Pumpkin Love: Poetry in a Pie

healthy thanksgiving pumpkin pie

Pumpkin is like a mother: embracing, enhancing, enveloping. Whatever you give to pumpkin she highlights, holds, affirms.

Have you ever noticed, for instance, the way pumpkin embraces ginger, softens into cinnamon, rises up for nutmeg. She is tasteful with clove, grounding for cayenne, elegantly delightful with the green herbs of basil, sage, tarragon and thyme.

No wonder pumpkin pie feels like a warm hug.

pumpkin pie

Pumpkin is a power food when it comes to weight loss, heart health, anti-aging, and immune strength. Low in calories, pumpkin is full of fiber and rich with the antioxidants, the chemistry of youth, that help your body forgive and forget the occasional food trespass.

It is the added sugar, wheat and heavy creams that weigh down dear pumpkin, diminishing its power to lift you up. Fortunately, pumpkin is so forgiving that forgoing sugar, grain and dairy does not have to mean forgoing flavor.

How like a mother ~ forgiving and so giving!

gf paleo pumpkin pie

Personally, I think food tastes better when you can actually taste each ingredient. So it was a delight yesterday when the boys followed each bite with a chant of “Mmmm, this is so good!” But I was certain after our house painter swallowed it down with eyes of delight, gently offering me his plate afterwards with a serious, “Best I ever had, Señora.”

If it is good for someone who doesn’t owe me a compliment and isn’t used to our food ways, then I think it must be good for all. I know it is good to all, so when you serve up this pie for the holidays you can be sure you are loving your loved ones as mother nature loves you. And that is lot to be thankful for. 

grain free dairy free sugar free pumpkin pie

For this, I roasted two small pumpkins at 475F for about an hour, or until a knife ran through the middle with ease. But Pacific makes a good organic purée in a box you could use if you have less time, or want to make it in a jiff.

Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Pie Crust

2 c Hazelnuts, toasted
4 medjool Dates
hefty pinch pink Salt
1/2 t Vanilla
dash Cinnamon

Pulse all the ingredients in your electric blender until you have a chunky pulp. Press into a pie pan, spread evenly and refrigerate.

Pie Filling
1 c Cashews, soaked 2-4 hours
2 medium Pumpkins (or 4 cups Pumpkin purée)
6 Dates
1 T Coconut Oil
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Nutmeg
1/4 t Ginger
1/4 t Clove
1/2 t pink Salt
optional: generous splash Cardamom
2 T Chia Seeds (more if you like it firmer)
Optional: 1-2 T Raw Honey

Set your oven to 475F. Pierce your pumpkins and bake 30 minutes or until a knife cuts through easily.

Allow to cool. Slice open and remove the seeds. Peel the pulp from the skin and place in your electric blender. Add dates and purée. Drain the cashews and add along with the coconut oil and spices to your purée. Blend thoroughly. Taste and adjust your seasonings. I like lots of cinnamon and nutmeg so might have added more. Add honey according to your taste.

Add Chia Seeds, pulse lightly, just enough to mix in the seeds. Pour into the crust, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, dress it up with a shower of cinnamon, a border of hazelnuts, a maze of honey, or a waltz of raspberries. Serve with a dollop of honey or maple syrup infused yogurt.

healthy pumpkin pie

Know your dosha

If you are Vata: You might prefer it with another 2-3 dates.
If you are Pitta: Replace the honey with real maple syrup.
If you are Kapha: Increase the amount of ginger, cinnamon and clove.

If there are leftovers, this is delicious for breakfast. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Raw Giveaway, Recipe & Summer Cleanse

Last week I mentioned meeting Raw Foodie Mimi Kirk. It was at a party in her honor celebrating the launch of her new recipe book, Live RAW Around The World.

RAW World

Mimi is a very youthful, vibrant, free-spirited, energetic, dynamic, beautiful 75 year-old on a mission to tell the world that you can age without getting old. In her two books, the first was Live RAW, she narrates her own story of reversing “age-related diseases,” and gives her formula for living well, along with recipes for living food and generative meals.

#Raw #Pasta Checca
Raw Pasta Checca from Mimi Kirk’s first Recipe book, Live Raw

Mimi generously gave me permission to give you this recipe below for a summer pasta she served at her book launch and later demonstrated during her talk on “living raw.”

Raw Zucchini Pasta al Pesto from Live Raw Around the World
Raw Zucchini Pasta al Pesto from Live Raw Around the World

Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Pesto Puttanesca

3 large Zucchini, peeled optionally (I like to striate the peel for color)
1 c Basil Leaves
1/2 c Walnuts (due to a family allergy to walnuts, I use sunflower seeds)
2 T EVOO
1 large clove Garlic
1/2 c Parsley Leaves
1/8 t dried Chili flakes
Himalayan Salt
Fresh ground Black Pepper
2 T Capers, crushed in garlic press
1 T Capers, whole
1/2 c Olives, raw if possible
1/4 slice Lemon for juice
Parsley for garnish

Peel Zucchini, if desired. Run through a spiralizer if you have one, or use a potato peeler for more of a “fettuccini” noodle. Place zucchini strips in a large bowl and massage with a little lemon and olive oil. Let rest for 10-15 minutes while you make the pesto. The massage agin to soften. Pour off any liquid.

Place the Basil, Nuts (or Seeds), Salt and Pepper in a food processor and pulse. Drizzle in Olive Oil while the blender is running. Stop, scrape the sides and taste. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Add more olive oil to make the pesto creamy. Smooth, thick, and pourable is what you are looking for. Add chili flakes and stir. Remove pesto from the processor ad a squeeze of lemon. Toss the pesto with the Zucchini pasta, capers and olives. Serve with a garnish of parsley.

http://vedawise.com/2013/08/06/summer-cleanse/
Summer Cleanse! Photo by Shannon Jones

Summer is a great time to clean up with a five day raw diet. If you are ready to cool, soothe and purify, I invite you to join us for my new Ayurvedic Summer Cleanse.

Also, if you would like to learn Ayurveda, and you are or could be in San Diego in late September, I invite you to join my husband and me for a weekend Immersion into Ayurveda.

And one more thing ~ Mimi also gave me permission to give away her new book to 5 fabulous Food: A Love Story followers. If you would like a book, please enter a comment below. Names will be randomly chosen on Monday, and mailed to you next week.

Raw Pizza from Mimi Kirk
Raw Pizza from Mimi Kirk

Thank you, thanks to Mimi, thanks to all the teachers of true health and wellness, and thanks to the principle of love that is in all of nature’s true foods.

Namaste!

~

Post Script: Thank you, everyone, for your enthusiastic comments. It is touching and so inspiring to see so many people dedicated to healthy living and a healthy world. Thank you for that dedication! Winners have been chosen: Congratulations to Jamie, Tommy, Mary, Samuel and “Anonymous!”