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!

3 easy recipes for pumpkin that will have you doing headstands!

Turkey Stuffed Pumpkin, Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds, and Pumpkin Smoothies, oh my!  These recipes are all easy to follow,  gluten free, casein free, and both AIP and Paleo friendly.

inside stuffed pumpkin

This fine orange squash has my creativity chakra spinning!  If you are in North America you are seeing everything pumpkin right now.  Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite grocery stores here in Southern California, is carrying everything from pumpkin butter and pumpkin cheese, to pumpkin coffee and even pumpkin ravioli!  Ok, so the ravioli isn’t gluten free, but it still has me inspired with the tastes of the season.  In my last post I talked about the amazing GI reparative cleanse I was on.  I created this stuffed pumpkin recipe so I could have something amazing to eat while on the cleanse.  I adapted the recipe from my favorite cookbook, The Joy of Cooking.

My muse
My muse!

 

My turkey stuffed pumpkin is AIP and Paleo friendly, casein free and just plain mouth watering. I gave a bite to my office mate, and she was so enchanted she wanted the recipe right away.

 

I am so excited about pumpkin, I have also created a healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie and Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe to give you some additional ideas on how you can incorporate  pumpkin this fall.  By the way, I am pretty famous among my family and friends for my pumpkin pie.  I plan to post that recipe closer to Thanksgiving, so be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss it!

pumpkin patch 2

The Dharma of Pumpkin:

If you are a yogi or yogini you know that Dharma is a  sanskrit word meaning purpose in life.  In my yoga and meditation classes I ask students to contemplate their own dharma, by asking themselves, “How can I help, how can I serve using my own unique talents and gifts?”.  The gifts of pumpkin are too numerous to count. They can be served in both savory and sweet dishes with grace and ease.  One serving of pumpkin contains 7 grams of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, lower your risk of heart disease, and helps keep things moving through your digestive tract.  Pumpkin is also high in vitamin A to strengthen vision and immune system, beta carotene for an antioxidant boost, and iron for healthy blood.   Often folks who suffer from Celiac Disease can become iron deficient, so getting enough iron is crucial.  Even the seeds are helping you with a healthy dose of magnesium.  There is not much these orange beauties cannot do!

 

Turkey Stuffed Pumpkin

Ingredients:

1 sugar pumpkin (about 2 pounds)

1 cup fresh bulk turkey sausage*

1 large green apple, cored, and cut into ¼ in cubes

¼ cup fresh sage, chopped

coconut oil

⅛ teaspoon stevia (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

*Use lean ground turkey meat if you are on the GI reparative cleanse

 

Method:

Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the pumpkin.

Cut the top off of the pumpkin and remove the seeds and strings.  Save the seeds for roasting!

Brush the pumpkin lightly with coconut oil.  This puts a pretty sheen on the finished product and aids in baking.  Place the pumpkin and pumpkin top on the baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake until almost tender, about 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, crumble the turkey in a skillet and cook over medium heat.  Without draining off the fat, add the cubed apple.  If you are using very lean turkey and don’t have any fat in the skillet, add some coconut oil here.  Add the sage,salt and pepper and cook, stirring for a few minutes, until the apple is crisp-tender.  Set aside.

stuffed pumpkin 1

When the pumpkin is cooked, let it cool a bit and scoop out most of the flesh.  Set the pumpkin top aside, you won’t need to bake it again.  Gently mix the pumpkin flesh with the turkey mixture.  Mix in 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and stevia (stevia is optional if you like a sweet touch).  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pile the stuffing into your beautiful pumpkin and lightly drizzle with a little more coconut oil.  Bake, uncovered, until piping hot, 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.  I like to put the pumpkin lid back on when serving for a little added drama!

 

*****BONUS RECIPES!*****

 

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

1-2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds (leftover from your stuffed pumpkin or jack-o-lantern carving project)

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons salt

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove any pumpkin pulp from the seeds, rinse and pat dry.  In a bowl, drizzle the seeds with the vinegar until lightly coated.  Add salt to taste and toss.  Arrange the seeds on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet.  Place in the oven until they just start to turn golden brown, 15 minutes.  Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container.  I left my seeds in the oven too long and they burned, then I got burned pulling them out of the oven.  Casualties of a gluten free yoga chick!  Sorry, no pics for this recipe as I was too busy nursing my wound.

 It's just missing the whipped cream!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

Ingredients:

1 cup cooled herbal chai tea.  I like Trader Joe’s Rooibos Chai or Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice

½ cup canned pumpkin puree

1 frozen banana

teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 scoop of your favorite vanilla nutritional shake powder such as Vega One or Shakeology

Ice

1 tablespoon chopped walnut or granola(optional)

 Method:

In the order above, place all ingredients EXCEPT walnuts into your blender.  blend until smooth.  Enjoy with a sprinkle of walnut or granola on top for a delectable pumpkin pie “crust”.  I won’t tell if you add a dollop of whip cream, too!

 

 

What are your favorite foods and recipes of the season?  Tell me what you think, and be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss a thing.  lv-GFYC