cooked (or more specifically, never been heated over 104°F.) It’s a whole movement and lifestyle. If you’re into the raw food diet, you don’t have to feel left out of the holiday hoopla, because you can whip up this gem of a dessert and out shine everyone else’s dish.
The nuts (both the cashews and the pecans) are raw, not roasted.
Now, I use canned pumpkin which technically isn’t raw, because canned pumpkin has been cooked. So if you’re a strict raw dieter, then get yourself some raw pumpkin, peel it and slice it, then blend it in the food processor or blender, adding a bit of water as necessary to make it smooth.
The “no-bake” part of this pie is the best, in my opinion. Thanksgiving morning and afternoon are hectic! Even though my family celebrates potluck-style, with everyone in charge of making something in their own kitchen to bring to the gathering, my Dad was always the one in charge of the most important dishes – the turkey, the mashed potatoes and gravy, and the stuffing. So bright and early on Thanksgiving morning, my dad would be in the kitchen getting everything started. In fact, one year we even used our neighbor’s two ovens to bake dishes, because our oven was already full with the turkey! That day was spent frantically running back and forth between two houses on a day that should be spent slowing down to enjoy quality time with loved ones. So here is one less thing to squeeze in your oven and pile on your stress. This pumpkin pie requires no oven or stove. Just some time, a lot of love and a food processor. <3
Of course, since this is your pie, you can choose to top it with whatever you fancy. I made this vegan whipped cream, made of aquafaba. Aquafaba is the juice that is in canned chickpeas. As if this pie couldn’t get any more healthy and vegan-y! It’s much more airy and light than diary-based or coconut-based whipped cream, but it’s quite delicious if you pop it in the freezer for about an hour to harden a bit. It comes out like thick, cold gelato – a perfect topping for a vegan, raw, no bake pumpkin pie!
Break out this pie as the grand finale to your holiday meal, also starring one-pot turkey stuffing or turkey stuffed squash! 🙂
Vegan, Raw, No Bake Pumpkin Pie!
- 1 cup dates
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 3 hours
- 1 cup pumpkin (either canned pumpkin or raw blended pumpkin)
- 1 cup dates
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1⅔ cup non-dairy milk of your choice (I used oat milk)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Soak 1 cup of the cashews for the pie filling in water on the counter for at least 3 hours.
- To make the pie crust, first blend the pitted dates in a food processor until they become a thick and sticky clump. Use a spoon to spread out the blended dates in the food processor, and add the cashews and pecans. Pulse until the nuts are ground into about 1 mm pieces and the mixture holds its shape when you squeeze it in your hand.
- Pour out the crust mixture into an 8-inch or 9-inch greased cake or tart tin. A tin with a removeable bottom will help extract your pie when it's ready to be served.Press the crust mixture into the cake or tart tin, using your fingers and palm. Have the crust come up the sides about an inch and a half. Be sure to press all around so the crust is evenly distributed and there are no holes. Set the crust aside.
- To make the pie filling, first drain the soaked cashews and blend it in a food processor until it looks creamy, like thick ricotta or blended tofu. Set the blended cashews aside in a bowl.
- To the (now empty) food processor, add the dates and blend until they become a thick and sticky clump, just like for the crust. Add the blended cashews, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, milk and vanilla extract. Blend until everything is smooth and creamy. It might have a few small chunks here and there, which is totally okay.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the crust in the cake or tart tin. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the top of the filling. Refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours, for everything to firm up. Enjoy!