With Thanksgiving around the corner, and having recently realized that I feel best on a grain-free diet, I've been a bit of a curmudgeon. A grump, if you will. Although I'm hosting a Thanksgiving potluck on Sunday, I really haven't been in the mood to attend the holiday festivities on Thursday and watch everyone else eat. Oh, I know the holidays are about family, friends, and being together. And of course, giving thanks. And I give thanks every day for these crazy health problems that have fueled my passion for nutrition. Seriously, I do. Even when I'm simultaneously cursing them.
But. Yes, there is a but. But, I really want to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal that I, being now grain-free, nut-free, sugar-free, egg-free, and dairy-free, can eat! Is that too much to ask? (Did you hear the whiney little curmudgeon come out there for a second?)
While Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I've been busily holed up in my kitchen baking for the cookbook. This hasn't left a whole lot of time for nourishing myself, but I'm doing my best. And this week, that meant taking the time to make myself a pie. A butternut squash pie, to be exact, with pumpkin pie spices and a hint of orange zest. I loved it. In fact, I ate almost the whole thing in just a couple of days. I had to give away my last piece today after I decided enough was enough. Despite the lack of sugar in this recipe, it's extremely rich and chock-full of healthy fats, like coconut oil and chia seeds. Is it as good as the original? Well, it certainly did the trick for me, but then again I'm an avid fan of stevia. If it had an aftertaste, I couldn't tell you since I don't really notice that anyway. Those of you who don't love stevia might want to choose your own sweetener for this, perhaps honey, coconut nectar, or maple syrup. You'll have to play around with the amount and just add a little at a time until the flavor is right for you. As for the crust, I can't say I was elated. I found this idea on allrecipes.com, and while I like it okay, I definitely want to play around with it. But considering my restrictions these days, I was still pretty stoked. After all, when's the last time I ate pie, felt like I was eating something sinful, and didn't suffer a reaction afterward!? I don't even know...
Squash Pie (Print-Friendly Option)
I made this pie with a butternut squash, but you can easily use any type of squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato. If you use pumpkin, you may need to add more stevia, while sweet potato would require less.
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons chia seed meal
1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
2 cups baked squash (canned or homemade both work)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
20 drops liquid stevia
Zest of half an orange
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a pie pan. Process your crust ingredients in a food processor for a few minutes. When the coconut sticks to the side of the food processor (you'll know when this happens), it's done. Press into the pan pie and bake for 20 minutes. It won't cover the sides, just the bottom of the pan, and it's difficult to press since it's so sticky (use some melted coconut oil or light olive oil on your fingers to make it easier).
- While the pie crust is baking, make your pie filling. Start by putting your chia seeds and coconut milk in the food processor and letting them sit for a few minutes. Then put the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and blend until it's completely smooth. This will take a few minutes, and when you think it's blended enough, give it another minute. It gets creamier the longer to blend it.
- Once the crust is done, allow it to cool completely before pouring the filling into the pan. Chill overnight or at least a few hours in the fridge. It will hold up within a couple of hours, but is best if allowed to set up in the fridge overnight.
- Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten-Free at Real Sustenance