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don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.


No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from
Want to try something amazing? Trust me when I say, there is nothing healthy tasting about these incredible and incredibly healthy pumpkin pie bites.

My go-to pumpkin pie recipes have undergone many changes over the years, adapting to my dietary restrictions and taste preferences. But this year I thought I’d go all out and make a dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan pumpkin pie. I did some research to see if this was possible.

It was very possible.

No-bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from

The trick was what recipe to trust, choose, and how to adapt it. I found a lot of raw pie crust recipes made with dates, and, unfortunately, I am not the biggest fan of dates, so they are not a usual ingredient I buy. Not wanting to make a special trip to the store just for dates, I found a recipe on for no-bake pumpkin walnut pie—date free—and decided to adapt it to fit the ingredients in my kitchen.

During my research I saw so many complicated no-bake raw crusts. They called for all kinds of nuts and ingredients. I just kept thinking about how simple a raw crust should be. I mean, anything can be crumbled and made into a crust! (It just needs to taste awesome)

So I simplified the crust into three ingredients, an idea I found on walnuts, maple syrup, and vanilla. It’s a treat in itself! It’s technically not raw, but there is no baking involved. I was eating this before I could turn it into a crust. I thought this combination would be pretty sticky, but it’s actually not. It’s smooth and buttery. Nevertheless, I still greased the bottoms of my mini cheesecake pan for easier removal.

Making three ingredient walnut pie crust from

This is what the crust should look like after processing.

No-bake walnut pie crust from

Pressed walnut crust in mini cheesecake pan.

I made these bites to try something different, and to serve individually at a party. I think this would work very well as a whole pie, and the measurements should be the same.

If you are making pumpkin pie bites versus a whole pie, keep in mind that these are very soft and delicate. Like whipped cream, these delicious, fluffy pie bites will start to soften as soon as they are taken out of the cold.

I did not wrap the bites in paper while making because I wanted to see how pretty they were. But I recommend making these in cupcake liners or individual serving cups unless you are very patient. I made mine in a mini cheesecake pan. I used a butter knife to loosen the pumpkin pie filling from the edges, then pushed them out from underneath very carefully.

To serve them unwrapped, place pumpkin pie bites on a chilled tray or individual plates for immediate serving. Since I was transporting mine, I placed them in tulip parchment liners, which unfold and fold back easily. These could also be frozen for an hour so they become easier to serve, and should have the consistency of ice cream.  Keep them in the freezer longer in an airtight container for frozen pumpkin treats.

No-bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from

This is my pumpkin pie bite wrapped in a tulip parchment paper liner. Easy to serve, easy to eat!

For a thick, solid filling, use coconut oil and full fat coconut cream, which stiffens and solidifies upon chilling. Also, make sure you use walnuts for this recipe. The walnuts act as a thickening agent to keep the filling solid. They are also heart healthy!

Maple syrup is apparently healthy for you as well—in moderation. This recipe calls for a small amount of maple syrup, but it goes a long way! These pumpkin pie bites are perfectly sweetened. I served them at a Halloween party, and they were a big hit.

I love creating as many recipes I can that adapt to different dietary restrictions because, hey, I know how it feels.

