Tag Archives: ginger

Let’s Make a Pumpkin Pie

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First a disclaimer: I just can’t make a sugar/sweetener-free pumpkin pie yet, so if you are looking for an LCHF (Low Carbohydrate High Fat) pie, this isn’t it.

I don’t trust the “sugar substitutes” like Stevia drops and any of the other more complicated industrial sweeteners; I am still turned off by the flavor of green Stevia leaf powder; I don’t eat grain so this is made with an almond flour crust – other nut crusts tend to brown too quickly; unlike the Paleo People, I still appreciate whole fat organic dairy like butter and sour cream, so I use those instead of coconut oil and cream; and finally I can’t just eliminate the sugar without everyone in my extended family ridiculing me ad nauseum.

So this is a very simple pumpkin pie made with some nutrient-dense ingredients (eggs, butter, almonds, sour cream, pumpkin purée) and plenty of free radical-fighting spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, lemon zest, vanilla). This version is not Low Carbohydrate though, it is simply a pie.

START WITH THE CRUST

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Now I’m going to do all the mixing for the crust and the filling in the bowl of my 7-cup Cuisinart food processor – because it’s simple and tidy. Into the bowl, add:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 egg white (reserve the yolk for the filling)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Pulse it up until a dough forms. Press this dough out into a pie plate, and crimp up the edges. Put it in the freezer for ten minutes while your oven gets up to temperature. Finally, prick the pastry with a fork and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, until the crust is barely brown and dry on the surface.

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NOW LET’S MAKE THE FILLING

Don’t even wash your food processor bowl; I’m sure it’s fine. Now add:

  • 2 eggs plus the reserved yolk
  • 1 can of pumpkin purée or equivalent freshly baked pumpkin
  • 1 cup of full fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of rapadura or coconut sugar
  • 3 TBS maple syrup
  • 1 TBS freshly grated ginger
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cloves or less
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Pulse a few times until all mixed together. When the crust has finished its 10 minutes in the oven, remove and fill right to the top with this mixture. It will be pretty runny, but the eggs will make it set nicely.

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Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cook for at least 50 minutes or until it is barely “jiggly” in the center, and before the crust starts to brown too much.

The filling is going to really puff up, and then will deflate a little as it cools.

Serve heated with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

A NOTE ON NATURAL SWEETENERS

Honey is great but I like to use it raw, so never in baking. Agave nectar is too high in fructose, so basically no better than HFCS. Regular table sugar and brown sugar have been really refined, so are missing their trace minerals.

Better to choose maple syrup or molasses for your wet applications, as they are both high in trace minerals. And use rapadura (also called Sucanat) or coconut sugar crystals for your dry applications, as they are simply evaporated, so also high in trace minerals.

Trace minerals don’t make maple syrup, molasses, rapadura or coconut sugar good for you; they just make those sweeteners less of a waste of your time. They all have basically the same 4 or 5g of sugar/carbohydrate per Tablespoon – so are interchangeable depending on what flavor you are going for.

In this recipe, I used 1/2 cup of rapadura, which imparts a mild sulphurous molasses note, and 3 TBSP of maple syrup for a sweeter, earthier note. There is even more natural sugar incorporated from the pumpkin purée, but at least its sugar effect is moderated by its own soluble fiber.

NUTRIENT BREAKDOWN

This makes a huge pie. If you divide it into 8 really generous slices, each slice has:

  • 19g carbohydrates (13g sugar, 4.7g dietary fiber)
  • 26g fat
  • 8.4g protein
  • 135% of your Vitamin A RDA
  • 12% of your Calcium RDA
  • 12% of your iron RDA
  • trace minerals

I am pretty satisfied with this ratio of fats:carbs:protein at 67:23:19, especially since I know the generous amount of cinnamon and fat will help lower blood sugar spikes resulting from this dessert.

But if you are worried about pleasing your crowd, I would suggest adding at least 1 TBSP of maple syrup, some vanilla and cinnamon to the crust recipe, and possibly adding another TBSP of maple syrup to the filling. You might also cut back on the powdered cloves because some people find them overwhelming.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING CANADA!

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The Crazy Hot Drink: Foundation Drink No. 1

The Crazy Hot Drink

SERVE IT IN CRYSTAL ALREADY

This drink was inspired by my husband’s cousin, who is obsessed with anti-oxidants. Last April 2012, he literally mailed me some brown powder from British Columbia in a Ziploc baggie, and suggested I try a TBSP every day. Fishy, right? But how could I resist?

