Easy as pie.
Need I say more?
Didn’t think so.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but the holiday season is fast approaching…as in, um hiiii— It’s HERE!
It’s hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago I was apple picking, foliage hunting and getting ready for Halloween. Now I’m trudging to work in my Ugg boots and a marshmallow-y jacket (hot?) while fighting the harsh reality that I will in fact need to purchase some tights–that is, if I plan on wearing a dress or a skirt to work anytime soon.
It’s true. As soon as Halloween ends you might as well kiss the fall goodbye because Christmas commercials and decorations have been taking over since 11/1– and we haven’t even had the chance to gobble up our Halloween candy yet!
Speaking of gobbling…we can’t forget that festive little holiday hiding between all the ghouls and the garland! It is the holiday for feasting on all things delicious after all. And seeing that this has become a recipe-filled blog…I just couldn’t skip out on Thanksgiving! (Looks like my gingerbread men cookie cutters will need to stay in the cupboard for a couple more weeks. Sorry guys).
Now, in years past, Thanksgiving was always a rather difficult holiday for me. It can be a little bit of a bummer when you follow a different diet than your meat-eating family, and it can also get pretty old being pinned as the outcast or “odd one” at the table. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked “what is Ashley going to eat?” I’d be a very rich woman . I’m prepared for this year to be no different–except for one little thing…
This is my very first Thanksgiving as a VEGAN.
In fact, this will be my first holiday season as a vegan.
YUP. If I thought being a vegetarian was hard, this new detail will certainly make this festive season a tad more interesting, to say the least.
I’ll be honest. I worry that I’ll be considered rude for passing up a home-cooked meal that I know took hours and hours to prepare. I worry that I’ll put a damper on the holiday or be considered high maintenance and difficult (sound familiar?). But that doesn’t seem very fair now, does it? After all, Thanksgiving is meant to be a day full of gratitude– a day to reflect, accept and be thankful for all that we have. It’s a day to surround ourselves with family, friends, and loved ones. It is not a day to judge others or think about what we don’t have and what we haven’t become. So why, then, should I be stressing over what other’s think about the lifestyle I’ve chosen to follow?
Well, quite frankly, I shouldn’t.
I’m thankful to be happy and healthy and filled with love. And that’s why I plan to enjoy a tasty vegan meal without judgement. )There are bigger problems out there then what someone chooses to eat for dinner people ) And who know, maybe my yummy contributions will be a hit among some of the non-vegans at the table. All it’s going to take is some extra preparation and a hefty dose of confidence and creativity.
Oh…and a LOT of recipe testing !
So what’s the best way to enjoy being with family during the holidays without worrying about the food? By winning over some non-vegan friends and family members with some healthy and delicious seasonal dishes of course!
But first, let’s start with everyone’s favorite part of the meal….DESSERT! (I promise you. Everyone will love this pie. And they’ll never guess what the secret, healthy, ingredient is).
My, OH MY! Pumpkin Pie
Fat-Free Cookie Pie Crust:
- 1/2 cup quick oats (blended)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry or spelt four
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice etc…
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 6 drops of vanilla stevia drops (depending upon how sweet you want your crust. I bought the 365 brand stevia drops at Whole Foods, but there are many different kinds available out there.)
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 package of silken tofu (I used Morinaga Silken Tofu–I find it doesn’t leave an aftertaste. I can’t vouch for any other tofu brands like Nasoya, but feel free to give it a go!)
- 1 can of 100% pureed pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (you can decrease this if you’d like to keep it fat-free, but I think it tastes better with the oil)
- 1 tablespoon of almond milk
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar (depending upon how sweet you’d like your pie–I actually used 5 tablespoons, but if you would like a sweeter dessert, feel free to increase this)
- 10-20 drops of vanilla stevia drops (depending upon how sweet you’d like your pie, an if you’d like a hint of creamy vanilla).
- Pecans for decoration
Pie Crust Directions:
- Preheat the oven to 375º.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and mix the wet ingredients in another.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients together and mix well.
- Spray a 9-in pie pan with all natural cooking spray.
- Press the dough into the pie dish until fully covered with dough extending slightly up the edges of the dish.
- Bake pie crust for 9-10 minutes (until slightly browned– do NOT over-bake or the result will be very dry!)
Pie Filling Directions:
- Reduce oven temperature to 350º.
- Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until very smooth.
- Pour pumpkin pie mixture into the baked cookie pie crust and bake again for 45 minutes (or until the top begins to split and turn golden brown).
- Let the pie cool and serve at room temperature. Feel free to serve with a squirt of whipped cream!
- Store covered in the fridge for 3-4 days, or slice pie and layer slices between wax paper and freeze in an airtight container.
The final product should look a little something like this….
The result is a creamy, delicious, and sneaky holiday dessert!
Traditional pumpkin pie is full of fat and calories from the flour, evaporated milk, eggs, and loads of sugar, yet it’s often the healthier dessert option at most holiday tables.
I promise you NO ONE will know this pie is LOW-FAT, high in FIBER & VITAMIN A (pumpkin!) and high in PROTEIN (tofu!). I challenge you to make the switch!
Hey…who says holidays can’t be healthy?