Lightened Up Raw Pecan Pumpkin Butter

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I was recently asked in an interview how veganism has changed my life. Normally, questions like this bring out the best (worst?) of my indecisive nature, but this answer came to me quite easily. Veganism has changed my life in countless ways, but the one that stands out is how my love for animals has grown over the years. I’ve always been an animal lover as far back as I can remember, so looking back it’s not a big surprise that I eventually became a vegan. Geeze, I had a huge cow collection as a child for crying out loud. Seriously. A cow collection! Aside from loving animals, I have a sensitive nature and even though I’ve often viewed this trait with disdain over the years, I know for a fact that it’s shaped who I am and the choices I make. Not everyone is meant to have a thick skin.

As a little girl, I used to sit on the floor for hours with animals, rubbing their head or scratching their ears as they looked at me with their big, loving eyes. As someone who has been shy my whole life, animals comfort my soul. I feel secure around them and they love me unconditionally, often washing away any negative experiences I’m going through. Our first family dog – a scruffy, loving little mutt named Pepper – was unexpectedly taken from us when he was hit by a car one fateful day. I’d never felt such pain ripping through my heart, as I sat on the living room floor with my mom and sister unable to stop crying for hours. He was the dog that used to snuggle me and lick away my tears when I cried. He was always there at the front door when I got home from school wagging his little tail like crazy. Of course, he slept on my bed between my legs every night. Even though it wasn’t the most comfortable way to sleep, I couldn’t bring myself to move him.

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My initial reasons for switching to an animal-free diet were primarily motivated by health, but as I learned more about factory farming and the way animals are so often abused, it became much more than that. My passion for animal welfare has grown in so many ways. I value all walks of life, no matter how "insignificant" some living things may seem. I’ve always feared spiders and other insects, but I’m learning to overcome these fears and no longer feel the need to kill a bug in the house simply because it makes me uncomfortable. Everything has a purpose, a value, and a reason to live. Many people will scoff at this idea, but that doesn’t change how I want to live my life. So often as humans we feel it is our right to decide what lives and what dies, but I’m tired of that way of living. Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can do my own part. A vegan diet is simply the way I aligned what’s in my heart with the food on my plate.

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Speaking of animal-friendly food, I have a great recipe for you today! In my mind, the only thing better than a crisp, in-season apple is having a nutty, pumpkin-y dip to go along with it. You too?

What’s even better, this dip doesn’t require a food processor or 10 minutes of processing like most nut butter recipes. Simply toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend away like you would a smoothie. How cool is that?

This dip is inspired by Brittany’s Raw Cinnamon Cashew Spread on We Heart Vegan. A raw nut butter made in the blender? Absolutely genius, I say. So you can credit Brittany for planting this seed in my mind. I thought a pecan + pumpkin + pumpkin spice mix would be especially appropriate this time of the year. With cooler temps over the past week, my boots and jeans finally made their first appearance. This was the perfect recipe to ring in the fall season! Well, fall is technically not for 5 days, but you know…a girl gets impatient sometimes.

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Lightened Up Raw Pecan Pumpkin Butter

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, soy-free

By

print icon   Lightened Up Raw Pecan Pumpkin Butter

This lightened up, ultra-creamy raw nut butter is made with soaked pecans, pureed pumpkin, and a trio of pumpkin pie spices. It takes just 5 minutes to whip up and it's the perfect compliment to a fresh apple. Also try it on top of hot oatmeal, in a smoothie, or layered with vegan overnight oats. Recipe is inspired by Raw Cinnamon Cashew Spread on We Heart Vegan. Thanks Brittany!

Yield
3 cups
Soak time
3 hours
Prep Time
Cook time
0 Minutes
Total Time

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw pecans, soaked
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup canned pureed pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place pecans in a bowl and cover with water by a couple inches. Let pecans soak for a few hours. Drain and rinse the pecans well and then place in the blender.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the blender and blend on highest speed until the dip is smooth. Add sweetener to taste.
  3. Serve with apple or pear slices. Store leftover dip in an air-tight jar or container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
 

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If you are looking for other jams, nut butters, and fruit butter recipes, you are in luck – I have a whole page of them! Bring on the apple and pumpkin butter.

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{ 148 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren @ The Highlands Life September 17, 2013

My husband and I are definitely not vegan but we are doing a modified version of the paleo diet so this butter would fit into our lives perfectly. Yum!

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LindseyMM September 17, 2013

This was such a lovely post! I feel EXACTLY like you do — its crazy really! I became vegan for health reasons and since then I have become more concerned about animal welfare. I have seen this transformation on your blog as well! Thanks for the honest, heartfelt post as well as the awesome recipe!!! Much love!

