A whole food spin on a harvest classic: Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie! Pumpkin spiced kabocha squash, vanilla balsamic drizzle, and whipped coconut cream. YUM!
A paleo pumpkin pie with a savory twist
If you’re looking for a non-traditional take on pumpkin pie, this is it. Kabocha squash seasoned with salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice, coated with melted ghee, and then roasted until browned on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. Top with fluffy vanilla coconut whipped cream and a drizzle of vanilla balsamic reduction, and you have a deconstructed, satisfyingly savory pumpkin pie recipe that you can enjoy as a dessert, a paleo Thanksgiving side dish, or a seasonal breakfast.
This sugar free pumpkin pie is more than sweet
The components of this Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie really play on each other, taking the traditional flavors pumpkin pie flavors and cranking them up to 11. Here’s how it all comes together …
Prep The Pumpkin
I used kabocha squash for this recipe because it’s sweet and delicious. You can find it at most grocers this time of year. Halve it, seed it, and peel it (see the pictures for reference). Kabocha squash develops a flavor similar to chestnuts after roasting.
Vanilla Balsamic Drizzle
There are a lot of fake aged balsamic vinegars on the market, made syrupy sweet with added sugars, fruit puree, grape must, or concentrate. A good rule of thumb: if a balsamic vinegar is more than 4g of carbs/sugar per tablespoon, it’s not legit. It should be a thin liquid, not a syrup. The syrupy viscosity comes from reducing it! Not only is this balsamic reduction the real deal, but it’s flavored with real vanilla, from an actual vanilla pod. The flavor will blow you away.
Whipped Coconut Cream
Pro tip: the easiest way to make thick and fluffy coconut cream is to first chill 2-3 cans of Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream or Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Cream, then open the cans and spoon out the firm cream into a large bowl. Put the bowl back in the fridge while you get your egg beaters ready and measure out your vanilla extract.
Then, grab your bowl of cream and whip until smooth, add in the vanilla and pinch of salt, and whip until smooth. Return your whipped coconut cream to the fridge until you’re ready to serve. If it’s cold where you live, this will keep for 10-20 minutes out of the fridge before it starts to melt!
Indulge with whole food Thanksgiving recipes
As my friend Ali Miller, RD says, channel savory! While the holidays is definitely a great time to connect with traditions, the seasonal bounty, and your loved ones, you can do this without feeling like a hot dumpster fire after eating.
Indulging in food isn’t a crime, but the way we have perverted traditions to include pounds and pounds of sugar IS. Truly, do you think your great, great, great grandmother used 4 pounds of sugar when she prepared meals? I think we can indulge and enjoy, and do it while eating real foods!
This stunning homage to pumpkin pie is the perfect example of that. It IS indulging, it IS delicious, and it truly highlights seasonal goodness without overwhelming your palate and your pancreas.
How to Make This Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie Ahead of Time:
Yes, you can make all the components of this ahead of time. Make everything according to the directions below, then store separated. The pumpkin and cream go in the fridge, and you can store the pecans and balsamic at room temp. When you’re ready to eat, warm the pumpkin in the oven just a tad before plating, and if the balsamic is very thick, put it by the warm stove to thin out before drizzling. Plate, serve, and enjoy!
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a decadent and elegant fall treat
For the Pumpkin:
- 1 large kabocha squash
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ cup melted ghee
For the Vanilla Balsamic Drizzle:
- 1 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 vanilla bean pod
For the Whipped Coconut Cream:
- 2 cans chilled coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup toasted pecans for serving
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Halve the pumpkin and scoop the seeds out. Cut it into quarters and use a sharp knife to peel it, see the images in the post. Cut the quarters into wedges no thicker than 1 inch thick, about 14 slices total.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, put the pumpkin wedges on the sheet pan and sprinkle with the pumpkin spice and cinnamon. Toss to coat, then arrange the wedges so that they are all lying flat and pour the melted ghee all over them. Sprinkle with salt and roast for 40-45 minutes until browned and tender. I like them the toastier the better.
- While the pumpkin roasts, put the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pot, on a low simmer for 20-30 minutes. Open your vanilla bean pod, scrape out the insides and add it to the vinegar, and add the whole pod in there, too. After 10 minutes, remove the pod, and stir the vinegar. After about 20 minutes, it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Give it a taste; when it’s thicker and sweet tasting with a tang, it’s ready. Remove it from the heat. As it cools, it will get thicker and thicker!
- When the pumpkin is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool. This is a good time to toast your pecans. You can toast them in a dry skillet on medium heat. Do not let them burn! They toast in 1-2 minutes.
- Open the cans of coconut cream and spoon out the firm cream into a large bowl. Whip the coconut cream with the vanilla extract and salt. Put the bowl back in the fridge while you get your egg beaters ready and measure out your vanilla extract.
- Grab your bowl of cream and whip until smooth, add in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Whip until smooth. Return to the fridge until ready to serve! If it’s cold where you live, this will keep for 10-20 minutes out of the fridge before it starts to melt!
- To serve, plate two slices of pumpkin, top with toasted pecans, a dollop of whipped cream, and drizzle with balsamic vanilla drizzle.
If you want to make this sweeter, you can add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the pumpkin while it roasts, but I don’t think it needs it 🙂
15.8g net carbs per serving
- Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories: 435.1
- Fat: 35.4g
- Carbohydrates: 22.1g
- Fiber: 6.3g
- Protein: 5.1g
Keywords: healthy pumpkin pie