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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.
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Organic Vegan 0g Sugar Paleo Dark Chocolate Recipe – No Sugar Alcohols Necessary
Life without chocolate simply wouldn’t be worth living, so when it comes to healthy chocolate, I’ve become somewhat of an expert. Ok ok, expert is a bit of a stretch. But I’ve been doing all the necessary (and delicious!) research. Because I need sugar-free paleo dark chocolate in my life. Fortunately, this recipe passes my super-strict test.
I’ve tasted the healthiest chocolate bars. I’ve researched and tested the best cocoa and cacao. I’ve searched for clean sugar-free chocolate recipes. And I’ve experimented with making my own paleo dark chocolate. Because sometimes, you just gotta create your own solution.
Recipes for homemade chocolate abound on the internet. But whenever I searched for ‘sugar-free’ paleo dark chocolate, the recipes generally replaced sugar with coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup. Although all-natural and each great options in their own right, they still contain sugar. And really what I was looking for was a sugar-free, paleo dark chocolate without sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are a great solution for many, but I (along with many others) don’t always respond well to them.
Because of my gut-healing journey and my need to steer clear of sugar, I embarked on a mission to make delicious treats with literally zero grams of sugar – not just refined sugar but any sugar. I did all sorts of experimenting in the kitchen with stevia and other sweeteners containing sugar alcohols. These can work great for loads of people and each has their own place, but I’ve finally found my favorite sweetener: monk fruit.
Monk fruit: The superior sweetener
Monk fruit’s all natural, does not contain sugar alcohols, and has no funky aftertaste (like many find with stevia). So imho, it’s the best option. When I first researched this sweetener, I experienced a little sticker shock. But it turns out a teeny tiny bit goes quite a long way, so the upfront cost is absolutely worth it. In fact, when I use monk fruit, I find that an eighth of a teaspoon is sometimes sufficient for an entire recipe. And if I want to sweeten my coffee, for example, just the tiniest dash will do.
Beyond personal taste preferences, using any of these sugar alternatives requires a bit of experimentation and a fair bit of caution. Despite what many of the packages indicate, the vast majority are not a one-to-one substitute for sugar. As far as sweetness is concerned, I find that less is more in all cases.
Anyway, back to the chocolate.
As much as I love chocolate and chocolate-containing goodies, I knew absolutely nothing about making chocolate when I first embarked on my paleo dark chocolate making endeavors. So I did my best searching for simple versions to work off of.
I first experimented with several homemade chocolate recipes using stevia. It worked, but the stevia aftertaste was detectable. I also added different flavors like coffee, cinnamon, sea salt, peppermint, and hazelnut. I varied ingredient quantities, and tried adding a touch of coconut oil, and, finally, coconut milk.
Finally, I’ve landed on a version worth sharing.
This paleo dark chocolate requires just five ingredients – cocoa butter, cocoa powder, monk fruit, vanilla extract and coconut milk – and takes just five minutes to make (minus setting time). Without the coconut milk, the blend tastes a bit dry. These days, I do appreciate the taste of very dark chocolate (I often purchase 85%). However the powder quality comes through a bit too much without the milk.
I tried adding coconut oil as a couple recipes do. The chocolate was definitely a lot smoother, but I didn’t love the addition of extra oil. So finally I tried coconut milk and found a winner. It lacks the oil and the chocolate is still so much smoother on the palette.
And it’s super easy to customize: I sprinkled it with a little sea salt, because dark sea salt chocolate is one of my fav versions, ever. You can make any flavor you choose using this as the base and blending in essential oils or organic extracts.
All you do is melt the cocoa butter using a double boiler setup on the stove, then mix in the remaining ingredients, scoop it into a mold, and set it in the fridge or freezer. I actually did purchase a chocolate bar mold from Amazon which I love.
But you can simply coat the bottom of a dish, plate, small loaf pan – whatever works. It may be more difficult to remove intact. But it doesn’t really matter if the chocolate breaks into pieces if you’re just making it for your own consumption purposes!
Best of all – you can chop it up to make vegan, nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, sugar alcohol-free paleo dark chocolate chunks for your baking needs 😉
Sugar-Free Paleo Dark Chocolate Recipe
- 1 cup grated cocoa butter, or cocoa butter discs
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1-2 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1/8-1/4 tsp monk fruit sweetener (start small and adjust to taste!)
- 1-2 tbsp coconut milk
How to Make:
- For quicker, even melting, grate the cocoa butter, (or purchase the discs to skip the grating). Place the cocoa butter in a double boiler, or in a medium-sized glass bowl.
- If you do not have a double boiler, fill a medium-sized saucepan with 1 inch of water. Very carefully nest the glass bowl on the rim of saucepan (make sure it nests securely).
- Heat on medium to high heat bringing to a gentle boil at most, allowing the the cocoa butter to melt completely. Remove the glass bowl from heat as soon as the last bits melt. Immediately mix in the cocoa powder, vanilla, sweetener, and coconut milk. With the last three ingredients, start small, and adjust to taste. You should achieve a smooth ganache-like mixture. As you mix the ingredients, do not let the chocolate cool too much otherwise it may become rough.
- Using a spatula, fill your mold. Then allow to set. You may place it in the refrigerator to set, or the freezer to speed up the process. (If you’re in a warm climate, you’ll definitely need to set it in the fridge or freezer).
- Keep refrigerated. Makes a bit more than 3 ounces. Enjoy!
*These quantities filled my break apart 3oz mold, with a couple spoonfuls left over (which obviously went straight into my mouth… perfect 😉
Want more vegan, paleo, sugar-free chocolate recipes?
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