Vegan pumpkin "cheesecake" with coconut whipped cream for a no-bake dessert on Meatless Monday

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Over the past few weeks, Meatless Monday has shown you how to make everything you need for your Thanksgiving table -- all totally vegan dishes -- except dessert. But we wouldn't forget about the most important aspect of any holiday meal: This vegan pumpkin cheesecake fits the bill, especially when topped with dairy-free coconut whipped cream. You'll want a strong blender or food processor for this recipe (adapted from a gluten-and-dairy-free blog), but you won't need to use the oven at all -- a bonus this week!

See also: Vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls for a seasonal dessert-for-breakfast on Meatless Monday

You will need: 12 dates 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups raw almonds 1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup coconut oil 2 cups raw cashews 1 can pumpkin 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 lemon 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 can coconut milk (full-fat -- Thai Kitchen is our favorite brand) 1/4 cup powdered sugar

The night before, put the can of coconut milk in the fridge and soak the cashews overnight in plenty of water.

1. Soak the dates in enough water to cover them for about half an hour. Drain them, reserving some of the water (about 4-to-5 tablespoons). 2. Put the almonds in your blender/food processor. Grind into a fine powder. Set aside. 3. When the dates are soaked, put them in the blender or food processor with 4 tablespoons of the date water and salt. Blend until you have a paste. Melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil and add to the paste, blending thoroughly. Add the almonds and mix until everything is well-combined. 4. Spoon the crust mixture into a springform pan. Press into the pan using the back of a spoon and pop it in the freezer to set for at least ten minutes while you make the filling. 5. Drain the cashews and melt the remaining 2/3 cup coconut oil; put them in your blender/food processor (washed, rinsed and dried) along with the pumpkin, the maple syrup, juice from the lemon, the apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, the salt, the cinnamon and the nutmeg. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into the cheesecake pan and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. 6. Meanwhile, make the coconut whipped cream: Open the can of chilled coconut milk. Scrape the thick cream off the top of the can (discarding the thinner milk) and into a bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use a mixer to beat the coconut milk into a cream, until it forms soft peaks -- just like you would regular whipped cream. Beautiful. Store until ready to serve. Use a knife to loosen the cheesecake from the springform pan before you open it; cut and serve just like any other cheesecake, topped with your whipped cream.

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