by Elisa Lipton
If you’re anything like me, you crave the spice of pumpkin pie and chai lattes of the healthy variety all year long. Luckily, I have tried and true recipes dating back to my college days that pair just right, sure to please your taste buds, and all sans the food coma, baby, or hangover of Tofurkey Day indulgence. Plus, these yummies are all naturally planet and mind-body friendly as gluten-free, low-calorie, and vegan eats.
During college in San Diego, I became passionate about veganism before “vegan” was a coined term! On my own, I discovered almond milk and stevia at Trader Joe’s and created many recipes playing around in my kitchen. In my downtime, I would study nutrition facts of natural foods and go running (read: jog-walks!). Along with my love for creating healthy and tasty recipes, I found this lifestyle a perfect compliment to my work in front of the camera as a lifestyle model. I found myself feeling and looking my best. Eating healthy pumpkin pies, snacking on handfuls of nuts, indulging in my creative side, and sunshine-filled morning runs around Mission Bay created such a solid foundation for the rest of my lifetime of work within wellness. These recipes are of my favourites, perfected during my first chilly “vegan” Fall, and have been shared with dear friends ever since!
So, my new dear friends, let’s begin by geeking out on the nutrition facts of the ingredients and how these foods function in our bodies. From the crustless pie’s pure pumpkin puree and spices, soy milk (or plant-based milk of your choice), and further spices in the latte, this duo is full of phytonutrients and antioxidants, substances found within plant foods that help prevent disease and aging. From an Eastern Medicine perspective, the spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, allspice, cardamom, and black pepper warm the body. The duo proves friendly to our “hanger” by balancing blood sugar with high-fiber pumpkin and a bit of plant protein, keeping us happy, healthy, and mindful, opposed to being not so conscious of what we are placing in our bodies. As an extra tidbit of nerdy information, a pinch of himalayan salt in both recipes provides electrolytes and minerals, helping balance you from head to toe, inside and out (including plump, glowy, hydrated skin!).
Now, onto the recipes! You’ll begin by creating a jar of pumpkin pie spice (or if you’re busy, treating yourself to a store bought organic blend), baking the pie, and boiling a cozy cup of tea to sip along with your healthy dessert.
Crustless Pumpkin Pie
- 3 tablespoons organic ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons organic ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons organic ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons organic ground allspice
- 1 ½ teaspoons organic ground cloves
- 2 ounce glass jar
- *Time-Saving Tip: Pumpkin Pie Spice by Simply Organic
- Filling: 15oz can 100% Pure Pumpkin
- ¼ cup Brown Rice/Rice Malt Syrup, or alternate organic stevia to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ¾ cup organic plant-based milk of your choice (I prefer unsweetened soy or almond)
- ¼ cup pureed organic tofu or 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons of water as binder and egg substitute
- 2 pinches Himalayan Sea Salt
- Step 1 Baking:
- Step 2 Heat oven to 350ºF. Coconut grease your favourite pie or muffin tin.
- Step 3 Time-saving tip: use cupcake liners for ease and a built in to-go pumpkin pie breakfast or snack.
- Step 4 Bake for 20 minutes, or lightly browned.
- Step 5 Cool ten to twelve minutes.
- 6 green cardamom pods.
- 12 whole cloves.
- 1 cinnamon stick.
- 1 (1/4-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced.
- 6 black peppercorns.
- 7 cups water.
- *Time-Saving Tip: Chai Masala Tea bags by Organic India
- ¼ -½ cup Unsweetened Soy Milk (or Unsweetened Plant-based Milk of your choice) per cup of tea
- 1 tablespoon Organic Raw Honey or Brown Rice/Rice Malt Syrup per cup of tea
- Pinch of Himalayan Salt
- Step 1 Boil water with a pinch or two of himalayan salt, then bring to a simmer and and tea blend or 4-5 tea bags for ten minutes. Turn off the stove, pour into your favourite mug, add your plant-based milk and honey, stir and enjoy you chai latte with your crustless, healthy pumpkin pie. A chai latte is also perfect on its own as a morning or afternoon warm-up. It’s almost as good as a hug!