I just made the most unbelievable pumpkin pie for our Thanksgiving dinner. It was unbelievable in many ways- firstly, it was just really awesome- it's the reason why I am making the same exact recipe for pumpkin pie as I did last Thanksgiving- if something ain't broke, don't change it.
Secondly, it's unbelievable because it breaks the conventional rules of pumpkin pie- it doesn't have any white sugar or eggs or cream- and unlike most vegan pumpkin pies, it isn't tofu based either- it is soy free as well. So you have an allergy friendly, totally healthy pumpkin pie- one I can eat without any guilt or feeling ill afterward. Not that it is low carb- it definitely isn't- but it's the healthiest pumpkin pie recipe I've ever heard of.
I make mine crust free because I can't be bothered to cook up a pie crust, but if you're not lazy, feel free to make your favorite/healthiest pie crust with it. This is the gluten free vegan pie crust I made it with last year.
As for sweetener, that is versatile, and really is dependent on how sweet your squash is. This year, my squash was really not sweet at all (to the extent that I had my husband taste test it to make sure it was edible enough to make into a pumpkin pie), so I used a lot of sweetener. If you have a more sweet squash, feel free to use much less. If you're trying to cut costs/amount of added sweeteners, I'd suggest first using the squash mixed with the date paste, and then taste test it to see if it is sweet enough. If it isn't, add the sweeter (white sugar or coconut sugar) in small increments until it reaches the desired sweetness. If you have a good sweet squash there's a good chance you wouldn't need any additional sweetener after using the dates.
P.S. If you're wondering why I use butternut squash for pumpkin pie- that is what "traditional" pumpkin pie is made from- if you look in canned pumpkin pie filling, its nearly always made with butternut squash.
1 medium/large butternut squash- ~3 1/4 cups puree, or canned pumpkin pie mix. Alternatively, you can use fresh pumpkin or sweet potatoes. (See note below.)
1/4 c date paste (or dates with the pits removed)
1/3-3/4 cup coconut sugar or sucanat, depending on how sweet or not the squash is. Alternatively, feel free to use up to 1/4-1/3 white sugar or brown sugar, if needed at all.
1/3 cup potato starch, tapioca starch, corn starch, or arrowroot powder.
8 teaspoons ground flax seeds
1/4-1/2 tsp ground vanilla or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 large pinch salt
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1. Bake your butternut squash (or pumpkin or sweet potatoes) until fully soft. I usually bake it whole.
2. Scoop and discard the seeds, then scoop the flesh of the squash out of its peel. (Feel free to save these scraps for scrap soup, or roast the seeds to eat similarly to sunflower seeds.)
3. Blend the squash in the food processor together with your dates/date paste. I suggest first blending the dates with a little bit of warm squash, since the dates blend up best when they're a) warm b) not alone, but not with too many other ingredients. I suggest about 1/2 to 1 cup of butternut squash with the date paste to start out with, then add more once the date paste is relatively mixed in.
4. At this point, I suggest tasting it to measure its sweetness. Add as much extra sweetener (coconut sugar, sucanat, white sugar, brown sugar, etc...) as needed.
5. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend up/mix it well. (I tend to use the food processor to do all my mixing for this, but feel free to change it up.)
6. Pour into your pie pan (or pie crust) and bake for an hour. It should mostly solidify in the oven, but it will solidify more once refrigerated.
Feel free to serve topped with homemade whipped cream or homemade whipped coconut cream (which also can be made with the cream from homemade coconut milk). I do neither, but, you know, tradition and all...
Note: If you choose to use sweet potato, bake as usual, then peel and blend up alone. It may not even need date paste- taste test to see if it is necessary. If you use pumpkin, feel free to bake or steam the pumpkin. Pumpkin is much more watery, so after baking, blend it up, and then put it in a fine strainer and allow the water to drip out first before using it in the recipe.
If you want to use eggs instead of flax in your recipe, replace the flax seeds with 2 eggs. I haven't done it that way myself with this recipe, but I'm sure it'll work just as well.
Do you make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? How do you make it to ensure its relatively healthy? What is your favorite recipe for healthy pumpkin pie? Ever seen another one that is egg free and refined sugar free? Or do you say for Thanksgiving, you're cool with a less than healthy pumpkin pie?
Linking up to Allergy Free Wednesday and Real Food Wednesday