Happy Thanksgiving week everyone! I’m super excited for our big family meal coming up, and I hope you are too! I’m rounding out my family’s Thanksgiving recipes with our glazed ham and pumpkin pie. Because life is short, I’ll start with dessert, some paleo pumpkin pie!
Creamy Paleo Pumpkin pie
Pumpkin is SUPER rich in vitamins, minerals, and super powerful phytonutrients.
It’s also nourishing for many health conditions:
- Eye and bone health: Pumpkin is rich in caretenoids: when eaten with a fat source to assure it absorbs converts to Vitamin A, it provides a hefty Vitamin A dose, crucial for bone and eye health.
- Cancer prevention: Pumpkin’s natural beta-caretenoids have been shown in studies to reduce incidence of cancers.
- Blood pressure: Pumpkin is full of potassium (more than a banana!) which is responsible for maintaining blood pressure.
- Supporting the immune system: Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin C, which is crucial to proper support and function of the immune system (important during this wintery cold and flu season!)
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get to baking!
Creamy Paleo Pumpkin Pie Recipe:
- First, Prepare the cashes butter, directions below.
- Next, prepare the crust.
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 TB maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons grassfed butter/ghee
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Place all of the dry ingredients into a food processor bowl and pulse until it has the texture of dry sand. Add in the butter and pulse until the mixture has the appearance of moist crumbs.
- Dump the crumbs into a pie pan and spread evenly. I find it helps to place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough to help spread it evenly without sticking to your hands. Gently press the crumbs about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 7 minutes to set. Watch carefully to make sure the crust doesn’t burn.
- Remove the pan and set aside to cool.
- 2 sugar pumpkin-pureed (instructions below)
- 1 cup cashews for cashew butter (instructions below)]
- 1/4 cup organic grade B maple syrup
- 1/2 cup +3 Tablespoons coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons black strap molasses
- Juice of 1 fresh squeezed lime
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- First, prepare cashew butter:
- Rinse the cashews and place them in a bowl or jar and cover with filtered water and a light sprinkle of salt. Cover the bowl/jar with a clean towel or lid and let soak for 4-6 hours*.
- Drain the cashews and place in a food processor.
- Add 1 pinch of sea salt and 3 Tablespoons of coconut milk.
- Process mixture until it forms a creamy paste, scrapping down the sides once or twice.
- You can use this mixture right away or keep it in the refrigerator for several days until you are ready to bake.
- Next, Prepare the filling:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut stem off of pumpkins and cut pumpkins into quarters (little sugar pumpkins are pretty tender, they won’t give you the same struggle to cut through as a butternut squash or a carving pumpkin). Scoop the guts out and reserve the seeds for roasting.
- Place the pumpkin flesh side up and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, and scoop the flesh into a food processor. Blend until creamy, then place puree into a cheesecloth over a bowl and allow the mixture to rest for 30 minutes to allow any excess liquids to drain (this will give you a more dense, creamier puree).
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Blend ingredients (including the cashew butter) on medium high until you have a smooth, creamy custard texture. Blend for at LEAST several minutes to get this as smooth as possible.
- Pour the custard on top of the crust and place in the oven.
- Bake for about one hour, or until till set.
- Chill in the fridge for at least six hours- preferably, overnight. The longer you chill it, the more solid and creamy the texture will be!
Slice, serve and enjoy!
Let’s not forget about those little seeds we set aside!
Pumpkin seeds, when properly treated, are a great source of magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin C.
They are helpful for many health conditions, including:
- Osteoperosis: Magnesium is crucial for bone health.
- Eye health: Zinc creates Melanin, which protects the eye, and may slow age-related macular degeneration.
- Immunity: Zinc and vitamin C help support a healthy immune system and help shorten the healing time from illness.
- Diabetes: Zinc is important for insulin regulation.
- Prostate health-Zinc protects the prostate from damage that may lead to cancer.
Pumpkin seeds are also great for getting rid of parasites. It acts as a paralytic to the nasties, and the little critters can’t hold on and they get flushed out of your system! Take THAT creepy crawlies!
**It’s important to soak nuts and seeds first. Just like GRAINS, seeds are trying to protect themselves via anti-nutrients to ensure that the next generation has a chance to grow. These include enzyme inhibitors that stop the body from breaking down the seeds (which allows the seed to pass undigested), as well as phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Soaking seeds removes a large amount of these anti-nutrients, making them far less damaging to the system.
Paleo vanilla roasted pumpkin seeds:
I find these are a great appetizer to put out while everyone is waiting for the big meal (or while watching the big game)
- Seeds of 1 large or 2 small pumpkins**
- 1 TB butter/ghee
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 TB organic grade B maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Clean all the “gunk” off of seeds
- Soak seeds** in filtered water and 1 TB sea salt, cover the bowl with a clean towel and let rest overnight. Rinse and set aside to dry on paper towel or a clean tea towel.
- Melt butter/ghee, mix all ingredients in a bowl and toss seeds in the mixture.
- Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes or until crispy and brown (watch these CAREFULLY to be sure they don’t burn!).
Let them cool to the touch, dig in and enjoy!
I’m a bit of an iconoclast, and as much as I LOVE a huge brined bird on “turkey day” I do love me a good ham! Pork is a fantastic source of protein, and if you get it from a good source where the meat is pasture raised (I get my hams from US Wellness Meats) the meat is a deep pink and has a rich, earthy flavor. This is NOT “the other white meat” you grew up with. Pastured pork is not only more ethical for the animals, it has better Omega 6/3 fat ratio, less toxins, and pairs GREAT with a nice red wine! 🙂
- 1 2lb petite ham
- 1 onion
- ½ cup raw local honey
- 1 TB pomegranate jam (I use Crofters organic)
- 1 TB pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tsp mustard powder
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- Cut up onion, place in roasting tray. Set ham on top of onions and set aside.
- Heat all the remainder of ingredients (from honey-pepper) in a sauce pan until mixture is smooth and liquidy, stir well.
- Spread half of mixture over ham with a basting brush and place pan in oven.
- Bake for roughly 1 hour [Baste ham with remainder of mixture at 30 minutes and rotate in oven] or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
- Tent ham with tinfoil and allow the temperature to rise to 150 degrees.
- Slice it, serve it steaming hot, and enjoy!
What are your favorite Thanksgiving recipes? Have you altered any old favorites to make them “paleo-friendly?” Let us know and share the love!