Keeping The Tradition Alive My mom was never big on baking, but cranberry bread has been a holiday staple for as long as I can remember. She’d even make mini loaves of it to give to my teachers way back in the day. While I […]
Keepin it Real Cranberry Sauce Cranberry sauce is a holiday table staple. But I’ve always been slightly weirded out by the jello-y mush that comes from a can. And which initially retains the shape of said can. Weird. And they usually contain corn syrup and […]
Healthy Paleo Pumpkin Pie Dip
With the holidays coming up I wanted to make a healthy version of some kind of pumpkin-pie inspired dessert. I wondered what pumpkin pie filling would be like as a dip – like pumpkin pie without the crust – and sure enough pumpkin pie dip is a thing.
But it’s mostly not a healthy thing. The versions I found were filled with cool whip, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and altogether processed, chemically-laden, sugar-filled and dairy-heavy ingredients.
So I figured I’d create a clean vegan, paleo, sugar-free fix. And sure enough, it worked out quite simply and here we have it: a paleo, vegan, sugar-free pumpkin pie dip.
And yup, it’s super easy! It’s possible to make this in five minutes with just five simple ingredients if you have pumpkin pie spice on hand. But with variations in brands and whatnot, I have also included a version that addresses consistency and ingredient availability. We can call it the ‘gourmet’ version, if you will, still just five minutes to make.
I serve it with fresh apple slices, but this morning I was really craving something warm yet healthy. I decided to throw some apple slices in the oven and bam, naked baked apple slices were born. Brilliant on their own, but a perfect match for this pumpkin pie dip. I threw a portion of the dip in the oven for a few minutes, and it was like fall pie heaven for breakfast…
Imagine pumpkin pie meets apple pie, and it’s ALL healthy and clean. Boom. Win. I’m 100% sure the dip would also taste amazing with some paleo, gluten-free gingersnaps, so I’m gonna work on that…!
While this is *not* a low-calorie treat, it is full of nutrition, healthy fats, and all-natural ingredients. Plus it skips the added sugars so it won’t send you on a sugar-cravings roller-coaster. Healthy fats and fiber keep you satisfied, so you’re less likely to go into over-eating mode.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin puree (not the pre-sweetened pumpkin pie filling) is high in fiber, loaded with vitamin A, and is a solid source of iron, vitamin C, and calcium. It is also jam-packed with beta-carotene.
Due to it’s nutritional profile, pumpkin contains many health promoting benefits, including anti-cancer properties from the beta-carotene, improved immunity, and sharper vision.
Health Benefits of Coconut
Coconut, while high in fat, is actually full of health-protective benefits. First off, there are misconceptions regarding the fat in coconut milk. Full-fat coconut milk is actually composed of medium-chain saturated fatty acids which are metabolized faster by the liver. Studies suggest that coconut consumption has no deleterious impact on cardiovascular health.
Additionally, the lauric acid is known to be a powerful antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease-causing organisms. So, coconut products may actually protect the body from infections and diseases.
Health Benefits of Arrowroot Powder
Arrowroot powder (also known as arrowroot flour or starch), which I used to thicken the dip, is a stellar addition to the paleo pantry. Not only does it work beautifully as a substitute for processed, GMO-laden cornstarch, it actually contains a number of health benefits. It contains a good amount of potassium, iron, and B vitamins which benefit metabolism, circulation, and heart health.
Furthermore, studies have shown that arrowroot powder may stimulate the immune system. As a potentially potent prebiotic, evidence suggests it is excellent for gut health (which is key to all health) and is therefore implicated in gut-associated immunity. Arrowroot powder is also bland, which makes it suitable for people on neutral diets or with digestive upset.
Health Benefits of Warming Spices
Finally, the warming spices in pumpkin pie are packed with too many health benefits to list them all. But to name a few, cinnamon, ginger, and the pumpkin-pie spice blend itself possess anti-inflammatory powers, antioxdidants, anti-microbial properties, and disease-fighting powers.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie Dip: A Health-Promoting Dessert
Due to it’s ingredients, this pumpkin pie dip is not only a healthier version of dessert, but without the sugar and dairy, it may actually be a health-promoting treat. These ingredients help us fight off invading pathogens, so with cold and flu season upon us, eat up! It’s no wonder we crave these flavors this time of year: our bodies know what we need!
Just go for organic, high-quality ingredients, and serve with healthy dippers like fresh apple slices or naked baked apple slices.
Paleo Pumpkin Pie Dip: Sugar-Free, Vegan, Paleo Recipe
This sugar-free, paleo, vegan dessert dip tastes just as decadent as other versions, but swaps in health-promoting ingredients and skips the sugar.
- 1 can organic pumpkin purée about 2 cups
- 1 cup organic full fat coconut milk may increase, if using a thick milk and skipping the flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
- 1/4 cup coconut cream may skip if using extra thick coconut milk
- 1 tsp all natural organic vanilla extract
- 1/2-1 tsp monk fruit sweetener adjust sweetness to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon *may sub pumpkin pie spice blend for all spices below
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
Add all ingredients to your food processor (a good blender can work too).
Blend on high until thoroughly mixed.
Refrigerate until serving. *The arrowroot actually thickens further overnight, so this is even better made a day or two ahead, which is a win-win for your holiday menu planning!
The simple version just requires the pumpkin purée, full fat coconut milk, 2-3 tsp pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and sweetener of choice (all natural monk fruit or stevia ideally, maple syrup to keep it paleo). Bear in mind coconut milk consistency varies by brand. If it's too runny, you will likely need to add a thickening agent like arrowroot powder and/ or extra coconut cream.
Adjust spices to taste.
My first attempt failure I’ve seen vegan whipped cream all over Pinterest and the healthy food blogosphere for ages now – it’s not particularly ground-breaking. But all of the recipes I found have sugar or sugar-containing ingredients. No thank you, said me. As per standard […]