We’re in the midst of the holiday season so I wanted to share a pumpkin pie that is a – I can’t believe it’s that good to be a healthy sweet treat – recipe with you. You see, I was raised eating pumpkin pie with butter and brown sugar added to the fullest in most desserts during the Holidays.
Several Thanksgivings ago, my husband and I made our first Thanksgiving dinner. It was just for the two of us, but we went all out from the stuffed Turkey, to mac and cheese, sweet potato souffle, to the stuffing and all the fixings including a side of cranberry relish. Everything was cooked southern style, but on the healthier side and can I tell you it all came out to be THE bomb.
I have to admit, we stuffed ourselves a little too much, but ran(literally) it off later to catch a movie in the neighborhood. From our complete menu, our prize winner was a little surprisingly the vegan pumpkin pie!
My secret to making it?
I referred to my best friend, Google to find a healthy pumpkin pie recipe and came across a vegan one that sounded to good to be true so I had to give it a shot. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due, this great tasting healthy pumpkin pie is made by Kathy of Lunchbox Bunch.
The only place we cut corners to save some time was with the crust. We chose to get a pre-made gluten-free pie shell from Whole Foods verses making the vegan version. 😉
I couldn’t believe how fancy I was getting with my baking, the main filling was none other than cashews?! Good thing I read the instructions ahead a time because I had to soak the cashews over night. I didn’t know how this was going to turn out, but I chose to trust and stay excited about it. Cooking in the flow!
You know when you are baking something, you just gotta taste just a little bit of the batter before you put it in the oven? Well, we did just that and OMG, we couldn’t believe how good it was! Perfectly sweetened and the cashews added such a smooth touch. Superstars it was good!!!
Yep, this healthy pumpkin pie gets two thumbs up! To experience this yumminess yourselves, I’m sharing the recipe with ya. Enjoy it to the last drop with your family and friends during your holiday cheer.
Here’s a pic of how ours turned out…oh, yes creative ones, I had to get a little fancy with the whip cream. 😉
Four Ingredient Pumpkin Pie
vegan, GF(optional) makes one pie
1 1/4 cups raw soaked cashews
1 cup maple syrup
1 can organic pumpkin puree (16 ounces) (or use fresh puree)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
optional: 1/2 tsp salt to taste (depends how much salt you soaked your cashews in)
Ingredients notes: using high quality spice is helpful. Also, I prefer grade B maple syrup for its rich amber tones and caramelized flavor – but grade A works too.
1. Soak about one cup of raw cashews in about 2 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl. Add about 1/2 – 1 tsp of salt to the bowl – mix to dissolve. The salt allows the water to absorb more efficiently into the cashews and also adds some salt for your recipe. Note: you may want to soak more cashews than needed and make two pies – or use in other recipes like my vegan pumpkin spice cashew cheese!
2. Soak this cashew bowl overnight in the fridge. You want well-soaked cashews so that your pie mix blends up perfectly creamy. I soaked my cashews for about 18 hours. At least 8 is optimal. Don’t soak for more than two days or the cashews can get grimy in my opinion.
3. The day of your actual pie making allow at least 3 hours from the time you start to the time you wish to serve the pie. I like a cool time of at least 2 hours.
4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
5. Drain the water from your cashews. They should be very soft to bite and a slight purplish dark hue. This is normal. Add 1 1/4 cups of cashews to your food processor – or even better, a Vitamix or high speed blender.Get your own Vitamix here with free shipping!
6. Add pumpkin to blender. Next, add in the maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Blend on low -> high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely creamy. If your mixture is a bit thick for some reason – you can add in a few teaspoons of either water, maple syrup or even non-dairy milk. After blending, do a taste test and add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt if needed. I added in about 1/3 tsp extra salt. But taste before adding.
7. Pour your mix into a par-baked vegan pie shell (I toast my raw pie shell in the 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes). You can buy a frozen crust or make your own per instructions linked in recipe above.
8. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes – or until the edges look fluffy and a darker caramel orange tone. Use a toothpick in center if unsure. The tooth-picked filling should come out slightly wet – but very thick and dark. It is important to remember that your pie will firm up significantly upon cooling and chilling in the fridge.
9. Remove pie from oven. Cool on counter for at least 30 minutes. Then place in fridge until ready to serve. At least 2 hours cooling and/or chilling time is my preference. A warm pie will be tasty, but still a bit “wet” to slice.
10. I serve chilled with a swirl of my vegan coconut whip on top!!
*One standard vegan pie crust – buy pre-made or use instructions in Kathy’s post.
P.S. I made this pie for my family back home in NC with my fingers crossed they would like it too – it was a winner!!
Happy Holidays! Comment below and let me know if you enjoyed it as much as we all did!