Happy Thanksgiving! Who wants pie?
Today I feel moved to write just a little bit on the subject of navigating Thanksgiving while still caring for yourself and your health!!
When we face any type of gut issue or imbalance, the process of loving ourselves and our guts begins to include making changes to the foods we eat on a regular basis. As we tune into our bodies, we begin to become aware of the damage that certain common foods can do.
For many of us, cutting out sugars and carbs becomes the key to regaining balance in our guts.... and in our lives too! It becomes a matter of life and health! This can make Thanksgiving and other holidays a difficult time to navigate, with all the sweet treats made with love. It's hard to turn down Grandma's pumpkin pie, which was made with every intention of generosity and love!
Over the past number of years where sugar, wheat, and dairy weren't on the docket for me due to food intolerances, sensitivities, and a systemic candida infection, I have found that the easiest way to do good by your belly is to have an alternative to the traditional treats without having to miss out entirely.
Ultimately, the goal when giving up sugars is to get our bodies and tastebuds to the point where they don't crave the sweet taste in the same way they do when eating sugar and carbs regularly. But when it comes to holidays, I think it is a great occasion to make a sugar free, wheat free, and diary free treat so that you don't miss out! Also, it is healthy to give yourself some extra allowance in the carb and sweet taste department from time to time, and this pie fits into that category, containing some carbs in the form of pumpkin itself and arrowroot/tapioca flour. It is a small amount though comparitively... just enough to make you feel like you're getting away with something!
Below, you will find a quick version of a recipe for a grain-free, sugar-free, (potentially) dairy-free pumpkin pie. I use liquid stevia as my sweetener of choice, as it has been shown to help break up biofilms, in addition to not feeding any nasty microbes, yeast, or parasites that are often causing issues in the gut.
In the past, when in a rush, I have used a Gluten Free crust from our local co-op to make this recipe instead of making my own crust. It's not ideal for a sensitive gut, but at times we can only handle so much. It's the holidays... sometimes you can't do everything. Banish guilt and shame around these subjects... it's ok to not be perfect! That being said, every effort that you can handle to make your holiday more gut friendly is worth your time.
Grain Free Pie Crust (the latest iteration)
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 TBSP arrowroot (or tapioca) flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tablespoons egg replacement of choice or 1 egg
2 Tablespoons cold almond milk or water
1/4 cup cold coconut oil or grass-fed butter
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flours, cinnamon, and salt until all clumps are broken up.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg (or egg replacer) and almond milk or water.
Add the butter/coconut oil and cut the butter into the flour until it is broken into pea sized clumps .
With the processor running, add the egg/water mixture in a thin stream until the dough begins to form a ball.
Place dough ball onto a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with arrowroot and press into a thick disc. Sprinkle the top with a little arrowroot, cover with another piece of parchment paper, and roll into a flat disc about 11"-12" in diameter.
Loosen the parchment from both sides of the dough and then carefully slide the dough into a greased 9" pie pan. You can also choose to put the dough disc directly into a greased pie pan and use the heel of your hand to gently spread the dough. Fix any cracks with your fingers
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. Use within 24 hrs.
When you are ready to add the pie filling, pre-bake by baking 10 minutes at 375 deg F, or until edges are a slight golden brown. Let completely cool before adding filling and completing the baking process.
Sugar-free, Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie filling
1/3 cup organic almond butter
1/3 cup coconut manna (or coconut butter, made from the flesh of the coconut)
1/3 cup almond, coconut, hemp, or flax milk
1 can organic, unsweetened pumpkin
1 1/4 tsp. liquid stevia (I prefer the SweetLeaf brand)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger powder
a pinch nutmeg or 1 drop of nutmeg essential oil
a pinch ground cloves or 1 drop of clove essential oil
a pinch of salt
In a double boiler, warm the almond butter and coconut manna together until they are liquified.
Add liquefied mixture and the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Check the taste and make any adjustments in spice or sweetness. The sweetness of the stevia will decrease a little bit during baking, so aim for ever so slightly sweeter than you want the finished product to be. The sweetness of stevia goes a long way, so if you do add more, start with small increments, such as 1/8 tsp extra at a time.
Pour into pre-baked pie crust. Cook for 40-45 minutes at 375 deg F. The filling should have firmed up a decent bit from its previous state and the crust should be a golden brown when finished.
Allow the pie to completely cool before serving or cover and store in the fridge.
Enjoy at your holiday festivities!
I hope you enjoy this pumpkin pie recipe this season! I have learned many tips and tricks from wonderful recipe designers out there in the paleo and keto world, and I just want to acknowledge that without the pioneering spirit of others, my kitchen life would be much less colorful and diverse than it currently is. This season, I am grateful for the creators of wonderful, innovative foods that nourish and all that I have been able to learn from them through the years.