Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Healthy Pumpkin Pie
3.81 (76.3%) 27 votes

Recipe for incorporating antioxidant-packed spices into one’s diet.

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This year’s recipe came out of my need to find some way to incorporate cloves and cinnamon into my family’s diet. One can of pumpkin, about 10 ounces of silken tofu, one to two dozen pitted dates, depending how sweet your sweet tooth is. Then, you add in as much powdered cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg as you can stand. Blend it all together in a food processor, pour it in a whole wheat pie crust, bake at 350º for a half hour or so, and you have healthy pumpkin pie—it’s just fruit, vegetables, tofu, and, gram-for-gram, the most powerful antioxidant foods in the world. The more pie you eat, the healthier you are.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

This year’s recipe came out of my need to find some way to incorporate cloves and cinnamon into my family’s diet. One can of pumpkin, about 10 ounces of silken tofu, one to two dozen pitted dates, depending how sweet your sweet tooth is. Then, you add in as much powdered cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg as you can stand. Blend it all together in a food processor, pour it in a whole wheat pie crust, bake at 350º for a half hour or so, and you have healthy pumpkin pie—it’s just fruit, vegetables, tofu, and, gram-for-gram, the most powerful antioxidant foods in the world. The more pie you eat, the healthier you are.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

For more on antioxidant rich spices:
Which Spices Fight Inflammation?
Spicing Up DNA Protection
Antioxidants in a Pinch
How to Reach the Antioxidant “RDA”

And check out my other videos on spices

For more context, check out my blog posts: Countering Dietary Pollutants & PesticidesBest Dried Fruit For Cholesterol, and Cinnamon for Diabetes.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

47 responses to “Healthy Pumpkin Pie

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        1. It probably won’t be of any consolation to you, but the latest research suggests soy is health promoting. Earlier studies involving animal models did not translate to humans. The “anti-nutrient” phytic acid now turns out to have anti-cancer properties (and is a non-issue for anyone eating a varied, adequate diet). Likewise, the phytoestrogens in soy have not only been shown to be metabolized differently than real estrogen (such as that in cows milk), in humans as opposed to rats, but have shown a wide array of anti-cancer effects, including cancers instigated by sex hormones such as estrogen! It is easy to see why there would be such an effort to discredit a versatile meat/dairy alternative with a verified “complete” amino acid profile. Follow the money!

          1. Wow. I need to check my disqus replies more often. The anti-soy lobby frequently cites GMO foods as another reason to avoid soy. I’m glad the latest research is vindicating soy for which there are so many pros and cons re soy protein isolate vs whole organic soy etc

            1. I do, but not based on any specific evidence. There is concern over hexane during processing, but the dose makes the poison. Assuming hexane studies on mice bare resemblance to human metabolism of the toxin (whereas the aforementioned infamous studies on soy did not), you would have to eat several thousand veggie burgers a day, every day, in order for complications to arise. You couldn’t do that if you tried. I’m not sure how much protein powder it would be equivalent to, though.

              I have the occasional boca burger, but it’s always a good guideline to stick as close to whole foods as possible. The less chemical toxins, the better.

            2. Three additional considerations:

              1. Many people have a soy allergy. As with wheat, such allergies make soy an easy target for criticism. If you are not allergic, studies have demonstrated that soy can be very beneficial.

              2. Soy does in fact contain goitrogenic compounds, but so does broccoli and flax. It should not be an issue as long as your iodine intake is optimal.

              3. Possibly because it is a complete protein, soy can influence IGF-1, which is implicated in cancer primarily in relation to animal protein. But you need to consume a lot of soy products for this to happen. 3-5 servings a day should be safe.

              Look up “avoiding iodine deficiency” and “how much soy is too much” via the search function at the top right.

  1. Dear Micheal.
    Speaking of pumpkins…
    How about roasting and eating the pumpkin seeds? Are they healthy for you (with very little added oil or salt)
    Thanks,
    William
    PS–I love your site and keep introducing people to it. THANK YOU!

  2. I was excited to try and make this pie, but where on earth can you get a healthy pie crust? Every store I have checked sells nothing but junk!

    1. Late to the party, but try this:

      http://caloriecount.about.com/low-calorie-pie-crust-recipe-r755980

      Ingredients:
      Whole Wheat Flour, 1/2 cup
      Salt,1/8 tsp (remove)
      Olive Oil, 1 tbsp (remove)
      Cold water, 4 tbsp

      Directions:
      Mix ingredients in the order listed and knead into a ball. Refridgerate well (15 minutes). Roll using a floured surface and rolling pin. Place in 9″ pie pan and prick bottom with fork several times. Bake at 450 dgrees F for 10 minutes before filling. Makes 6 servings.

      Great thing about this — crust is done right when you’re done making the ingredients for the filling! Pie done in under an hour :-)

      Or do what I do — go crustless :-)

  3. For a healthy pie crust what about making your own out of whole foods: In a food processor (so much for whole foods :) grind up some walnuts, or pecans as noted above. toss in 5-6 pitted dates or use some date syrup. Maybe a dash of cinnamon and vanilla till it begins to stick together like a ball in the processor. Place in bottom of pie dish… and you just made a beautiful crust

    1. Dear Euromixer,
      Thank you so much for your excellent suggestion for a healthful pie crust recipe. It turned out to be delicious.

      Just a note that I found the general recipe to be effective even without using nutmeg, which can be a controversial ingredient due to psychoactive properties (I wouldn’t want to get high on my pie).

