The GREAT Pumpkin Pie.

 I am about as stoked about this pie as Charlie Brown felt waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive on Halloween. 

             220px-GreatPumpkin               12196155_10208065278173620_5027968871685929052_n

If you’re like me, you know that good desserts are hard to come by.
It’s a satisfying discovery! I’ve merged two recipes to create a tasty pumpkin pie. People with and without diet restrictions have really enjoyed it. It’s creamy sweet and delicate. The coconut gives it a melt-in-your-mouth texture without overpowering the pumpkin flavor or the festive spice. 

Can’t believe it’s Gaps, Grain Free, Sugar-Free (no cane sugar), Dairy-Free, Paleo, Primal

~  Pumpkin Pie Filling  ~

Thanks to Deliciously Organic @!   I’ve modified this slightly.

Serving Size: Makes two 9-inch pies or 1 full 9 inch pie. I prefer one large 9 inch pie.

* It’s important to use a pie shield or foil over the crust to ensure the crust doesn’t burn. The filling can also be made two days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar     (or honey)
  • 1 tsp of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice      (OR 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger.)  I love TJ’s pre-mixed spice because it also has cardamom, cloves, and lemon peel.
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin    (if using fresh pumpkin then strain the pumpkin for about 5 minutes in a fine mesh sieve to remove excess moisture)
  • 1 tablespoon of potato flour   (or arrowroot for a rigid Paleo diet…it is helpful to include an alternative thickener)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups canned coconut cream (Approximately 1 can). I would highly recommend Savoy Coconut Cream, which is 100% coconut without any additives. It has the best flavor I’ve tried..fresh, slightly sweet, and creamy….better than many other brands that are “organic’ or have additives.


Preheat oven to 450°F and adjust rack to middle position. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour filling evenly into unbaked pie shell(s). Place pie dishes on a large baking sheet. Cover crust with a pie shield or foil to ensure the crust doesn’t burn. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 20 minutes until edges of pie are set. Cool to room temperature before serving. Serve alone or with whipped coconut cream.

~  Paleo Pie Crust  ~

Thank you, Elena! @

Paleo-Pie-Crust-08431Serves: 1 pie crust
2 cups blanched almond flour
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large egg
Place flour and salt in food processor and pulse briefly
Add coconut oil and egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball
Press dough into a 9-inch pie dish
Bake at 350° for 8-12 minutes

* ~ * ~ *  And Enjoy! Happy Fall!!  

(Life outside of grad school and pies..besides eating pie to feel better about having homework 🙂 haha!)   12072606_10207976099304204_4475206639432544936_nIMG_20150924_191006   12068988_10207900742140322_655884765907960716_o 12119067_10207900823422354_3496920423911965873_n                    IMG_20151011_180705 IMG_20151030_170622


Make Your Own Garden Salad


Fall is on its way, but I’m still lounging outside on the deck like a cat. I’ve moved back in with my parents to save money for grad school, and one of the perks has been enjoying the beautiful backyard! It’s a surprising and delightful time to take a breath and enjoy a slower pace. It’s also giving me time to try introducing more food back in.

One of the big challenges of food restrictions is FLAVOR. Ah! Flavor is truly the spice of life. Trying to find sauces, spices, and dressings can be incredibly discouraging.

I’ve made a break-through in my own homemade salad dressing. It’s made from single, raw ingredients, so it’s fresh and you know exactly what you’re eating!


Garden Salad:

Leafs: Romaine lettuce, fresh basil

Fruits/veggies: Tomato, avocado, pinto beans, salt and pepper to flavor


Drizzle of agave or honey (agave is easier to spread and stir), dash of salt and pepper, and avocado oil. You may also add a squirt of lemon and/or vinegar.

That’s it!


The Smith Family Pumpkin Pancakes

Of the many pancake recipes I’ve tried, this one may be the winner. It’s simple, healthy and fills the kitchen with a warm, festive glow. Also, it passes the taste-bud test of a five and seven year old, which is a compliment and a half.









Mix dry ingredients:

2 cups ground oats
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon

*also, if you’re feeling daring you may enjoy substituting the cinnamon with half nutmeg, half ginger. You can even substitute sweet potato for pumpkin. Yum!


Mix wet ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin
4 tbsp oil
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 eggs

Combine wet and dry.

Scoop 1 tbl-1/4 cup size batter onto preheated pan (med heat)



Snow White

The fairest of them all falls for the most luscious fruit of all…or so you would think.

Apples have been the fruit of temptation since the birth of fairy tales and the Garden of Eden.

But on this crisp, scintillating day, we’re celebrating the new autumn temptress. It looked so dang good that it inspired an entire photo shoot. Laura was already looking super cute, and by simply holding it she transformed into Miss Snow.



(I snuck a couple shots in there too. There’s just something about a gorgeous Autumn day…)



Hopefully you’ve guessed it by now…

a pomegranate!

And now begins the transformation…





Besides a delicious snack this afternoon, pomegranates have been a source of temptation for centuries.

myth of persephone and hadesLast summer while studying abroad in Rome, our class encountered the unusual fruit in museums over and over again. This same creepy, weird, cool  food locked the mythological Persephone in hell. (I had fun writing an interpretation from the pomegranate’s point of view here:

(photo from

These ancient cultures had a reason to love pomegranates. A symbol of eternity and vitality, they were prized for their beauty and healing properties.

So with all that said, not bad for a snack!