Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieWe had a small sugar pie pumpkin that was given to us around the middle of November (2015), and I just got around to roasting it. We took too long to get to it, but the pumpkin flesh was still good. After roasting it, we were able to get 30 ounce of puree, which is equal to two 15 ounce store bought cans. collage of Roasted PumpkinWe needed to see how good the puree would taste, so it could be used to make either some pies, pumpkin bread or cookies, and even a pumpkin cheesecake. After roasting and pureeing the pumpkin, we wanted to taste the flavor of the flesh, so we mixed some with real maple syrup and some pecan pieces, and wow it was very tasty.

fresh pumpkin puree with real maple syrup and pecan pieces

Better Homes and Garden Novemeber 2015 issueThe pumpkin pie recipe we decided to make with 15 ounce of the puree was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens November 2015 issue.

gluten free pie shell packagingWe did change the recipe a bit, as we used a gluten free pie shell.

What makes this pumpkin pie a Mexican chocolate pie is the use of Cayenne and smoked paprika.

No need to worry as it is not spicy.

Here is what you will need to prepare your own: Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie.

3 ounces dark chocolate (original recipe calls for 1 3.1 ounce disc of Mexican chocolate)

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup coconut sugar (original recipe calls for 3/4 cup packed brown sugar)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika ( original recipe called for milk chili powder)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (we used our fresh roasted pumpkin puree)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup half and half or light cream

Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)

Bake pie crust according to packaged instructions.

For pie: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small sauce pan heat chocolate and butter over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, just until melted, then set aside to cool.

pumpkin pie mixIn a large bowl combine coconut sugar, pie spice, salt, and chili powders. Stir in pumpkin puree and eggs until combined. Next gradually stir in half and half until combined.

stirring in pumpkin pie mix with melted chocolateStir 1 1/2 cups of the pumpkin mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture, then pour into pie crust.

second layer of Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieNext pour remaining pumpkin mixture over chocolate layer.

Bake for 60 minutes or until center appears set. Cool pie, then chill within 2 hours.

Chocolate Ganache

simmered cream cinamon and shaved dark chocolateIn a small bowl add 3 ounces of shaved dark chocolate and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. In a small sauce pot bring 1/4 cup cream to a simmer, and pour over shaved chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieSpoon Chocolate Ganache over pie, then add shaved dark chocolate and some powdered chili.

Slice Of  Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin PieServe a piece of Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, and enjoy!!

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National Pumpkin Pie Day

National Pumpkin Pie DayPumpkin pie has been enjoyed in the North American as far back as 1621. As there were no ovens at the time, pumpkin pie then, had no crust. According to historians the first settlers to the New England (USA) area made pumpkin pie by filling a hollowed out pumpkin shell with milk, honey and spices, and then baking it in hot ashes.

By the early 18th century pumpkin pie had earned a place at the dinner table, as Thanksgiving became an important New England regional holiday.

Today the pie is baked with a crust and is a traditional sweet dessert, and is enjoyed more than not during the fall and early winter, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States and Canada.

Pumpkin Pie Basics

Baking a pumpkin pie before 1929 required a person to roast and strain the meat of the gourde or squash. Things changed though in 1929 as Libby’s meat-canning company of Chicago introduced canned pumpkin that replaced the need for roasting and straining one’s own squash.

The pie can be described as a pumpkin-based custard, baked in a single pie shell, and almost never has a top crust, like an apple pie does. A traditional pumpkin pie today is generally flavored with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Some bakers may go a step further and add cardamom and vanilla.

It is thought that the earliest recipes for pumpkin pie may have come from France. In Francois Pierre La Varenne‘s cookbook of 1653, “The French Cook” his recipe, “Tourte of Pompion” is written, “Boil it with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds, letting all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste, and bake it. After it is baked, sprinkle it with sugar and serve.”

Enjoying Pumpkin For Dessert

There are many ways to enjoy pumpkin. Since 1929 it was made a lot easier to enjoy it any time of the year. Here are a few recipes that consist of a pumpkin basis.

Double Layer No Bake Pumpkin PieDouble Layer No Bake Pumpkin Pie

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon half & half
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 cups of whipped heavy cream, or cool whip
1 – 9 inch prepared graham cracker crust (store bought or prepare a homemade crust)
1 cup cold half & half
2 – 3.5 ounce packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 – 15 ounce can solid pack pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, whisk together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of half and half, and sugar until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream, and it is best to avoid over mixing. Spread mixture into the bottom of a prepared graham cracker crust.

Refrigerate while preparing the next layer:

In a large bowl whisk pudding mix and 1 cup of half and half until thickened, fold in pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Gently spread over cream cheese layer. Place in refrigerate for up to 4 hours, or until set.

If you wish, drizzle lightly with caramel sauce and add a dollop of fresh whipped cream, and toffee bits before serving.

Then there is…

Pumpkin-Pie ParfaitsPumpkin-Pie Parfaits

Recipe Courtesy of Pint Sized Treasures

 

For the pumpkin layer:

4 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cookie layer:

4 honey graham cracker sheets

4 Tbsp butter, melted

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp brown sugar

Homemade Whipped Cream

2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In large mixing bowl, place all pumpkin layer ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy, approximately four minutes. Place in freezer for a quick chill while you prepare your other ingredients.

Stir all cookie layer ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, mix whipping cream on medium high until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat an additional minute.

Layer parfait glasses very gently following this pattern: cookie mixture, whipped cream, pumpkin layer, whipped cream, pumpkin layer and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle remaining cookie layer on top. Repeat for each parfait.

Gluten Free Pumpkin CheesecakeYou can also enjoy Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake or Layered Pumpkin and Cranberry Parfaits, and Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping.

Today, October 12th is National Pumpkin Pie Day, enjoy a slice or two, or any dessert with pumpkin in it. We plan to enjoy a Spiced Pumpkin Latte.

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Gluten Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash

Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked Bacon

Butternut squash and also refereed to butternut pumpkin in Australia and New Zealand, is a winter squash. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to pumpkin.

Butternut_squash

The value of the nutrient content increases when cooked

According to Specialty Produce the butternut squash was developed in Stow, Massachusetts in 1940 by Charles A. Leggette.

The squash is a member of the gourd family and is the most widely grown winter squash. In the United States, Florida is the largest squash-producer with California ranking second.

Butternut is rich in fiber, and low in calories. It also is a good source of minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Those who have asthma or breathing problems, this squash can help, because of its magnesium, and vitamins A and C content.

Medical studies since 1994 have reported that low magnesium intake is linked to asthma and chronic obstructive airways. Many studies also have noted that drugs used in the treatment of asthma causes loss of magnesium in the body (The Link Between An Asthma Attack and Magnesium).

Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, who authored the book, “The Magnesium Miracle,” states that magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles of the bronchial airways, as well as the whole body (Treating Asthma With Nutrition).

Let’s breath easier, and get that all over calming effect as we present our featured recipe: Gluten Free Penne with Smoked Bacon and Butternut Squash, and here is what you will need.

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces, cooked in a steamer (optional to roast)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound gluten-free penne pasta

1 large yellow onion, diced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper corns

1/2 pound smoked bacon, cooked, but not crispy, your preference in flavor, we used a apple-bourbon smoked bacon

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package instruction. Save one cup of the pasta water before draining pasta. Set aside.

sauteing onions Over medium heat in a large ceramic coated frying pain, add oil and diced onion, red pepper flakes and crushed pepper corns, and saute until onion are slightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes.

adding squash and pastaNext add past, squash, and bacon. Mix until well incorporated. Next add cheese, and slowly add the reserved pasta water. The amount you add determines if you want the dish creamy or not.

Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Smoked BaconPlate and serve.

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Pumpkin Bacon Pancakes

Pumpkin Bacon Pancakes

According to the Health News Library, you don’t have to wait for Autumn when pumpkins are normally harvested to enjoy their cancer fighting benefits. They write saying that research performed at Tufts University with pumpkins showed that 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin or fresh cooked pumpkin has five times the daily quota for beta-carotene (vitamin-A) per day.

If you were able to read our article Curried Apple Pumpkin Soup, and was able to prepare it, you would find yourself with some left over pumpkin. Well, no worries, as the 1/2 can of left over pumpkin can be used in our featured recipe: Pumpkin Bacon Pancakes.

Here is what you will need…

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Pumpkin Bacon Pancakes - close up3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

2 large eggs

2 tbsp. coconut sugar

1 tbsp. coconut oil

4 to 5 strips crumbled cooked bacon

 

Whisk together in a large bowl the first 6 ingredients, and set aside.

In a separate medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin, eggs, coconut sugar, and coconut oil.

Gently stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Heat a cast iron griddle coat with butter over medium heat. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto griddle to form a 3 to 4 inch pancake. Drop some of the crumbled cooked bacon. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes each side.

Plate and drizzle with real maple syrup.

Prevention magazine (October 2012 issue) says, to better absorb the beta-carotene in the pumpkin add a healthy fat to the recipe, and in this case it  is the coconut oil. If you choose, you can use olive oil. If you cannot get your hands on some coconut sugar, then you can substitute raw honey.

 

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Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Croutons

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Brown Sugar Cinnamon CruotonsA very healthy soup to help you through the winter. Pumpkin is packed with immune boosting vitamin-C and the sweet potatoes in the soup are great for cancer, particularly mole cancer. There is also cinnamon and fresh ginger, both good for digestion, and the cinnamon is great for glucose control in the blood stream.