  4. I have always just eaten the pumpkin with cinnamon and the other spices stirred in — most of the time I don’t even heat it. So I don’t need to make a pie; instead, a pudding. (It also makes for a nice pumpkin smoothie if you put the pumpkin, spices, and two bananas in a Vitamix and let it rip until warm. I usually have this for breakfast.

  5. I was wondering if you had any information about the antioxidant power of ginger- I did a juice fast a while ago and I put ginger in some of my apple juice and the apple juice with ginger stayed a lovely green color (granny smith apples) while the juice without the ginger turned brown. The juice that just had a tiny bit of ginger left from my combined juice still stayed green. I am not a scientist but I figured the apples turn brown from contact with oxygen, so could the ginger be protective? It isn’t on your list of high antioxidant foods. 

  6. Garam masala! It has all of these spices and then some. Grind it yourself though, the taste is infinitely superior. There are many variations on the recipe. I prefer a Gujarati garam masala by Julie Sahni for its balanced and herbaceous flavor.

  7. Unfortunately, NOT so healthy for those of us with soy allergy. Ideas to replace the tofu, anyone? Thanks in advance for your creativity!

    1. I know this is a very late reply, but maybe cashew cream? Would make it a lot higher fat, which might not work for some people, though.

  8. I have been making the Dr. McDougall pumpkin pie for several years now (also based on pumpkin and tofu), but this sounds even easier and really good.

    However, their crust is really good, for those who can eat nuts. It’s raw cashews (2/3 c) ground in a food processor, with some (1-1/2c.) flour, 3 T Sucanat sugar, a bit of vanilla and salt, and 4 T. now-unavailable Wonderslim Fat Replacer. But Wonderslim was just prunes, water and oat bran, and prunes blended in a skoshie of water with some applesauce works just as well. It’s sweet, so any other sweetener is up to you.

    I found it was a lot less painful to blend only the dry cashews in the blender, and mix the wet stuff in in a bowl. Otherwise, your blender gets to keep most of it.

  9. An April 2013 video noted that nutmeg may have a narrow safety margin. I was surprised to see it listed as a spice in the pumpkin pie that Dr. Greger would us as much as possible as I know the other spices are very anti-oxidant rich. Since reading the “nutmeg” video, I have stopped using although I use cinnamon, ginger and especially cloves liberally since I have learned from Dr. Greger, the high anti-oxidant value of these spices.

  10. With all the hype regarding health benefits of juicing wheat grass, are there any concerns we should consider in consuming the juice?

  11. Ani Phyo has good raw dessert recipes. My pumpkin pie crust is based on her books. I use raw pumpkin seeds with dates for the crust. If you line the pie plate with wax paper, it will come out a little prettier. My family is ok with the pile that can result otherwise. The taste is what counts for them!

  12. I fooled my girlfriend… after she ate a slice, I told her there was tofu in there… she was shocked!

    Now, how much is too much spices?
    I put about 2 tsp of cinnamon, and a 1 tsp each of ginger, clove, and nutmeg… and it comes out perfect!
    I wonder can we get away with more?

  13. I had just started doing my pumpkin/tofu pie this way before I read it on Dr. Gregor’s site. Here are two more ideas:
    what I wanted was the pumpkin filling, don’t care about crust. So folks, just bake the filling in any container – if you want to call it pie, bake it in a pyrex pie pan. Or just call it pumpkin pudding, or pumpkin dessert, and bake it in anything -any kind of casserole. Forget about needing a crust. Its a time-saver.
    Second idea, half-way through the baking sprinkle at least a half-cup of chopped walnuts evenly over the top and
    with a flat hand press the walnuts down slightly into the filling. The walnuts will toast during the baking, and the crunch (and added nutrients) will be a delicious addition. Pecans would certainly work as well.

  14. loved the recipe and decided to try it while in zagreb/croatia. realized that canned goods are not so popular here (no canned pumpkin) and we had no dates, only firm tofu, all the spices, and raw pumpkin…but we had a vitamix! in short, we gutted and cubed the pumpkin into chunks and roasted them in the oven for about 20m, put the tofu and pumpkin bits into a bowl and mashed it up but it was pretty dry. so we had some hazelnuts we blended in the vitamix with filtered water to the point the vitamix got warm and filtered out the fiber with a clean handkerchief (in hindsight i could of not filtered it but i like the filtered nut milk with coffee) and mixed together, but it all lacked fiber, so we used muesli (the perfect ingredient) to bulk up the mixture and used brown sugar to sweeten with all the other ingredients (i know the s word but i’m eating with a non-plant based eater). vitamix, taste, season, repeat until happy. poured into a homemade wheat pie crust (also not popular here) we made via https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#sent/14abbab36e1dba23?projector=1 and baked at 350 for 30m – Wonderful tasting and fun to make!!!

  15. Here you do not differ a bit from millions of other so called superfood haphazardly intaking humans! Really “scientific” indeed! What about that video where you said that we should not take much nutmeg? And now: “Eat as much as you can stand”!? There is not a single human digestive system on Earth which could digest this haphazard combination. Haven’t you heard about food combining? In your country once lived a rare great man, Dr. Herbert Shelton,who spent hiis whole life time teaching proper food combining (among many other things) in order to be able to digest what one ate. Such a shame if you do not know this and teach people to eat such incompatible food at the same meal. And pecan after all that! No wonder you got so fat in one of those annual videos.

  16. I just finished listening to your book……completely fascinated! I’m jumping on this plant based food train. Thank you for your efforts. You mentioned a pumpkin pie recipe in your book. I thought it included chia seeds? Is this the same recipe?

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