Here is the simple 5-ingredient recipe:

  • 12 parts raw cacao powder
  • 1 part cayenne
  • 1 part cinnamon
  • 1 part turmeric
  • 1 part dried ginger

Shake it up in a container of your choosing and store in the freezer. Every morning, my preference is to dissolve about 1TBSP of this “magic powder” into a small goblet of very hot water. Sometimes I add a little milk to make it creamy (try freshly made cashew milk, or raw milk).

The first morning I tried it, I thought it was painfully hot and disgusting, and I cursed my husband’s cousin and his little baggie. The next morning I was still curious, so I tried it again. Not so bad. By the third morning, I was CRAVING the magic powder! Now I make it fresh every few weeks, store it in the freezer, and enjoy 1-2 TBSP every morning. This drink makes me more alert, gives me energy, stimulates digestion (I’m talking BMs here!), and is the greatest start to the day.

Way you will not enjoy it: in a smoothie. It is so spicy and strange, why ruin a giant smoothie. This is better enjoyed in a small serving. Way you might enjoy it: cold. But it will be more difficult to dissolve the spices.

WHY BOTHER?

Consider this a FOUNDATION DRINK. This will replace so many synthetic supplements and make sure that you are getting the micro nutrients and anti-oxidants that your body and mind need. The lowdown:

RAW CACAO: the raw, unprocessed form of chocolate. Contains 54% heart-healthy fat in cacao butter: 34% oleic acid, 33% stearic acid, 26% palmitic acid, 6% other; 31% carbohydrates: 1% sugar, 16% fiber; 11% protein: arginine, glutamine, leucine; 3% polyphenols: flavonols, proanthrocyanins; 1% minerals: iron, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, manganese; and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9 and E. Raw Cacao can lower blood pressure, improve circulation, promote cardiovascular function, neutralize free radicals, improve digestion and enhance physical and mental well-being by relaxing smooth muscles, dilating blood vessels, increasing circulation of serotonin and other essential neurotransmitters in the brain.

CAYENNE: the dried powder of the hot cayenne pepper. Contains alkaloids, apasaicine, capsacutin, capsaicin, capsanthine, capsico PABA, fatty acids, flavonoids, carotene, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and C. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, anti-bacterial, anti-cold and flu, anti-fungal, anti-allergen, stimulates saliva and digestion, relieves joint pain, normalizes blood pressure, supports detox and weight loss, and prevents migraines and blood clots. Cayenne can raise the metabolism as much as 25%, and you will notice this magic powder gives you a lot of energy!

GINGER: the dried, powdered root. Contains essential oils of gingerol, zingerone, shogaol, farnesene, vitamins B5 and B6, potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium. Improves intestinal motility, soothes nerves, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, relieves pain, headaches and is the best remedy for motion sickness, nausea and morning sickness.

TURMERIC: the dried yellow roots of the turmeric plant, related to ginger. Circumin is the principal pigment, rich in antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory properties and seems to prevent Alzheimer’s in India when prepared in traditional curries combined with pepper. Contains Vitamins B3, B6, C, E, iron, potassium, manganese, zinc.

CINNAMON: the dried bark of a group of trees in the cinnamon family, though “true cinnamon” comes from Sri Lanka. A single TSP of cinnamon contains 28 mg of calcium, 1 mg iron, 1 g fiber, and considerable vitamin C, K and manganese. Cinnamon improves insulin resistance, digestion, is anti-inflammatory and slows the decomposition of food (it was used as an embalming agent in ancient Egypt). Sniffing cinnamon improves brain function, but don’t try it; stick to sprinkling it on your apples to lower the glycemic load.

As you become more accustomed to the magic powder, you can adjust the ratios. It would be more beneficial to increase the ratio of cayenne, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon: raw cacao. Consider the raw cacao the treat that makes it all go down. I am probably down to 8 parts cacao: 1 part each of the other four spices.

I have also tried adding maca powder for its fertility powers (steer clear teenagers, stay in school), but I didn’t like the resulting flavor and couldn’t really add enough maca to make it beneficial.

Sarah Britton at My New Roots has a delicious spicy “Haute Chocolate” recipe which is much more palatable, as it includes coconut sugar, honey, vanilla, maca and sea salt – which makes it more of a superfood indulgence than a daily foundation drink.

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