Before starting the soup, make the croutons first. Here is what you will need:

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cruotons4 slices of 100% whole wheat bread. We used Crazy Dave’s Bread with 21 whole grains. We like this bread as it is not make with any oil, just water and yeast, all organic non-gmo grains. Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl mix together 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of soft butter. On each slice of bread, spread cinnamon mixture evenly over one side only. Place bread butter side up on a baking sheet, and place into the heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. When done, remove from the oven, cut crust off and cut bread into crouton size pieces and set aside.

Now here is what you will need for the feature recipe – Creamy Pumpkin Soup -.

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt 

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger)

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup heavy whipping cream

steps to preparing Creramy Pumpkin SoupSaute onion with 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan until tender. Next add 1 can chicken broth, and stir well. Bring the broth to a boil, and  cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes. Transfer broth mixture into the container of a blender or processor, and process until smooth. Return to sauce pan over heat.

Next add remaining can of broth, along with the pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and ground pepper. Stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, and cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 10 minutes, stir in heavy cream and heat through. Do not boil.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup topped with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cruotons or a bowl soup with olive breadLadle into individual soup bowls. Top each serving with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Croutons, or have with a slice of your favorite bread. Like a slice of sourdough, or as the cook did a slice of olive bread. Enjoy!!

 

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Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup

Coconut-and-Butternut-Squash-SoupButternut squash is a summer and winter squash, and has an orange flesh that is sweet and  tastes a little like sweet potatoes. Like all squash, butternut squash is a warm weather crop and needs a long, hot summer.

There are several varieties of butternut squash. The first ones to harvest are the Early Butternut, Ponca and Supreme. The Ultra bears fruit with the most weight, between 6 and 10 pounds. The Zenith variety has attractive fruit and high yields.

There are several different ways to make soup with butternut squash, including the variety of spices and herbs used. Such as garlic, parsley, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, chives, including kale leaves, leeks, and jalapeno chilies.

Storing Butternut Squash

Butternut squash can store for longer periods of time than their summer squash counter parts. Why? Because their skin is hard and thick. After purchasing it, you can store it at least a month in a dry, cool place. If the squash has been cut into pieces, place into a glass or food grade ceramic bowl, place lid and refrigerate up to 5 days.

The Benefits of Butternut Squash

One cup of mashed squash contains 80 calories, 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, with the B-complex group of vitamins folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid. It also contains vitamins A and C and the minerals iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

There is a correlation between eating foods high in the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin like butternut squash, and a reduced rick of lung cancer.

Folate can protect against birth defects, and also helps to prevent a heart attack by working against elements that break down blood vessel structures in the body. Folate intake has shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Options To Prepare Butternut Squash

There are several ways to prepare butternut squash. Our favorite ways to prepare it, and still contain the highest nutritional value are:

  1. Stir-Fry: tender when pierced
  2. Bake: 400 degrees, uncovered 30 – 40 minutes
  3. Steam: Cube and steam for 6 – 8 minutes
  4. Roast: 400 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes

We advise against boiling the squash or microwaving it. With both methods, you will lose its nutritional value.

Now for our featured recipe: Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup, and here is what you will need.

Ingredients for Coconut and Butternut Sqaush  soup

3 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

4 cups chicken broth, divided

1-15 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk

1 stalk celery, diced

1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree

½ butternut squash (about 2 ½ cups) peeled, discard seeds and sliced up

1 tsp. Fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp. salt (optional)

roasting butternut sqaush while baking biscutsBake butternut squash, 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

pureeing butternut squash with chicken brothIn a food processor place 1 cup chicken broth and the baked butternut squash. Puree until creamy, and set aside.

sauteing onions and garlic in olive oilPlace a medium stock pot over medium heat, and add 2 cups of chicken stock. Do not bring to a boil, just allow to heat. In a large skillet over medium heat, when pan is heated add 3 tbsp. olive oil, and add chopped onions, minced garlic,  and sauté, but do not brown or carmelize. Just allow to cook and the two sock up or retain olive oil flavor.

adding diced celery to soupPour sauted onion mix with olive oil into stock pot that contains the warmed chicken broth. Take the last cup of chicken broth, and with one hand pour into frying pan while holding it by the handle with other hand, and swirl frying pan gently, and add to stock pot. Next add coconut milk to broth and stir until incorporated. Then add the diced celery to broth and stir.

spooning in butternut sqaush to soupSpoon in pumpkin and butternut squashes, mix till well incorporated. Next add ginger and stir in. If desired, add salt. Allow to simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Coconut-and-Butternut-Squash-SoupServed garnish with a dollop of sour cream, chives and shredded coconut.

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