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Alanna September 17, 2013

“A vegan diet is simply the way I’ve aligned what’s in my heart with the food on my plate.” What a beautiful sentence.

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Abby September 17, 2013

Do you happen to know the nutritional info? Looks like it wouldn’t be too crazy to eat a 1/4 cup, since its lightened up with pumpkin. Brilliant! And, pinned.

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Esther October 18, 2013

Abby, I recently made this for Thanksgiving and ran the recipe through My Fitness Pal. It worked out to 25 calories and 2 grams of fat per tbsp. (based on a total finished product of about 3 cups).

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Emily - It comes naturally blog September 17, 2013

Wow, now I know what I’m going to do with the opened can of pumpkin puree in my fridge…

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Julie September 17, 2013

This looks absolutely amazing! I’m a huge animal lover too. I’m a fan of alllll things pumpkin and nut butter so I’ll be putting this on my to-make list for sure.

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Amanda September 17, 2013

I loved this post. I’m the same way with animals, although I am still learning to co-exist (or at least not freak out) around spiders and other bugs.
Looking forward to trying your pecan pumpkin butter! I suppose it’s time to start hoarding those cans of pumpkin again. ;)

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Kari@Loaves n Dishes September 17, 2013

Here in Florida the insects never die or go dormant so they grow to be abundant and ginormous…just sayin’ ; ) About that Pecan Pumpkin butter! I love that I can eat gobs of it because it’s got less fat…woo hoo!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 17, 2013

Oh yes, I remember when I lived in FL as a child the creepy crawlers were everywhere! We used to have Palmetto bugs in the house. Terrifying. hah. I guess it’s all relative!

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Ashley September 17, 2013

This looks SO wonderful. AND, as always, your photos are gorgeous. Way to go!

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Amy September 17, 2013

It’s nice to hear you talk about your passion for animal welfare. I always enjoy your blog more when you add in the personal anecdotes, but I don’t believe you’ve touched on this much in the past and it was refreshing to read it. Thank you.

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Nora September 17, 2013

Angela, this is beautiful and I especially love this part: “So often as humans we feel it is our right to decide what lives and what dies, but I’m tired of that way of living.” I’m tired of that way of living too. We not only decide what “non-human” creatures live or die, but humans too. A book I would recommend to you about our place in the world is called Straw Dogs by Jon Gray. I think you’d enjoy it and it will give you a whole new perspective on what being human is.

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Greensoul September 17, 2013

“I’ve always feared spiders and other insects, but I’m learning to overcome these fears and no longer feel the need to kill a bug in the house simply because it makes me uncomfortable.”
I can absolutely relate to this. Although I will never really be a huge fan of spiders and other bugs, more and more I am trying to see them as useful cohabitants on this planet. And it´s not their fault that I do find them nasty! ;-)
This is indeed a development I have also made since becoming vegan.

By the way, I am a huge fan of your blog and your recipes. Keep them coming! :-)
Best greetings from Germany,
Dominique

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh September 17, 2013

Oh my goodness does this look wonderful! Perfect for dippin’ those honeycrisp apples waiting for me!

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Christie September 17, 2013

“So often as humans we feel it is our right to decide what lives and what dies, but I’m tired of that way of living. Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can do my own part. A vegan diet is simply the way I aligned what’s in my heart with the food on my plate.” This is beautiful! So much so, that I wrote it down and posted it with my other affirmations at my desk. Love this recipe and love the blog! Thanks for always coming through with wonderful fall recipes! Your pumpkin brownie pie has become a staple and a tradition at our family’s Thanksgiving dinners.

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McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN | Nutrition Stripped September 17, 2013

Wow, this looks so creamy and delicious! That color (*heart eyes*) is incredible Angela!

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dishing up the dirt September 17, 2013

my husband and I are organic vegetable farmers. We don’t eat a completely vegan diet (our neighbor has goats and makes cheese!) but we try our hardest to eat locally, ethically, and sustainably. This was lovely post. Can’t wait to try this pecan butter!

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Portland September 17, 2013

I’d love to know where I can buy raw, unroasted pecans. Any suggestions?

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Leanne September 17, 2013

bulk section of a grocery store.

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Brenda September 18, 2013

I buy my raw unroasted pecans at a small local health food store or a Meijer that is a chain store.

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Eileen Summers September 17, 2013

what a lovely story and so inspiring. I hope to give this new a butter a try.

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Anna September 17, 2013

I love the spoon! Thanks for posting this recipe :) I’m not vegan, but my boyfriend and I are switching to a healthier diet. We’re always looking for recipes that trick our taste buds into thinking they’re having dessert, and this looks like a protein-rich solution!

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Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} September 17, 2013

I love the lighter-looking texture of this. Can’t wait to try!

