Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holiday Pumpkin Pie with a Superfoods Twist

Get the most out of your Thanksgiving dessert.

I love Thanksgiving. I especially look forward to the traditional desserts—like pumpkin pie. But as you know, most conventional pumpkin pie recipes are made with granulated sugar and sweetened condensed milk that can result in sugar shock. Even the so-called healthy variations contain too many natural sugars, devoid of nutritional value. So, instead of giving up on this festive treat, I decided to give it a gluten-free superfoods makeover—complete with super seasonings and super sweeteners.

That wasn’t hard to do because pumpkins happen to be extremely rich in nutritional value to begin with. While surprisingly low in calories, pumpkins deliver a powerful potassium punch in just one cup of mashed.

With nearly 600 mg of this heart and cortisol-balancing mineral—1/3 more potassium than a banana—they are also an unexpected source of fiber and carotenoids. Pumpkins offer up more than 2,000 mcg of the vision-protecting carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin—with a decent supply of B complex vitamins and manganese—a trace mineral so important in reducing the swelling, pain, and stiffness in joints.

Here is a quick run-down of some of the other flavorful, highly healthy ingredients that my pumpkin pie contains and that you may already have on hand:

Cinnamon - The spice that can spice up your health, too. A mere ½ teaspoon per day helps to level out blood sugar and can also alleviate arthritic pain.

Nutmeg - An antibacterial spice that is known for improving circulation and concentration while calming down the stomach. A sleep promoter.

Mace – A warming spice that supports smooth digestion.

Ginger - An anti-inflammatory spice, ginger is liver supportive and normalizes blood pressure while acting as a fat-burning agent and flu buster.

Cloves – Strongly aromatic, cloves tonify the stomach, kidneys, and spleen providing immune-enhancing benefits.

Allspice – The name says it all—a combination of the aromatic flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.

Maple Syrup – My sweetener of choice because it’s actually good for your liver! The liver, as you may recall from my Fat Flush books, is your number one weight loss stumbling block. A liver overloaded with toxins cannot efficiently burn body fat and will sabotage your weight loss efforts. The latest research on this natural sweetener suggests that it not only protects liver function but can decrease elevated liver enzymes. It contains antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

Date Sugar – A high-fiber sugar filled with minerals including magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Here’s my Holiday Pumpkin Pie Recipe—

1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon Stevia Plus
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup date sugar
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups unsweetened canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the meal and flour with the stevia. Beat egg with the melted butter and pour into almond mixture. Stir well. Press into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate. As mixture may be sticky, place a layer of plastic wrap over the mixture and press it into the pie plate. When the mixture is evenly pressed into the plate, discard plastic. Bake the crust about 12 minutes or until starts to brown. Let cool. Fold the maple syrup and date sugar into the cream cheese. Add the coconut milk, pumpkin and eggs. Stir in the spices and vanilla and mix until smooth. Pour the filling into the nut crust and bake for one hour or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean. Let cool for one hour. Pie can be served chilled. Refrigerate leftover pie.

Bonus Tip: Take Y-C Cleanse before bed and upon arising the next day. All sugars can potentially still feed yeast.

Thanksgiving is an ideal time to celebrate all the things that really matter most…including you.

Wishing you all a very happy and bountiful Thanksgiving!

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman