I was inspired recently to try gluten free eating when I read Kathy Freston’s book, Quantum Wellness. Kathy recommends a 21-day cleanse diet to give your body a break from some of the foods in our typical daily diet. Things like animal products, alcohol, gluten, caffeine, and refined sugar.
Obviously some of these were easier for me than others. I didn’t have to work to give up animal products. I don’t drink a lot of caffeine anyway. Same with alcohol. But gluten? Refined sugar? I knew that was going to hurt!
But actually, it was the opposite. It didn’t hurt at all. In fact, I felt better. After awhile, it wasn’t even a struggle to give up gluten. Refined sugar is a story for another day. I wasn’t so successful at giving that up entirely, but I did find ways to reduce it.
So, I’ve been investigating more gluten-free recipes lately. I was pleased to find not only a ton of great sites and recipes, but also some vegan, gluten free sites. Ahh, it’s nice to have company!
I don’t plan to entirely give up gluten. For one thing, I still enjoy baking gluteny goodness food for my family. And I’m not entirely convinced that I need to give it up 100%. Am I merely avoiding the inevitable? Who knows. But for now I’m looking at gluten-free as another fun direction to investigate. Sort of like raw food. I think there are lots of benefits to including more raw food in our diets.
So I guess that makes me a Vegan who is also intrigued by the ideas of Raw and Gluten Free Food. If that were an acronym, I’m sure it wouldn’t sound good.
For now, I hope you enjoy this lovely Pumpkin Praline Pie with Coconut Pecan Crust. I found it on the Gluten Free Goddess site and fell immediately in love. I made only a few alterations in the recipe below, but I’m providing the link in case you’d like to try the original.
Pumpkin Praline Pie with Coconut Pecan Crust
(Recipe Source: Gluten Free Goddess)
- 2 cups organic raw cashews
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 – 2 tablespoons coconut milk
Rinse the cashews and place them in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover them with water, cover the bowl, and let them soak for two hours. (I let mine sit overnight.)
Once thoroughly soaked, drain the cashews and pour them into your food processor. Add the pinch of salt and process the cashews for a minute or two until they form a paste. Add the coconut milk to create a rich cream, being careful not to thin it too much.
Use immediately or store, covered, in the fridge.
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the dry in a food processor bowl and pulse a few seconds. Then add the margarine and pulse several times. The crumbs should now be moist and fall away from the sides of the bowl.
Pour the crust into the prepared pan and press them across the bottom and up the sides- about 2/3 of the way up.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 7 minutes. Remove the pan and set aside.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 2 14-oz. cans pumpkin
- 1 1/4 cups thick cashew cream (see above)
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium high until you have a smooth, creamy texture.
Pour the pumpkin custard into the prepared crust and smooth it out evenly. Your pan should be quite full- about 1-2 inches from the top. Place the pan into the center of the preheated 350 F degree oven. Bake for about one hour, till set.
Cool the pie on a wire rack until it is cool enough to handle and then place in the fridge to chill, preferably overnight.
Before serving, top the pie with Pecan Praline
- 2 tablespoons dairy free margarine
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Add the margarine, cinnamon, sea salt, pecans and brown sugar to a skillet. Stir for a minute or a two to toast the pecans. Add the maple syrup and stir till bubbling and sticky. Remove from heat and spread the praline onto a greased baking sheet to cool. Break the praline into pieces for garnishing the top of the pie.