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Kym September 17, 2013

I wish I could get my thoughts across as eloquently as this! Lovely post, and I can’t wait to make this recipe :)

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Sage Shelton September 17, 2013

Beautifully written post. I will definitely be trying this recipe in the next couple days!

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Ashlee@HisnHers September 17, 2013

Mmm this would be a delicious french toast stuffer or pumpkin pancake topper!

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Jessica Noelle Glitterpony September 17, 2013

What a sweet post. Thank you for sharing your feelings/thoughts on being vegan–I especially loved the part where you said “not everyone is meant to have a thick skin.” I had chickens growing up and when I’d have a crummy day at school, they’d be my go-to buddies. Thank you also for the great dip recipe! It will help usher in fall in this house! :)

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erin @ An Inside Job September 17, 2013

This looks so good and how can you go wrong with pumpkin and nuts?

I just bought my first loaf of Ezekiel bread (mmm!) and I have been looking for things to spread on it. I’ve been meaning to try that bread for years now and finally bought a loaf. I’m adding this to my list of recipes to make for sure :)

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Tonja R September 17, 2013

How beautiful “A vegan diet is simply the way I’ve aligned what’s in my heart with the food on my plate.”
I have tried many of your recipes and they have become family favorites, and following your website and also Vegan Outreach fb page and website have helped me align my heart with my food.
Thank You!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 17, 2013

I’m so happy to hear that Tonja – thanks for reading!

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Heidi Kokborg September 17, 2013

I feel like I can really relate to what you write about how veganism has changed your lie. I have always love animals, and I miss them when I don’t have them around. But since switching my diet to vegan my love for animals has grown even more! It is no longer “just” pets I care about, but also ever other animals on the planet. Animals deserve to be treated well, and I truly do not think that they are ours to eat.

And I can’t wait to make the pecan-pumpkin butter. It looks so good, and just perfect for fall.

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Christine @ Gotta Eat Green September 17, 2013

You continue to amaze me with these recipes! This butter looks incredible.. and so easy! It would be so yummy on some fresh vegan biscuits!

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Jenny September 17, 2013

That was a beautiful post Ange, you summed it up in such a moving way. Eating animals is definitely not for me, and there is nothing better than coming home to a waggy dog tail!!

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Maria Tadic September 17, 2013

Pumpkin stuff is always a favorite! I love that this is so healthy but looks so good. Ill definitely be making this, this weekend!

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health September 17, 2013

Oh, Angela. This is why I love you. I can completely relate to your love for animals and that is exactly why I chose to become a vegetarian. We are smarter and stronger than animals which allows us the ability to decide their fate, but we should use our power to be kind. I love that you wrote everything has a purpose. So beautiful and true. I have a hard time killing spiders now and my house is currently filled with them! Haha.

This pumpkin butter sounds perfect for fall! You could have sold this in your OSG bakery.

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Lulu September 17, 2013

What a beautiful relationship you have with food and animals :) and good really should keep you grounded and appreciative of your health and comfort :) this is the kind of compassionate relationship I need to develop with food and life.

By the way, where can I get that apple slicer thingy?? Looks awesome!!

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allie September 17, 2013

oh my goodness! We had the exact same dog. Mine was Scotty. I looked at that picture of your dog and couldn’t believe it! He was a great dog. WE had him for 19 years. 19!!!!! I too was always an animal lover and scared for life when at 7 my dad took me hunting. Sigh.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 17, 2013

Oh you can bet that I most definitely will be making this! I love that you added chia seeds to the mix. I haven’t really made my own nut butter before (despite having very strong intentions to each time I see one of the recipes you’ve come up with!) but this fall it’s going to happen!

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Melissa September 17, 2013

Angela, is the chia whole or ground?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 17, 2013

It’s whole :)

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Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat September 17, 2013

I always love this time of year because of all these wonderful pumpkin recipes. This pumpkin butter sounds amazing!

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jodye @ whole pure recipes September 17, 2013

This sounds so lovely, Angela! It’s like fall blended into a bowl of creamy deliciousness! I love pecans and pumpkin together, and the more I can eat of it, the better!

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan September 17, 2013

Your words are so so true! Sometimes I feel like animals just get me, and veganism is just another layer in caring for them. Also, the butter= falltastic!

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Mandie Marie @ The Fruitful Turtle September 17, 2013

I love pumpkin butter, but PECAN pumpkin is even better…I’m having a food swap party in October and this would be the perfect thing to bring in little halloween mason jars :)

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Stephanie September 17, 2013

This is one of the best post I’ve read in your blog, the recipe is great but your thoughts about animal welfare are touching. I loved “Everything has a purpose, a value, and a reason to live.”
Just wonderful!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 17, 2013

Aw thank you, that means a lot! :)

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