Monday, November 14, 2011

Squash Pie (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan)


































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.

Ingredients:
Crust:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Pie:
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

Directions:
  1. 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). 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
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18 comments:

The Gluten-free 'Dish' said...

Oh yeah! I can eat everything in this recipe! I must be dreaming, Iris. I think we are in the same food nightmare. xoxo

Rita & Mom said...

I make mine crustless but your pie filling still looks thicker and more substantial than mine. I think I'll switch to the proportions you used, more chia plus the coconut oil. Pumpkin is so great for breakfast.

pure2raw twins said...

looks delicious! seeing so many great pies around in the blog world, makes me wish I had one right now :)

Ricki said...

You know, I'd be inclined to just make this without the crust at all! Still tastes like pumpkin pie; still delicious. And I'm with you on the stevia--I think I've been using it for so long now that I wouldn't notice an aftertaste even if there were one there! ;)

Unknown said...

As a priveleged taster...This pie is deeply satisfying. It is subtly sweet, and perfectly so with the butternut squash and coconut milk carrying some of the sweetness. The bite/texture of the crust is a great contrast to the smooth pie and provides a perfect way to just pick it up and eat it without dirtying a fork ;)This pie is reminiscent of my grandma's pumpkin pie with a graham cracker crust I had when I was a youngin. Yum!

Heidi @ Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom said...

Your pie looks delish Iris! I'm in the same boat you are, well, I can have eggs but my son cannot). I'm going to try Elana's almond flour tart crust - just not sure which egg replacer to try (really wish almond flour could work as well without eggs as it does with eggs!).

I was thinking of applesauce or a chia egg. What substitute would you try?

Hugs,
Heidi

Iris said...

Good question, Heidi. I've tried coconut flour with a chia/flax egg (didn't work) but almond flour tends to work a bit better without eggs, I think. Maybe a chia egg and coconut oil or shortening?

Jonathan said...

My curiosity was immediately peaked when this post appeared in my blog-reel. Pie that's free of both grains and nuts? I should've guessed that coconut would be coming to the rescue. :)

Always love to read about your ongoing discovery of food and recipes you _can_ enjoy.

Amber said...

What brand of liquid stevia do you use in your recipes?

Amber said...

Also, could flax meal be used as a substitution for the chia meal?

Iris said...

Amber,

I use NuNaturals but I also like Sweetleaf and NOW Better Stevia. In my experience, flax doesn't make things hold together as well as chia, but it would probably work in this case as long as you let it chill in the fridge long enough.

Mom on the Run said...

This looks great! I love finding new grain free recipes. I may try it with sweet potatoes as well.

Gracie said...

yay for pie!!

Gracie said...

Yay for Pie!!

Anonymous said...

I second your frustration at holiday meals. My mom is GF and it's not a problem to eat at my family's house. But I'm egg free too so we experiment but it's fun and they are supportive.

My in laws are getting better but treat me like a leper. My extended family are flat out rude with the exception of the cousin who is a chef... so we just don't go any more.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I'm behind on my reading, but I love this. Especially the orange zest. I'll have to try adding some next time I make a pie with squash or pumpkin. Yum.

Farty Girl said...

For some reason, this popped up on my browser. And man, I have been feeling excited for fall all day. You just tripled my excitement! Yay squashes!! kabochas! warm and comforting easy-to-digest foods in season!!! it's a'comin!!!

Anonymous said...

This recipe looks delicious. I am newly free of seeds as well as eggs so am wondering about options other than chia or flax. Can you think of anything I could use in place of the chia, even if it meant altering the flavor?

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