The time has come that pumpkin pies are being prepared all over America. It has never been a favorite of mine but lately I have been reading so much about the health properties of pumpkin that I couldn’t help but start to crave it. (I am sure the pregnancy also has something to do with this new craving of mine). Pumpkin is filled with nutrition and here is a brief list to name some of the best reasons to embrace this holiday tradition:

  • High level of anti-oxidant carotenoids which have great anti-cancer properties
  • Contain lutein and zeaxanthin which promote eye health and keep macular degeneration (a chronic condition that causes central vision loss) at bay
  • Good source of vitamin C, K, and E
  • Lots of minerals including magnesium, potassium and iron
  • High level of fiber
  • Great for your hair and skin as well!

Since the most popular way to eat pumpkin is in pie, I thought it would be great to share a recipe for the pumpkin pie I just made this weekend, that can be enjoyed with more of the health benefits, without anything unnatural, yet still very easy to prepare. That way you can make your pie and eat it, too, without the guilt. Happy Thanksgiving!

Low Glycemic, Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Pie*

2 cups pumpkin puree**
(or 15 oz. of canned organic pumpkin) – I chose to use canned pumpkin for convenience but make sure you don’t buy pie filling! It is filled with sugar among other things. You want 100% pumpkin only!

1 9-inch pastry crust (deep dish) – Can use gluten-free, homemade or store-bought.  Just note that if you don’t buy deep dish, you will have a little filling left. I chose a store-bought Spelt crust, which is easier to digest than wheat but not 100% gluten-free and it worked great!

¾ tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp melted butter

3 eggs

¾ cup raw agave nectar (Or try Organic Coconut Palm Sugar which is also low-glycemic and all natural)

1/3 cup whole milk (Definitely use whole milk or the consistency may be off!)

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Real Whipped Cream Topping

Put bowl and beaters in freezer to chill before making the whip cream!

1 pint heavy whipping cream

¼ cup agave nectar (Or Organic Coconut Palm Sugar)

1 tsp real vanilla  (Get real Vanilla, without the added sugar and alcohol)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, blend together two cups pumpkin, spice and salt. Beat in melted butter, eggs, agave nectar, milk and cream. Pour filling into pie shell.

2. Bake at 400 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Refrigerate until serving.

3. To make whipping cream, pour one pint of whipping cream into chilled mixing bowl and add agave nectar and vanilla. Beat with chilled beaters until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until serving.

** Pumpkin puree: preheat your oven to 450 F. Then, cut the top of the pumpkin off and remove the seeds and membranes. Cut pumpkin in half and place it face down in a baking dish. Add about a half an inch of water to the pan to keep pumpkin moist. Bake about 45 minutes until fork tender. Scrape the soft pulp from the skin into a food processor or blender. Pulse until pureed.

Please tell me how you like it and if you made any substitutions, what they were! And if you aren’t a pumpkin person, try subbing sweet potato puree and still get so many great health benefits.

Thank you and enjoy!

Written by, Lana House

House Pilates, Studio Owner

*This recipe came from a fellow health blog, Vibrant Glow

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