Super Fly Pumpkin Pie

IMG_4061 It’s Thanksgiving. Let’s eat!

I love a good Thanksgiving-induced turkey coma followed by a big piece of pumpkin pie. With lots of whipped cream. This year I’m shaking things up with a wholesome version of this celebrated dessert. Here are the ingredients you won’t find in Super Fly Pumpkin Pie:

Sugar – It suppresses the immune system, exacerbates inflammation and PMS, triggers weight gain, oily skin and acne. Excessive amounts on a regular basis in combination with other nutritional faux pas (low veg, low fibre, low protein, low healthy-fat/high unhealthy-fat diet) are a major cause of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and its complications.

All purpose flour – Refined grains like flour, especially wheat, have a high glycemic index and lack nutrients needed for good health. You actually require more vitamins to deal with the effects of eating refined grains. You may as well consider them to be Sugar (see above) and avoid them as much as possible.

IMG_4055Lard or Shortening – Lard is pure animal fat plus preservatives. Enough said. Shortening is hydrogenated vegetable oil and contains a whopping dose of trans fats and omega-6 fatty acids which are a lethal combination for cardiovascular health. Ain’t nobody got time for inflamed, clogged up arteries!

Condensed milk – This stuff is dairy plus a lot of sugar. Many people suffer digestive upset like GERD and IBS from eating dairy products. People with dairy allergies or sensitivities often experience asthma and eczema. Even if you tolerate dairy, the high sugar content of this ingredient simply adds more sugar to the recipe. And you know how I feel about that.

Super Fly Pumpkin Pie

So here it is. A healthy pumpkin pie made with only nourishing, whole food ingredients. Who needs sugar, refined grains and poor quality fats when you have ingredients like these on hand?

Notice I’m using a red kuri squash instead of a pie pumpkin.  While a pie pumpkin works just fine in this recipe, red kuri squash produces an intense orange colour and tastes sweeter. The result is a prettier pie requiring less added sweetener. If you’re unfamiliar with this groovy gourd, read this.

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Squash and dates, some of the whole foods in this recipe, are naturally sweet. As a result, the only added sweetener is 1 Tbsp of maple syrup.

Squash is rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin A precursor required by your immune system. Pecans are rich in plant sterols and antioxidants that lower cholesterol, also supplying protein to fuel your energy. Coconut milk is a source of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL). A diet containing monounsaturated fatty acids helps you burn more fat and decreases anger and irritability. Dates are rich in magnesium, a mineral required for healthy muscles and for coping with stress. Cinnamon helps to increase insulin sensitivity, ginger eases digestion, and both spices have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. See why this pie is super fly?

Ingredients:

  • 1 red kuri squash weighing about 3 lbs
  • 1 cup + 8 extra pecans, lightly toasted to enhance flavor (optional)
  • 13+ fat juicy medjool dates with pits removed
  • Several pinches of coarse Celtic or other quality sea salt
  • 1 can full fat organic coconut milk (save 1/2 cup for pie filling and chill the rest for making a whipped topping)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Procedure: IMG_4031IMG_4034IMG_4037IMG_4039IMG_4042IMG_4046

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Cut red kuri squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds, then place squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper cut side down. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until flesh is soft enough to insert and withdraw a fork with ease.
  4. While squash is roasting, prepare pie crust. First place 1 cup of pecans (reserving 8 pretty pecans to use as a garnish) in food processor and pulse until crumbly. Then add pitted medjool dates and three pinches of sea salt and pulse until a sticky yet crumbly dough forms. The dough should press together between your hands and not crumble apart. If too dry and crumbly, add more dates. Press the dough into the bottom and sides of a glass pie dish to form a crust. Set aside until step 9.
  5. When squash has finished roasting allow it to cool until you’re able to handle it without burning yourself, then scoop flesh out of skin. It may be easier to scrape skin off with a fork. You should end up with about 3 cups of roasted squash.
  6. Put roasted squash (about 3 cups) minus skin into blender. Add 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, putting the rest of the can of coconut milk in the fridge to chill for whipped topping.
  7. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, lemon juice, maple syrup and a few pinches of sea salt to the squash and coconut milk in blender.
  8. Blend until a silky smooth yet thick filling forms, like the consistency of a creamy icing, hummus or guacamole dip. This may take several minutes depending on your blender and may require you to occasionally stop blending and scrape down the sides of your blender to ensure all ingredients combine well. Taste the final mixture and adjust spices and sweetness as desired.
  9. Scoop pie filling into your pie shell and flatten with a utensil to fill the pie shell, smoothing it down so the surface of the filling is in line with but does not cover the pie crust.
  10. If you have any leftover pie filling, be sure to eat it out of the blender with a spoon and give thanks for healthy recipes that taste THIS GOOD!
  11. Now back to the pie. Once you’ve filled the pie shell and smoothed the filling to your satisfaction, put it in the fridge until ready to serve. You do not need to bake this pie.
  12. Before serving, remove extra coconut milk from fridge and whip with a handheld mixer until it thickens. Well chilled coconut milk whips best. If needed, add a pinch of coconut sugar to help it take on the consistency of whipped cream.
  13. Garnish chilled pie slices with reserved pecan halves, a sprinkle of nutmeg and a dollop of whipped coconut cream and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Exciting news!

Join me for Motivational Eater, a talk I’m doing for the Collingwood Community Food Co-op‘s speaker series on October 24th.

Join me at The Naturopathic Kitchen for our November cooking class Eating for Amazing Energy.

I’m moving! After 5 years at 21 Simcoe Street I’m moving my practice one block away to 65 Simcoe Street, Collingwood. You’ll fall in love with the beautiful new location conveniently nestled between the Creemore Coffee Studio and Collingwood Community Food Co-op. The move is taking place in early 2014.