Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and as someone who loves to cook (and eat), it’s without a doubt my favorite holiday. Since I’ve been preparing the Thanksgiving meal for years now, I’ve go most of my recipes on lock. But I’ve been wanting to experiment with some healthier Turkey Day alternatives that don’t skimp on flavor.
I decided to combine one of my favorite foods and Thanksgiving staples into a dessert: sweet potato. I adapted this recipe and was able to create a dessert that is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. I know what you’re thinking, but I promise it’s still delicious!
By using a base of pecans and dates and a filling of cashews, coconut cream and roasted sweet potatoes, the result is silky and decadent without being too cloyingly sweet. And because it’s no bake, it won’t take up much needed space in your oven on the day when it matters most.
- 1 cup of pitted dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes if they aren’t soft)
- 1 cup of pecans (you could substitute with another nut of your choice)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 4.5 Tbs melted coconut oil
- 1.25 cups of cashews soaked in water (minimum 4 hours)
- 1/3 cup coconut milk (I like to use just the fatty creamy part that rises to the top when refrigerated)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbs molasses
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Extra pecans for decorating (optional)
- Combine sweet potato with 1 Tbs of the coconut oil; toss to coat and then place in 400 degree oven to roast for about 20 minutes, or until soft (be sure to keep on eye on them because you don’t want them to brown too much)
- While sweet potato is roasting, put dates, pecans and salt in food processor and process until you get small, mealy crumbs that stick together when you press with your fingers.
- Press into bottom of a springform pan until flat, going up the sides about a 1/2 inch. You could also use muffin tins for individual portions if you wanted to be extra adorable. Place in the freezer to set.
- Add all the filling ingredients, including the roasted sweet potatoes and remainder of coconut oil, into a blender or vitamix and blend for a minute or two until everything is smooth. If the mixture seems really thick, add a little bit more coconut milk.
- Pour filling on top of the crust and smooth with rubber spatula. Cover and return to freezer for about 4 hours or until set.
- When ready to eat, let thaw for 10 minutes and top with additional pecans. Slice and serve!