Pumpkin Seed Cranberry “Cheese” Log with Thyme

by Susan on November 20, 2013

Vegan Pumplin Cranberry "Cheese" log @Rawmazing.com

I’m in a holiday mood. It feels so welcome and refreshing because I haven’t felt this way in a while. For the last two years, I have been in the process of getting ready to move or had recently moved and I was simply too exhausted to put my normal holiday effort forth. Everything felt last minute and I had an attitude of “just get through it” which is completely out of character for me. 

Back in Minnesota, Thanksgiving was a huge feast that brought family and friends together. Shortly after Thanksgiving, I would start decorating for Christmas, my favorite time of year. Every room was touched with candles, lights, or ornaments. Each fireplace had elaborate pine swags that I arranged, little piece by piece. Berries, holly, pinecones, all created a magical picture. 

Often, even though I swore I would get the outside lights up before the first snow, I would find myself on the steep roof, standing in a couple of feet of the white stuff, clipping the strings to the edge of the roof. I know it sounds strange, but I loved it. The wind might be blowing and the snow falling but how can you feel bad when your arms are full of little white twinkling lights and snowflakes are blowing all around?

My first Christmas season in California was a struggle. I missed the cold and the snow. I missed the grey November skies have a beauty all of their own. The winter light playing off of the dark bare trees can be breathtakingly beautiful. These are the skies I was used to. The skies I love and missed horribly.  

I also missed the silence. When the earth freezes and is covered by a blanket of snow, it is quiet. Blissfully quiet. You may hear the occasional winter birds or the wind in the pines but the daily hum of summer completely disappears. There is silence and it is peaceful. And restful. And a wonderful time to settle in and slow down a bit. 

Somehow, looking out the window at palm trees (transplanted since we are in Northern Ca but here none the less) just wasn’t doing it for me. November would hit and I would get grumpy. I was tired of the sun and hearing crickets and lawn mowers in November. It just didn’t feel right for this Minnesota girl. 

But this year something is shifting. I feel a little ember of desire. I am looking forward to getting the holidays in full swing. It took me by surprise yet delighted me at the same time.

Where I notice it the most is in the kitchen. Everything I am inspired to make has a holiday or entertaining theme and I am loving it.

I am grateful to be once again inspired by the holidays. And with a daughter now only 3 hours away in the mountains, snow is back on my happy-happy-joy-joy list!

Today’s “raw cheese log” recipe is a great recipe for entertaining. It is easy, beautiful and  full of flavor! Pumpkin seeds, cranberries and pecans marry beautifully and the sharpness of the cashew cheese sets the sweetness of the pecans and cranberries off in the most tasty way! You will need to start this in advance but it refrigerates and even freezes well which is great when entertaining. 

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

kristina July 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Yeah what can we substitute for the yeast?


Susan July 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm

You can leave it out. It is for flavor. If you wish, maybe a teaspoon of miso. Cheers!


Diana November 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Mmmm, miso, what a great idea. Thanks!


Brandy August 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Does “let it sit out” mean let it sit on the counter, unrefrigerated? Thanks!


Susan August 30, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Hi, Brandy, I let it sit on the counter to let it culture a bit. But if it is really hot, you can put it in the fridge. Cheers!


Aimee November 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Hi Susan,

I began making this recipe last night. Let me first say that I am not a vegan or even a vegetarian but I am making a Thanksgiving dinner for my in-laws and they are all vegan, so I’ve decided just to make the entire Thanksgiving meal vegan friendly. I love trying new things anyway. Being new to all of this, I’ve never soaked cashews before and I’m worried i may have soaked them for too long. They were soaking for about 12 hours (honestly, I meant to only soak them for 6 or 7 hours but I fell asleep!) … so as one might expect, they are now rather soft and quite “plump.” Is there a way I can save these…maybe by cutting back the water while mixing everything up in the blender, or should I just start over and soak them for half the time? Any advice would be invaluable at this point :)

Thank you so much!


Susan November 24, 2014 at 4:52 pm

They should be just fine. Go ahead and use them. Cheers!


Aimee November 24, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Hi Susan,

I just wanted to stop back in and say thank you!!! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question (about soaking the cashews). Right now the cashew mixture is in the cheese cloth and it’s draining a bit. I’m sure this will taste amazing when it’s all done. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and for your help. I hope you have a great holiday!


Sarah November 25, 2014 at 9:54 am

Hi Susan,

Do you have a recipe for the crackers in the picture of this recipe?




sue December 5, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Hi, are the probiotics essential for this recipe or if I leave them out will I still get a good result?


Susan December 10, 2014 at 7:19 pm

They are in mostly to develop a nice flavor. You don’t have to use them but you will not get the same results. Cheers!


Jill December 23, 2014 at 7:38 am

Fresh or dried thyme?


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