When you think of Thanksgiving desserts, one thing pops to mind: pumpkin pie. It’s a classic favorite and the perfect way to steer the conversation away from politics and towards something everyone can agree on: how good the pie is.
I was invited to spend my first thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family and wanted to contribute something that represents me.. meaning vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, Ayurveda approved and Candida-friendly. And it had to be extra delicious, not just by my standards, as my taste-buds are a little bit skewed at this point (how does everyone not like mashed sweet potato and tahini as a salad dressing?!) but by people who actually eat normal pumpkin pie, sugar, butter and all.
While sifting through the internet for recipes, I could not find a single one that matched by criteria.
- The vegan recipes all used sugar (maple syrup or agave, which I avoid to keep my candida away)
- The raw ones also used a type of sugar (dates or raw honey) and were extremely calorically dense (filled with cashews, which I am sensitive to)
- The paleo ones used lots of oil and fats (coconut oil, ghee, lots of nuts) that made each slice upwards of 500 calories (and lord knows I ain’t stoppin’ at one), plus sugar (maple syrup) and eggs (which I am also sensitive to)
- The gluten-free ones were just normal pumpkin pie with a gluten-free crust (sorry but no)
So what’s a girl to do?! Get creative! (I am Saraswati, goddess of creativity, after all!)
I got together with my dear friend Talia Fuhrman, author of Love Your Body. You may know her dad, Dr. Fuhrman, who has dozens of books and a research center showing how a vegan, plant-based diet can reverse cancer and other diseases. If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind plant-based nutrition, I really recommend checking out his books. Talia has been working on a new cookbook, as am I, so we decided to put our heads together and make the best sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan pumpkin pie the world has ever known.
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten as many messages on Instagram as I did yesterday when I snap-shotted the step-by-step of this recipe. Move over Kim, this pumpkin pie just broke the internet.
So how did I get it sweet without sugar? My new obsession- Lakanto. It’s a monk fruit based sweetener with zero impact on your blood sugar levels. That means it doesn’t feed Candida, Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth or attribute to weight-gain. Yes you can have your cake and eat it too! They have an amazing maple syrup that I used for the filling, as well as Matcha and chocolates that I’m obsessed with. You can order it here and use my special discount code SAHARA for 10% off.
A lot of gluten-free pie recipes use blended nuts in their crust, which can be VERY calorically dense. Nuts are very rich and oily and something you only want to eat in small amounts, especially if you are an oily Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth) Mind-Body Type. If you don’t know your mind-body type, take my free Ayurvedic Dosha quiz here. It will let you know what are the best foods to eat for your unique digestion, physiology, metabolism and more.
So we decided to lighten up the recipe with half spelt and half hazelnut flour so it is a little less calorically dense and oily, plus has the decadent taste of hazelnuts- yum! Spelt is a very nutritious grain and hazelnut is a nut that we don’t eat as often. It’s really important to mix your nuts around because if you keep eating the same ones in large amounts (like I did with almonds and peanuts) you can become intolerant of them. Hazelnut is absolutely delicious and what Nutella is made of so you know it’s good.
When making this recipe, it is really important to fully refrigerate the coconut milk beforehand and use only the creamy top part. We made the mistake of not waiting until it was fully chilled and using the whole can so the filling became super watery. To save it, we had to add extra coconut butter, which was delicious but you can avoid by using just the creamy top part of the coconut milk.
Now I know you are dying to know the recipe so let’s get to it!
Hope you enjoy! Share with friends and be sure to take my Discover Your Mind-Body Type quiz to find the best foods for you and stay updated!
Pumpkin spice and everything nice,