Balance isn’t something I’ve excelled at in life. When I would be working on something I’m passionate about, I would throw myself in to it so completely that I’d burn myself out. I was a bit of a workaholic and it would literally take me half of any vacation to be able to even begin to quiet my working mind to be able to unwind. Two days later I’d be chomping at the bit to get back to work/life at home.
Relaxing was not my forte. It’s taken me years to get to a point of being able to relax on command and to actually be able to embrace it. Finding balance in food proved equally difficult when I was trying to figure out what worked best for me while also being able to live my life normally (ie, travelling, going out, etc.). So often people get wrapped up in their ‘diets’ or their way of eating that it impacts their day to day living and that’s not something I’m willing to do anymore.
I have zero issues with refined sugar but I get that plenty of you are very much in to the ‘healthier’ alternatives (which isn’t really a thing, and you can learn more about that from Laura <–link), so I set out to make a cheesecake with the coconut sugar you all seem to love so much.
At home, I make desserts with regular old white sugar and brown sugar. If something is going to be enhanced by the flavor of honey or maple syrup, then obviously I’ll go for that… but I don’t really give a shit about the much professed health benefits of the alternatives. But you guys love coconut sugar. So here we are.
We had just finished off some regular pumpkin cheesecake the week before and since we both eat something sweet after dinner daily, I decided to see if it could still be delicious with some of the more popular swaps.
I was super pleased with how these pumpkin cheesecake bars came out! Every bite is as delicious and satisfying as regular cheesecake. We’re kind of obsessed. They’re creamy, lightly spiced, every bit as cheesecakey as you want them to be and taste completely of fall. They’re the definition of nostalgia.
They’re not quite gone yet and we’re already looking forward to the next flavor I’m going to make on Sunday. I’m not gonna lie- I’m very likely just going to use brown sugar because I still think it tastes better, but you do you.
Can’t freaking wait.
Happy weekend lovelies. We’re heading to a deck party at my mom’s this afternoon where there will be an excessive amount of excellent food, wine, family and friends. There’s also a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake because apparently we can’t be stopped.
- 10 golden oreos (I used Trader Joe's Joe Joe's)
- 5 tsp coconut oil
- 1 8oz package full fat brick style cream cheese
- ¾ C 2% plain greek yogurt
- ¾ C coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ C pumpkin puree
- 2 TBSP all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Grease and line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Pulse cookies in a small food processor until they're fine crumbs. Pulse in coconut oil until it begins to form a loose 'dough'. Press mixture in to the baking pan and set aside.
- In a mixer, beat the cream cheese and coconut sugar together until the sugar completely dissolves and the cream cheese is fluffy. Stop to scrap the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add the greek yogurt and pumpkin and beat until well combined.
- Add the spices, vanilla and egg and beat until light and creamy. Again, scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Lastly add the flour and mix until completely combined and no lumps remain. Pour in to prepared baking pan and place on the center rack of your oven for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set. It will still wiggle a teeny tiny bit but not much.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for minimum 4 hours but preferably overnight.
- Cut in to desired sized squares and serve chilled.
Craving more pumpkin? Click HERE for all the pumpkin things!
Want more cheesecakes? I’ve got you covered with THESE