The Very Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Eat pumpkin pie and be grateful!

Look into my pies!
Look into my pies!

 

My secret to this pumpkin pie is the crust, which is made from a variation of a shortbread cookie recipe.  Of course you can always use a shortbread cookie mix and make it easy on yourself. Always choose the most nourishing choice for yourself, sometimes that means taking a well-deserved culinary shortcut so you can spend more time with your family during the holidays.  I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie mix.  This recipe was adapted from my mom’s recipe, which was not gluten free.  Using her recipes gives me that connection and feeling of love from her even now that she has past away.  It keeps her alive in my heart when I smell the sweet mix of cinnamon and sugar.  It is my intention to continue that circulation of love by sharing this very special recipe with you.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Mind-Body-Spirit Connection:

If you want to get healthier, give thanks. Thanksgiving is all about celebrating what you are grateful for, and nothing says Thanksgiving more than pumpkin pie.  In the yoga tradition, Sun Salutations are a practice of expressing gratitude to the sun. I teach Sun Salutations in nearly all of my yoga classes to connect with that ancient tradition of giving thanks.  Each movement is connected with a sanskrit mantra that expresses gratitude for the sun’s warmth, light and ability to transform.  These ancient yogis were on to something, as modern day science has proven that an attitude of gratitude can give you an immunity boost, decrease stress in the body, and make you more likely to have better health habits such as eating right and exercising. Read more about the physiological benefits of gratitude here.

mini pie variation makes a great gluten free gift.  I used tart sized tins for these.
mini pie variation makes a great gluten free gift. I used tart sized tins for these.

Ingredients:

Pie Filling:

1 can (15 ounces) organic pumpkin puree

1 can (14 ounces) organic Sweetened condensed milk

2 large free range eggs

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice* (or use 1 part  ground clove, 2 parts ground ginger, and 4 parts ground cinnamon)

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

Pie Crust:

2 sticks (½ pound) organic unsalted butter or Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks

¾ cups organic granulated sugar*

1 large free range egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ⅔ cups white rice flour

¾ cup cornstarch

⅔ cup potato starch (not potato flour)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

Method:

ALLOW all ingredients to come to room temperature.

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.

Crust:

Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.  Add egg and mix for 1 minute.  Add vanilla, scrape the sides of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, potato starch and xanthan gum.  Slowly add ½ of the flour mix to the butter mixture and mix for 1 minute.  Add the remaining flour to the mixture and mix until all of the ingredients are combined.

Grease or butter a 9” pie dish, taking care to thoroughly grease the sides to prevent sticking.  Press the crust mixture into the dish working from the inside out, creating an even ¼ inch thick crust.  You will have leftover crust to use to decorate the top of your pie.  Use the leftover crust like cookie dough and cut out festive leave shapes and bake separately on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.

IMG_0207

BAKE the empty pie crust for 8 minutes using a pie crust protector or foil to protect the edges from over baking.  If you use foil, create a ring around the top of the crust.  Meanwhile, begin making the filing for the pie.

Filling:

MIX cinnamon, salt and pumpkin pie spice in small bowl, set aside. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and spice mixture. Gradually stir in sweetened condensed milk.  Slowly pour the filling mix into the pie crust.  Reposition the pie crust protector and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Decorate with pie crust cutouts to create a standout pie.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

I made these gift baskets for all of my friends one year and they were a huge hit.  I still get requests to make these pies from both my GF and non-GF peeps!
I made these gift baskets for all of my friends one year and they were a huge hit. I still get requests to make these pies from both my GF and non-GF peeps!

20 minutes to Incredible Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies for Abundance

gluten free oatmeal cookies 2
Love. Bake. Share. Repeat.

This simply scrumptious oatmeal cookie recipe will win over even the most discerning crowd with effortless ease.  It is said that when you give your generosity will be returned to you.  In that case, these tasty treats will open up the floodgates of love and affection!

