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. 

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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


Everyday Yummy Tricks!

How I substitute healthy foods for daily ingredients:


Instead of SUGAR…


Banana   – thickener & sweetener for baking

Honey  –  baking & hot drinks

Agave   -baking, cold & hot drinks (ex. smoothies, alcoholic drinks)

Maple Syrup  – baking, cold drinks


Instead of CREAM & DAIRY…


Coconut cream has the near consistency of whipped cream– super thick and just coconut! Great over desserts (such as pies) or with a bowl of fresh berries and honey. Also for flavor & thickener in tropical smoothies.

Coconut milk is wonderful in pies, quiche, smoothies & a little bit in tea. Unlike coconut water it is slightly thicker, but nearly as rich & filling as coconut cream.


Sugar-free TRAIL MIX!


Blend nuts & berries of your choosing for on-the-go!

I love the almond & raisin combination with some freeze dried fruit! The perfect blend of tart, nutty & sweet.

And all the ingredients are whole… you aren’t eating any preservatives or extras.



Avocado is nature’s butter.

Bananas have a wonderful creamy texture as well, but a very dominate flavor.

Both are great for smoothies, baking & pudding. You can even make a mean Avocado Alfredo by throwing in a blender: 1 avocado, a handful of basil, 1/4-1/3 cup of water, and salt & pepper to taste. Creamy & guilt-free!




Have you ever bought lettuce with the roots attached?

This baby lettuce is wonderful because it lasts for weeks! I don’t need to be stressed about eating it within a week or guilty if I forget about it for awhile.

Just keep it in the fridge and peel off the layers as needed.

Chickpea Banana Flour Pancakes & Crepes

Say what? Chickpea flour, as in garbanzo beans?


Yes indeed! There are actually dozens of alternative flours:

Since almond flour is pretty expensive, I’ve started experimenting. Chickpea flour has a sharp & earthy taste, which I personally find overbearing. However mixing in some banana and maple syrup makes for a real treat. Fresh strawberries on top? Mmhmm.

Thank you Wannabe Chef and REAL for the ideas! Original recipes here:

I’ve combined aspects of these recipes into this SUPER EASY fast recipe. Enjoy!


  • 1 banana- mashed or blended
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • maple syrup to taste (I like this for extra sweet flavor, though you may also just save this to pour on afterward)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda IF you want pancake consistency and NOT crepe consistency
  • Optional tbs of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Optional fresh berries and some coconut cream for final topping


1. Mash a banana to the chunks or creaminess you desire.

2. Add other ingredients & mix well

3. Add baking soda if desired for pancake texture.

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4. Add oil to pan (preheat for a couple minutes so it’s warm and ready to go!) I like to use coconut oil, avocado oil, or butter. Keep the pan well oiled throughout.

5. Make those cakes! I’d recommend starting with smaller sizes until you get the hang of it. It may be crispier on the outside and very soft inside. I haven’t found a technique yet to make it more even, so that may just be the chickpea flour. I think it’s a great texture though! Reminds me a little of my favorite chocolate chip cookies as a child- crispy on the edges and just a little oozy soft in the center.

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McKenna’s Peanut Butter (Chocolate Nib) Cookies

Nothing like laughter, steaming plates, and a twinkling dance floor to top off a beautiful wedding ceremony.

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I just got back from celebrating a dear friend’s wedding in Yakima. (Yay Laura and Keith!!) So how can I not bake some cookies tonight in continued good cheer? I pulled out a cookie recipe my sister McKenna made for me. How sweet of her (pun intended)! It’s not your grandma’s famous chocolate chip recipe. BUT it’s my small, savory heaven —  a break from the dull routine of my diet. It’s firm on the outside, peanut butter soft inside, and can include cocoa nibs for fun.

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Here is the recipe below, see both sides:

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Some more unusual ingredients:


*I’d also recommend keeping an eye on the oven, especially since it’s an alternative recipe. I always like the soft inside, so I tend to pull cookies out a little earlier. (Also great with a drop of maple syrup on top!)

Banana Chocolate Birthday Waffles

Last night, the kitchen became like an art studio: a palette of flavors, a couple brush strokes of birthday fun, and some sculpting whimsy. In other words, I made my good friend Michelle a birthday waffle cake. I just couldn’t help but snap some pictures of the process. Happy 24 years, Michelle!!



2 cups oat flour

3 eggs

1/3 cup powdered chocolate/ground cocoa beans

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 banana

4 tbl coconut oil, melted

Combine in a blender and pour into oiled waffle maker. Makes 12 + waffles, depending on the size.

*add peanut butter to stack