If you need to whip up a quick and simple holiday treat for your upcoming work party or family get together, this pie will surely get you noticed! In a good way. You will be the hero that broke the mold from holiday desserts packed with processed sugars and unhealthy fats, yet delivering that same instant sweet tooth gratification without the bloated lethargy afterparty. Yes, desserts can be made vegan. No, refined sugar is not always necessary. Nor is butter. Still skeptical? Check out my simple pumpkin pie recipe below!

What You'll Need:

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 cup oat flour (I used gluten free. You can also blend raw oats, just make sure you get the consistency down to flour level.)
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp grade B maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup sweetener/binder (options are brown rice syrup, honey, or maple syrup. The first two options have the better binding capabilities, but all 3 work. I used honey in mine.)

*Note: You may sub the oat flour with pitted dates if you would prefer a grain-free version. If opting for dates, use 2 full cups, 1/4 cup coconut flakes, and skip the maple syrup and binder of choice.

For the Filling:

  • 2 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (can sub almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • to taste - pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, cloves, ginger, etc. I have strange allergies to these, so I just kept the seasoning to cinnamon)

Bonus: Vegan Whipped Cream!

  • Coconut cream
  • Sweetener (I used a dash of maple syrup. Other options are raw coconut sugar or coconut nectar)
  • Vanilla extract

Makes one 9 inch pie, with the possibility of serving 8. Prep time - approx. 1 hour

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Mix oats and pecans in a blender or food processor until you approach a nut butter. But don't actually make a nut butter! Let there still be some crumble.
  3. Melt coconut butter with your binder of choice. 
  4. Add the oat and pecan mixture to your binder mixture in a large bowl. Add in all remaining crust ingredients. You should be able to easily create little dough balls by the end of your mixing.
  5. Scoop the crust mixture onto the pan (be sure to grease your pan, if needed), and smooth out the bottom and sides. Poke about a dozen holes into this crust with a fork. You're welcome to write your name here like you did with shaving cream in kindergarten, if you'd like. 
  6. Place your crust in the oven for about 10 minutes so that it sets, but without fully cooking it.
  7. Now for the filling! Mix maple syrup and arrowroot powder in a bowl. Add in all remaining ingredients, and stir away. Be sure to taste test as you stir, and add flavorings as you see the need.
  8. Once your crust has cooled a bit, pour the filling in. Smooth it out, and pop the whole pie back into the oven for another 10-12 minutes.
  9. Let the pie cool for a few minutes, then cover with aluminum foil, place it in the fridge, and do your best to continue on with your life until it has had at least an hour to set. The more hours, the better.
  10. For the whip cream! Simply mix all three ingredients together, taste testing and adjusting as needed. It is best to whisk this into "peaks", but I just used my ninja stirring speed and it turned out great. Bon apetit! 

Health Benefits:

  • Coconut: In Sanskrit (yogic language), it is called kalpa vriksha, or "tree that supplies all that is needed to live". In the West, it's praised as a superfood. Coconut stabilizes blood sugar, is an antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral, antibacterial immune booster, improves digestion, regulates hormones and increases thyroid production, increases metabolism, and even helps fight memory loss! Fun fact, in WWII young coconut water was used as blood plasma transfusions since actual blood plasma was scarce. Dang.
  • Pumpkin: High in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A (vision), reduces bad cholesterol and cancer risk, boosts mood and skin suppleness 
  • Pecans: High in omegas 3 and 6, fiber, iron, and manganese; boosts heart, bone, and teeth health, reduces post-exercise muscle soreness, inflammation, blood pressure, and breast cancer risk
  • Oats: High in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, reduces cholesterol levels, stabilizes blood sugar, protects against cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Maple Syrup: I always select grade B, as it is richer in flavor, vitamins, and minerals. It has very high levels of zinc and manganese, and over 20 antioxidants.
  • Cinnamon: Outranks other "superfoods" such as garlic and oregano with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory levels, is a natural food preservative (powerful stuff!), fights bacterial and fungal infections, reduces bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, insulin resistance so that our hormones can move as needed to do their jobs optimally, neurodegenerative effects, blood pressure, and diabetes risk. There are two types of cinnamon, Ceylon and Cassia. Ceylon is "true" cinnamon, void of any fillers. Cassia is the more commonly found version, which is not just cinnamon. I highly recommend you seek out true cinnamon so that you actually know what it is you are consuming, and it's benefits will be much greater.
  • Vanilla: Even vanilla reaps health benefits! It contains anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, especially magnesium, potassium calcium, and manganese. Vanilla has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac for libido as well as overall happiness boosters. If you can, purchase whole vanilla beans or vanilla bean powder. These forms are more potent in health benefits than diluted extracts.