Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake
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December is here and I know many of you will be going to holiday parties so I thought this would be a perfect time to post an easy recipe that you could bring to a party or have at your own party if you are hosting. When going to a cocktail party or bringing a dish to someone’s home, I like to try and keep things as simple as possible. By that, I mean if I am hosting, I don’t like making a huge mess in the kitchen before people come over. Alternatively, when I am bringing a dish to someone’s home, I don’t want to have to worry about serving it with forks, plates etc. Cookies work out well for this and I know a lot of people like to bring and make cookies around the holidays, so if that is your preference check out my Whole Grain Buckwheat (or Oatmeal) Cookies. If you are interested in a different type of bite sized dessert, read on to hear about my Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes….

 

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

 

So I found this recipe for mini cheesecakes made in cupcake tins here awhile ago and thought it was a great idea (already in perfect portion sizes and no serving, plate or fork necessary!). However, my husband is not really a cheesecake fan so I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to make and bring them somewhere. A few weeks ago we went to a “Friendsgiving” and I jumped at the chance to make them with a few slight adjustments to make them more thanksgiving themed. So basically instead of vanilla wafers for the crust, I used gluten free gingersnaps, removed the cottage cheese and added pumpkin puree, and added a few pumpkin pie spices to the batter. Adding the pumpkin puree did make the batter a little more liquidy, so I did have to cook it for a little longer, but the texture still turned out good and cheesecakey. Also, have I mentioned before that pumpkin is super good for you? Lots of vitamin A, fiber and low in calories :)

 

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

(Makes 30)

 

Ingredients

30 Cupcake/Muffin Liners

30 Gluten Free Gingersnap Cookies

16 Ounces of Neufchatel Cheese (or Reduced Fat Cream Cheese)

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

4 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in center of the oven. Place cupcake/muffin liners into cupcake tin and add 1 gingersnap cookie to each liner. Mix all remaining ingredients together with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons batter to each liner and bake in oven for ~20 minutes or until cheesecakes are firm in the center. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to serve. If desired, you can top with whipped cream immediately before serving or make a crunchy pecan topping. To make a pecan topping you can simply sauté a 1/2 cup chopped pecans with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes or until topping is warm and fragrant. Sprinkle a few pieces on the top of each mini cheesecake.

 

Gluten Free Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

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Gluten Free Mini Pumpkin Cakes
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Fall is here now so that means lots of warm autumn flavors and ingredients like pumpkin, apples and sweet potatoes. While it is still pretty warm here in south Florida, it is October and I am ready to make some fall recipes.

Pumpkin has many nutritional benefits and adding pureed unsweetened pumpkin to baked goods not only adds a different flavor but also adds vitamin A and dietary fiber, both things that are often lacking in desserts. And not to mention the calories added from the pumpkinare relatively low.

A few years ago I made a gluten free pumpkin cake for Thanksgiving dessert and it was moist, pumpkiny and delicious (the recipe can be found here: Pumpkin Cake). However, I wanted to alter the ingredients slightly to my liking and put the batter in a muffin tin so I can have perfectly portioned mini cakes, instead of having to slice a cake. I did add some chocolate chips to make it more dessert like but if you prefer more of a muffin appropriate for breakfast, you can leave those out.

Mini Pumpkin Cakes

Makes 12 cupcakes/muffins

Ingredients
1 Cup Unsweetened Canned Pure Pumpkin Puree
2 Cups Almond flour
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Unpacked Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Cooking Spray
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Add almond flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda and spices to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add eggs,pumpkin, honey, vanilla extract, and oil to a smaller mixing bowl and stir. Slowly add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing until uniform. Add chocolate chips to batter and mix in if desired. Spray 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and fill each cup until about 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 20 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Mini Pumpkin Cake and Poppy

Nutrition Info (per muffin)

With Chocolate Chips
Calories: 230
Fat: 14g
Carbohydrates: 20g
Protein: 7g
Fiber: 3.3g

Without Chocolate Chips
Calories: 180
Fat: 11g
Carbohydrates: 14.5g
Protein: 6.5g
Fiber: 2.6g
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October 2015 047
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This my last pumpkin recipe of the season… I swear. I just can’t help it. Pumpkin tastes so delicious, is good for you and is just perfect with warm spices for the autumn season. 🍁🍂🎃

I wanted to make a healthy pumpkin dip for Halloween so I mixed pumpkin puree with nonfat vanilla yogurt, some neufchatal cheese and spices. That’s pretty much it… super easy. As for the dippers I attempted to make apple chips but apparently they stick to wax paper when in the oven 😕 (I learned the hard way that parchment paper should be used instead). So after my sad attempt at apple chips I just cut up my remaining apples into slices and just used them as dippers. To prevent browning I soaked them for a few minutes in a solution containing 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 cups of water. The dip turned out super delish and everyone seemed to really enjoy it! This would be a great addition for Thanksgiving dinner in a few weeks!

 Skinny Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients
1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin puree
1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt (I used dannon light & fit)
4 oz Neufchatel cheese
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ginger
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Allspice

Directions
Mix all ingredients together using either a food processor or a hand mixer. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Pair with healthy dippers such as apple slices.
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