Wheat-free Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is one of those fixtures of Thanksgiving dinner that, when recreated without wheat, can be enjoyed without worry. No worries over weight gain, increased blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure. No leg edema, abdominal cramps or diarrhea. No depression, moodiness, or crabbiness–except that aimed at your weird brother-in-law who keeps on licking his fingers after touching everything.

The pumpkin puree poses only a slight potential carbohydrate challenge. The entire pie contains 36 grams carbohydrates; if divided into 8 pieces, that yields 4.5 grams carbohydrate per slice–a tolerable level for most people. Heck, even two pieces yields about the same carbohydrate load as half an apple.

Ingredients:

Pie crust
1 1/4 cups ground walnuts (or pecans or almonds)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg
4 ounces butter or coconut oil, melted

Pie filling
2 cups pumpkin puree
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Sweetener equivalent to 3/4 cup sugar (e.g., 5 tablespoons Truvia)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In large bowl, mix together ground walnuts, flaxseed, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. In small bowl, whisk eggs and add butter or coconut oil. Pour liquid mix into dry mix and blend by hand thoroughly.

Grease a 9-inch pie pan with coconut oil or other oil. Transfer mix to the pie pan and spread evenly along bottom and up sides. If mixture is too thin, place in refrigerator for several minutes to thicken. For ease of spreading, use a large metal spoon heated under running hot water. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine pumpkin, cream cheese, eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly by hand. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and sweetener and continue to blend by hand.

Pour pumpkin mix into pie crust. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick or knife withdraws nearly dry. Optionally, sprinkle additional nutmeg and/or cinnamon, top with whipped cream or coconut milk.

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