How to be Creative and Healthy with Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Pumpkin PIeMost people are currently planning their Thanksgiving menu, and no doubt yours will include pumpkin pie!  If you follow my blog you’ve probably noticed that I love to play around with pumpkin recipes.  I love pumpkin, because it is rich, flavorful, and healthy.  Pumpkin pie does not have to be full of saturated fat, sugar, and other empty calories in order to taste fantastic!  Make yours healthy this year, by using almond/coconut milk instead of cream, an almond meal crust, and healthier sweeteners.

You’ll find my recipe for pumpkin pie under “Cozy Fall Recipes,” but feel free to spice it up a bit!  Tonight I added fresh cranberries and a quartered granny smith apple to the food processor pumpkin mixture.  Both of these fruits added fiber and antioxidants.  Don’t tell the kids, but I also snuck a quarter cup of bean flour in there (couldn’t taste it, but it made for a thicker texture and added more protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and other nutrients to an already healthy pie).  After pouring it into the casserole dish I sprinkled pecans and extra pumpkin pie spice on top.  Give your guests a shock with a healthy, creative pie that tastes better than the grocery store kind (and yours will look a lot less like plastic than that kind!).  Most people don’t believe that health food can taste so good.

A couple tips:  1) If you use my recipe for the almond crust, I’ve found that it’s easiest to use a small rolling pin to flatten it down into the dish.  Make sure not to use too much, or it will get sticky.  If it does get sticky try coating the roller with a little coconut oil, or place a piece of parchment paper on top of the crust while you roll it.

2) If you use a whole “pumpkin pie” pumpkin, instead of canned you will probably have more than you need for one pie.  Use a casserole dish!

3) For healthier sweetener, try to use something that is less processed and lower glycemic than bleached sugar.  There are many options, but xylitol, agave, and coconut sugar (that one’s not low glycemic, but has some health benefits because it is minimally processed).  Next time I may use a half cup of one of these, then add a few drops of stevia.  Try not to oversweeten it!  It’ll be more healthy with less sugar, and too much sweetness hides the flavor of the pumpkin.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

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