No-bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from

No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites
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For the Crust
  1. 2 cups raw walnuts
  2. 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
For the Filling
  1. 1 can pumpkin (15oz)
  2. 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  3. 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  4. 1 cup full fat coconut cream (the solid part of the canned coconut milk that separates when chilled)
  5. 1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  10. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
For Crust
  1. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely crumbled. Add syrup and vanilla and pulse until ball forms.
For Filling
  1. Pulse 1/2 cup walnuts in food processor until finely crumbled. Add 4 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, salt, and all spices then pulse until smooth.
  2. Add pumpkin 1/3 cup at a time to food processor and pulse until well combined.
  3. Transfer pumpkin mixture to medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup full fat coconut cream (leave the clear liquid behind in the can).
  4. At this time, taste and add more sweetener if desired.
  5. For the last step, add melted coconut oil and stir quickly. Once cool it will begin to solidify.
To Complete Pie Bites
  1. Brush 12 cup mini cheesecake pan bottoms with coconut oil or Smart Balance Light. Alternatively, use a 9 inch greased pie pan or paper lined cupcake tin.
  2. Press 3/4 tablespoon (about 2 teaspoons) of walnut mixture into bottom of mini pans to form crusts.
  3. Spoon filling evenly into crusts. There may be a tiny bit left over to snack on. Refrigerate for at least four hours to firm, then pop out of the tins and serve immediately. Filling will soften if not kept refrigerated.
don't miss dairy

No-bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from

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Coconut Coffee Ice Cream


I just came back from a month long trip to the East Coast, and it was so very hot and humid while I was there. The difference between Pittsburgh and California summer is not the temperature but the humidity.

However, every building or house in Pittsburgh has air conditioning. I’ve just come home to a sweltering apartment with only one window air conditioner in the bedroom. If there was any humidity in the Bay Area forget it–we would rent a place with central AC. 

The past few summers living here have been very mild, but for some reason it’s July in Mountain View and 90 degrees. Tuesday it’s supposed to go up to 100 degrees! After spending over three weeks in air conditioning my apartment is awful. The heat is bearable but draining.

So I was super tired after my flight and decided to make an easy, no cook, coconut milk ice cream to beat the heat. My chocolate chips were actually melted in my cupboard from the heat, so I made coffee ice cream out of instant coffee instead. It makes a nice pick me up as well, which I needed!

Make sure your coconut milk is full fat and chilled for a day or two in the fridge. It also helps to chill the bowls and containers you will be using, especially if it’s a hot day. Oh my, this coconut ice cream is so delicious–it tastes like a Starbucks Vanilla Frappaccino with whipped cream.

Coconut Coffee Ice Cream
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  1. 2 cans full fat coconut milk, chilled
  2. 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  3. 3/4 cups white sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Add coffee and sugar to a medium bowl and mix together.
  2. Open cans of full fat coconut milk. Solid part should be at the top if fully chilled. Leaving the cream in the can, drain only the light liquid coconut milk into the bowl of coffee and sugar. Add vanilla as well. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Prepare your ice cream maker. Stir the coconut cream remaining in the can into the coffee/milk mixture until well blended.
  4. Immediately pour into ice cream maker. Let mix for 25-30 minutes. Freeze for 1 hour to harden or use soft.
don't miss dairy
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Nutella Brownies

I first saw the idea for Nutella brownies on Pinterest, although, when I went to click on the link to the post it was marked as spam. I looked up another recipe for proper cooking time. It was a bit more complicated, so, filtering out the extras, I was able to decipher the very simple way of baking Nutella brownies.

I made these for my best friend Alicia for her bridal shower, since one of her favorite foods is Nutella! She spent some time in Italy studying abroad and she would bring Nutella to our dormitory, where we would eat it out of the jar with pretzels and spread it on croissants.I wrapped the brownies in blue wrappers to match her wedding colors. They were a big hit: chewy, soft, melt in your mouth chocolately hazelnut goodness.

The brownies will look too soft and not quite done–don’t panic! This is how they are supposed to be. Don’t cook them too long!

P.S. These are not dairy free. Nutella is made with skim milk. However, I ate one at a time with no lactose intolerance problems. These are extremely rich, so I recommend eating one at a time anyway! My ultimate goal is to create dairy free chocolate hazelnut brownies. Will start working on that asap.

1 cup Nutella
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs

Using a rubber spatula, mix 1/2 cup + 2 level tablespoons of flour with 2 eggs and 1 cup of Nutella until just combined. Divide batter equally into a 12 cup muffin pan. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. Centers will be soft. Allow to cool before eating and store in refrigerator.


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