Paul Cutter, The Healthy Chef

Pumpkin is one of my favourite vegetables. I love to eat and cook with it all year round. The best way of preparing pumpkin is to roast it, which allows this glorious vegetable to stand in all its amber glory and be transformed into delicious creations that can be either sweet or savory.

To create a delicious pumpkin pie you need to use fresh pumpkin, as the tinned variety just won’t suffice. Roasting enhances the flavor, and adding a generous pinch of cinnamon adds depth and sophistication. Pumpkin is naturally sweet, so it’s important when blending your ingredients that you don’t add too much added sugar, natural or otherwise. Ginger and vanilla aromatics complement the velvety blend of pumpkin puree, and a generous amount of pure organic coconut cream makes it all heavenly.

The crust is just the right balance of flaky and wholesome, as it uses rolled organic oats and coconut that are held together by cold pressed macadamia oil. You can also use good quality olive oil, which gives the crust an extra burst of flavor.

Leftover roasted pumpkin can be devoured hot or cold with a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing. You can also puree leftovers into an antioxidant-rich soup by adding freshly boiled water and a little sea salt. For breakfast, I often blend up roasted pumpkin with almond milk, a spoon of organic pea protein, a splash of vanilla, maple and ice, which keeps me satisfied until lunchtime. For something a little warmer for breakfast, combine pureed roast pumpkin with almond milk and a few spoonfuls of oatmeal for a decadent pumpkin pie porridge.

WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT IT:

Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and nourishing beta-carotene. This pie is also gluten and dairy free, and makes the perfect finale to any holiday dinner table.

INGREDIENTS:

Oatmeal Gingersnap Shortcrust

  • 200g (2 cups / 7 oz) organic gluten free rolled oats
  • 50 g (1/2 cup / 1 3/4 oz) organic desiccated coconut
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz / 1/4 cup) cold-pressed coconut or macadamia oil
  • 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 450g (2 cups / 16 3/4 oz) roasted pumpkin puree (See below on how to perfectly roast pumpkin)
  • 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • 3 organic eggs
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 250 ml (1cup/ 8 3/4 fl oz) organic coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. Combine shortcrust ingredients into a bowl and mix well until combined. You can also do this by hand, which takes around 8 minutes, or with a food processor or stand mixer. The longer you massage the oats, the softer they will become to form a perfect outer crust for your pie
  2. Press your oatmeal crust into a 20 cm (7 1/2 inch) pie dish and set aside to prepare the filling
  3. Blend roasted pumpkin with the maple syrup, organic eggs, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, coconut cream and vanilla until smooth and velvety
  4. Pour the pumpkin filling into your oatmeal pie shell
  5. Bake your pie in a preheated 160 °C /320 ° F fan forced oven for 45 minutes. The filling of your pie should be lightly golden and set on top
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least two hours to set

Enjoy warm or cold dolloped with a side of whipped coconut cream or yoghurt.

NOTES & INSPIRATION: You can roast your pumpkin with or without the skin – depending on the purpose of the final dish. I love cutting Jap (kent) pumpkin into large chunks and generously drizzling it with quality olive oil before sprinkling with sea salt and ground cinnamon. I massage all the ingredients into the pumpkin making sure it’s evenly coated by the spices.

Make sure to preheat your oven — an essential step — to 180 °C / 360 ° F fan-forced. Spread your pumpkin evenly onto two trays lined with baking paper to prevent sticking. Stick to one layer – don’t pile it high otherwise you won’t get that rich caramelized complexity that is so purely delicious. Pumpkin cooks quickly and it normally takes about 40 minutes before it’s ready to remove from the oven.

Teresa Cutter, founder of The Healthy Chef, is an author, nutritionist and classically trained chef. You can find more of Cutter’s tips and recipes on her website, app, eBooks and Instagram.

“My main goal at The Healthy Chef is to get people cooking and eating healthier. Eat natural foods, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and just keep it simple.” — Teresa Cutter

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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