10 luscious desserts with hidden vegetables

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5. Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Sweet potato cheesecake is like the sultry southern cousin of pumpkin cheesecake. Both are a creamy orange in color and take well to warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are in fact often interchangeable, but as much as I am utterly nuts about pumpkin, sweet potatoes have denser flesh and ultimately more concentrated flavor. Which makes them the perfect candidate for cheesecake!

For crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-natural gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

For filling:

  • 9 ounces organic cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup date sugar (Sucanat or brown sugar may be used)
  • 1 3/4 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup organic low fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For topping:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl mix gingersnap crumbs, pecans, ginger and butter until combined. Press mixture with your fingers into the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes or until set—do not let it brown. Remove and let cool.
3. In a mixing bowl use a fork to mash together butter and sugar for topping until crumbled, then stir in the pecans until lightly incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
4. Beat cream cheese until smooth and add maple syrup and date sugar. Add remaining filling ingredients and beat well until combined. Pour into crust and bake for 30 minutes, then add topping and bake for another 25 minutes, or until set.
5. Cool on a rack. Remove springform ring and chill at least several hours, or overnight.

Next: Eggplant tarte tatin with black pepper caramel.

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