Saturday, November 11, 2017

paleo pumpkin pie and my chronic pain journey

I am looking forward to sharing this new recipe.  It's a perfect representation of where my heart is, currently.  I am fully focused on the arrival of my favorite holiday, of all things warm and cozy, of flavors cinnamon-y and savory.  I am full of anticipation and appreciation, and my gratitude overflows with goodness.  Thanksgiving is almost here, folks, and I can't think of a better reason to return to the blog I so dearly love.

Towards the end of Summer, my chronic back pain returned with a vengeance.  I found myself on it more than I was standing up.  The pain was obnoxious and nauseating, and the only relief I could get was lying flat.  Sometimes.  I refused to take a day off, as I was pretty sure this was going to be my new normal.  Standing or sitting for any amount of time felt nearly impossible, and riding in a car, let alone trying to get out of one, was all I could bare.  Although I knew diet wasn't the only answer, I also knew that lowering my sugar and flour had decreased joint inflammation in the past, and I was desperate.  So I committed to significantly lowering my carb intake and began spinal decompression therapy, and other interventions, to hopefully take the edge off of the bulges and degeneration of my discs (L4, L5, S1).  

I am just ecstatic to say that for a little over two weeks I have found relief.  I don't know how much of it has been the multiple therapies, exercises, or diet, but I'm not stopping any of them.  I don't want to go back to where I was if I can help it, and as a side bonus, I've lost about 12-15 pounds. 😉

As I began my quest for really great low-carb eating, I ran across a cookbook that has yielded some of the most tasty, filling, satisfying recipes I've tried to date.  And although I don't consider myself a dieter (I've always loathed "skinny" versions of any dessert) I was intrigued by the grain-free, low-sugar versions of those found in the book.  My curiosity got the absolute best of me, and I couldn't help but try this pumpkin pie.  

The verdict?  I honestly find this recipe ten times better than any I've had, hands-down.  You do not miss the reduced sugar (by HALF), and the spices put it over the top.  It's this real, true flavor that absolutely shines. There's nothing fake in it, and John - the lover of all things pumpkin pie - couldn't have been more affirming.  It. Is. Good.

I'm really excited to share some more successful recipes from this newest gem of a cookbook and to continue on this journey I've been on for the last six weeks.   I'm so very thankful for health and increased quality of life.  Although I know it may not be like this forever, I will take it for the hours, days, or months it's given to me.  My body says, "Thank you," and my heart couldn't be more grateful.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

makes eight servings

for the crust
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 stick butter, melted (or sub coconut oil if avoiding dairy)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
for the filling
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus 1 cup for whipped topping garnish (or sub coconut cream for true paleo)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 15 oz organic pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground loves
  • pinch of salt
for the crust

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients together, mixing well.  

3. Press into a 9-inch pie pan evenly.  

4. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown,.

for the filling 

1. While crust is cooking, lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl.  Add in 1 cup of the heavy cream along with the vanilla, pumpkin, coconut sugar, and maple syrup and whisk together.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, ground cloves, and pinch of salt.  Whisk spice mixture into wet ingredients.

3. Pour filling into crust, bake for 30-35 minutes.  The custard will still be jiggly in the middle, so turn the oven down to 325 degrees and cook for the remaining 15-20 minutes.  Place foil around the edges of your pie if you find the crust is getting a little too done.

4. Top with fresh whipped cream. 

Recipe from Eat Happy!