You only need 20 minutes for this no-fuss cookie recipe, including bake-time.  Whoever said gluten free baking was hard never tried this recipe.  Just be sure to bring your butter, eggs and peanut butter to room temperature before beginning.

Mind/Body/Spirit Connection:

The Law of Giving and Receiving from The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, by Deepak Chopra, states that the universe operates through dynamic exchange.   Share these cookies with your new neighbor, your book club, or even your next tailgate party.  Everyone will love them and you will be circulating love and appreciation that will undoubtedly come back to you tenfold.  Made with all natural peanut butter, real oats, no refined flours and less sugar than most cookie recipes, these treats provide healthy fats and fiber.  Omit the chocolate chips for a healthier version.

Ingredients:

liberated eggs!
liberated eggs!

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup organic sugar

¾ cup organic brown sugar

3 cups gluten free quick oats

2 liberated eggs

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla

¾ cup cranberries or raisins (optional, based on the season)

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

1 cup all natural peanut butter

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugar, brown sugar and butter in a mixer on high speed.  Turning the mixer to medium speed, add eggs one at a time.  Slowly pour in vanilla, cinnamon and baking soda, then spoon in the peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined.  Stir in oats, chocolate chips and cranberries on low speed.

Spoon tablespoon sized dollups of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, about an inch apart.

I used an ice cream scoop to measure these cookies and I think they were too big.  Use a tablespoon to measure and they will come out the right combination of crunchy and chewy.
I used an ice cream scoop to measure these cookies and I think they were too big. Use a tablespoon to measure and they will come out the right combination of crunchy and chewy.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly brown around the edges.  Allow to cool.

Share often and watch the principle of Giving and Receiving work in your life.  Let me know how abundance unfolds for you when you bake and give from your heart.

Peach Pico de Gallo

You will love this easy gourmet variation of Pico de Gallo; spicy, sweet and Rajasic.  It is a perfect compliment to my homemade margaritas and an adaptation of Mikey’s classic and well known Pico de Gallo. A must have recipe for the traditional black bean taco Sunday!   If you want the classic recipe, just use shredded purple cabbage for the peaches.

peach pico de gallo 2

Your yoga teacher may talk a lot about uniting mind body and spirit during class by using your breath.  This is also something I believe you can do with your food, after all, what we put in our mouths becomes our body.  It is so nourishing to the mind and spirit to go to the local farmer’s market and hook up with your edible posse and meet the people who have grown your food. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, just go with an open heart and a willingness to connect.  That’s good yoga and good food.

peach pico de gallo
Encinitas Farmer’s Market fête

Health Benefits:  Peaches contain a whopping 10 different vitamins plus health giving minerals.  The spicy habanero makes this a  Rajasic dish.  Rajasic foods energize almost all the systems, specially the nervous system. Thier effcts on the mind are to help you push yourself beyond your normal capacity and capability. Rajasic (originating from the word ‘Raja’, meaning king, means kingly or fit for a king) food is associated with quality and freshness.  These tomatoes were picked the same day, so fresh!

Ingredients:

2 medium heirloom tomatoes

1 medium peach

1/2 white onion

1/3 c freshly cilantro

1 habanero pepper

1/2 lime

salt to taste

 

Method:

Dice tomatoes, peach and onion.  Skinning the peach is optional, but I recommend leaving the skins for their added fiber content and beautiful color.  Finely chop the cilantro.  Carefully cut the habanero in half and remove the seeds (consciously keep the oil from the pepper away from your eyes and sensitive skin), then mince the pepper.  Gently mix the ingredients in a mixing bowl being careful not to bruise the delicate fruits.  Add the juice of the lime and salt to taste and stir to combine into mix.  Allow to chill for 1 hour to before serving so the flavors can combine.

peach pico de gallo 3
Serve on top of your favorite taco, burrito or tortilla chip. This would be excellent on fish tacos!