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I went back and forth on whether or not I should put the word “cheesecake” in the title of this recipe. After all, these little bites are completely dairy-free and therefore cheese-less, but you’d never know it from their rich flavor and smooth texture.
Are they a spitting image of chocolate cheesecake? Nah, probably not. But they certainly are a tasty spin-off that gives a noble nod to the beloved dairy-rich dessert we all love…or used to love, in my case. With a simple ingredient list of heart-healthy almonds, antioxidant-rich cocoa powder, high-fiber coconut flour, pumpkin puree, a few spices, and some natural sweeteners, these treats far outshine traditional cheesecake in the nutrition department.
Put them out for dairy-loving guests at your next party or family gathering and I’m guessing they’d have no clue that these are not only dairy-free, but also gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
So you can smile and nod. “Yes. Cheesecake pops they are indeed!” Not a speck of cheese or refined sugar in sight, and packed with good-for-you stuff. But as your guests politely argue over who gets the last pop, no one needs to hear the wordy explanation of just how nutritious they really are.
It’ll be our little secret.
Mini Cocoa Cheesecake Pops
¾ cup blanched slivered almonds
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
12 – 15 drops liquid stevia
Chopped pecans, for rolling
12 lollipop sticks
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, grind the almonds, cocoa powder, coconut flour, cinnamon, and salt until fine, about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin and pulse to combine. Add the coconut sugar and stevia and process until the mixture forms a dough.
Roll the dough into small balls (1 – 1 ½ inches in diameter). Roll each ball in chopped pecans, pressing them in gently to adhere. Insert a lollipop stick into each ball.
Serve right away, or store the pops in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.
Craving more indulgent but still good-for-you recipes? Check out Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!