Growing up my grandma made pumpkin pie pretty much year round just for me. Pumpkin pie was my all-time favorite dessert (ice cream was runner up). In fact, I’m almost certain pumpkin pie was the first pie I ever made with my grandma in her kitchen, and so I am very nostalgic about this particular dessert.
Revisiting Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Grandma made Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe (using the recipe on the back of Libby’s canned pumpkin) and a store-bought crust. I guess if grandma was serious about matters she’d have made her own crust, but store-bought crust was less hassle and nobody seemed to care if the pie was totally homemade or not, certainly not me.
Gluten-Free Pie Crust Recipe
These days though pretty much everything food related does matter. If I could find a store-bought crust that was ultra-healthy and tasted good I would absolute buy it. Trust me, I’m definitely not above taking short cuts in the kitchen! But, to date I haven’t found one that totally meets my standards for clean eating and good taste.
Last year for Thanksgiving I made a gluten-free crust as part of a Thanksgiving recipe development assignment for Natural Health magazine using Dr. Oz’s ten favorite “superfoods” in the meal (coconut was one of the ten “superfoods” so I made a coconut crust for a dessert.) That crust was gluten-free too and very good, but I used garbanzo bean flour and this time I wanted to make a totally flour-free crust. The recipe for the crust below is probably about as healthy a crust as you can get (it contains no flour and no added sugar…sweetness comes from dates) and yet it is seriously very, very good. And it is easy as pie to make too (wink)
Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie classic recipe has been on Libby’s canned Pumpkin labels since 1950…this is the one my grandma made and I have to admit it really is delicious. Considering how nutrient-dense pumpkin is (pumpkin is ridiculously low in calories while very high in potassium, antioxidants vitamin A and beta-carotene and contains lots of disease-fighting phytonutrients) and how Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe only has about 30 calories of sugar per serving the pumpkin pie of my youth really wasn’t such a bad choice after all (except for the terrible trans-fat laden store-bought crust!!) Note: My recipe below has barely any added sugar at all—just 1/4 cup in the ENTIRE recipe! And I don’t use any refined sugar either. The coconut palm sugar I use is unrefined and still contains vitamins and minerals.
The main gripe I have with the Libby’s classic recipe for the pie filling is the whole can of evaporated milk it calls for. I just can’t bring myself to use that stuff. I decided to substitute organic coconut milk instead (read more about why I like coconut milk over dairy milk.) I’ll admit, I thought for sure my pumpkin pie would end up with a definitive tropical taste…but I am happy to say the traditional classic flavor is not compromised in the least.
I made just a few additional tweaks to Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie classic recipe by adding all-spice, nutmeg and freshly grated ginger. Definitely do not skip the freshly grated ginger! Not only is fresh ginger ultra healthy and anti-inflammatory, it takes the taste over the top.
Healthy Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This is absolutely a “clean eating” healthy dessert recipe you can make for the whole family on Thanksgiving. I admit healthy dessert recipes are not often a big hit (especially on holidays!) but even your not-so-health-conscious family members will love this one. Promise.
Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil) plus more for oiling the pie dish.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of unrefined sea salt
- Place the flaxseeds, dates and hemp seeds in a food processor. Pulse to mix until ingredients are well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and continue pulsing and processing until everything is well blended and mixture becomes moist and “crumb-like.”
- Lightly oil the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish with extra virgin coconut oil. Using your hands, spread the ingredients out evenly on the bottom of the pie dish. Pack down.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling (below) into the pie dish and bake.
Note: To puree the dates in the filling you will need a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix). If you do not have a high speed blender or a Vitamix then you can substitute 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar for the dates and put all of the ingredients in a regular blender.
- 15 ounces canned pumpkin (or, fresh roasted pumpkin)
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 6 pitted dates
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon all-spice
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 3 organic, pastured eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup organic coconut milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and process until smooth and creamy.
- Pour pumpkin mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Bake in the middle rack in the center of the oven for about 1 hour (or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.) Set pumpkin on wire rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Note: I think pumpkin pie tastes best super cold. I like to refrigerate mine and serve it cold.