Diabetic Friendly Pumpkin Pie | The Most Delicious No Sugar Recipe
Pumpkin pie is a tasty staple of the holiday season, and it just does not feel like winter without it. Any sugary dessert, however, including pumpkin pie, can prove to be an issue for someone with diabetes. However, it is a complete myth that people with diabetes cannot eat dessert, and an even bigger myth that sugar free desserts cannot taste just as good as sugary ones!
There are three main components to any pumpkin pie: the crust, the filling, and, of course, the whipped cream topping. The average pumpkin pie recipe contains sugar in all three of these components, but it is more than possible to replace these ingredients with sugar-free alternatives. The following pumpkin pie recipe is diabetes-friendly, sugar-free, and (most importantly) absolutely delicious, so you can savor your favorite treat, worry-free.
Let’s be real: it is so much easier to go to the store and buy pre-made pie crust than it is to make it on your own. Unfortunately, store-bought pie crust tends to contain added sugars, and is not a great option for people with diabetes. In order to control exactly what goes into your crust, making it on your own is the safest bet. You will be surprised how simple it is!
Alternatively, there is always the option of making pumpkin pie without a crust. For the best, most traditional taste, however, pie crust is the way to go.
The biggest issue in any pie crust is the added sugar. A graham cracker crust, for example, is obviously made of graham crackers, which contain loads of sugar. Flour-based pie crusts also rely on sugar to provide the sweetness.
Additionally, white flour has a high glycemic index, meaning it is more likely to cause a spike in your blood sugar. As such, people with diabetes should avoid it or look for whole wheat/nut-based alternatives.
Luckily, there are plenty of sugar alternatives out there, depending on your specific sugar-curbing needs. For the following recipe you should use a granulated sugar alternative, rather than a liquid one. The recipe’s author recommends granulated sugar-free sweeteners such as erythritol, allulose, monk fruit sweetener, and coconut sugar. Stevia is another classic substitute for sugar we personally love!
There are also plenty of great alternatives to white flour. Almond flour, whole wheat flour, and coconut flour are all just as effective in a recipe as white flour, and mainly just differ in their texture. They are also less likely to trigger a spike in your blood sugar. This recipe specifically asks for blanched (fine) almond flour.
This recipe was developed by keto advocate Maya Krampf of Wholesome Yum Foods.
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar alternative (such as erythritol, etc.)
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup butter or coconut oil (note that the taste of coconut oil may come through in the final product)
1 large egg
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
The recipe author recommends adding a bit of cinnamon for a sweeter pie crust.
Preheat the oven to 350 ℉. Prepare a 9-inch round pie pan, either with parchment paper or by greasing it.
Gather the almond flour, sugar alternative, and sea salt and mix them together in a large bowl. If using butter, melt it in the microwave. Then stir the butter/coconut oil, vanilla extract and egg into the mixture. Do not be alarmed if the dough is crumbly at first. Keep mixing until all the crumbs are properly combined in the dough. If it helps, use your hands or a food processor to do so.
Once the dough is ready, press it into the greased pan. Make sure the dough is packed tightly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Using a fork, poke holes in the bottom so the dough stays level when baking.
Finally, bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Wait to add fillings until after this step is finished!
The pumpkin filling is the heart of the pie. This sugar-free recipe tastes just as good as the original!
The average pumpkin pie recipe requires canned pumpkin, which tends to contain a lot of added sugar (as most canned fruits and sweet vegetables do!). Evaporated and condensed milk also tend to be extremely high in sugar content. Finally, every pumpkin pie recipe needs some kind of sweetener, but obviously sugar cannot be sugar-free by nature.
Instead of canned pumpkin, use a combination of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. You can make pumpkin puree on your own or find it in stores/online.
Half and half creamer is a great sugar-free alternative to evaporated milk, and will not affect the texture of the pie like a thinner or thicker nut milk might. Any kind of granulated sugar alternative, such as Stevia, will work in place of sugar.
This recipe comes from The Sugar Free Diva.
½ cup sugar alternative (or equivalent of ½ cup granulated sugar) .
1 ½ tsps pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ cup pumpkin puree
1 cup half and half creamer
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350 ℉. While it does not matter whether your pie crust is cold or warm when adding filling, it should at least be pre-baked.
Blend the pumpkin spice, sugar alternative, egg, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Then add the half and half and the vanilla extract. Once the filling is adequately combined, pour it onto the baked pie crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
If you struggle to tell when your pumpkin pie is ready, use the knife test. Stick a knife into the center of the pie, and if it comes out clean, the pie is ready. If not, give it a couple more minutes at a time.
The Whipped Cream
No slice of pumpkin pie is complete without a dollop of whipped cream on top. While you can certainly purchase premade whipped cream at the store, it is likely to be absolutely packed with sugar, so people with diabetes should be extra careful. Luckily, making whipped cream at home is simple and quick enough, and it also allows you to control exactly what goes into it.
Most whipped cream recipes consist of heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and confectioners’ sugar. Surprisingly, heavy whipped cream does not contain any sugar, and therefore does not need to be substituted.
Confectioners’ sugar, on the other hand, is very clearly not sugar-free, and is often used very generously in recipes that call for it. Vanilla extract, depending on the brand, can also contain added sugars and/or corn syrup. Both of these ingredients add to the sugar content of whipped cream.
Firstly, when buying vanilla extract, it is important to look at the label to understand what added ingredients there may be. With this in mind, look for pure vanilla extract, which is more likely to be made with higher quality beans and less likely to contain sugary additives.
You can also find sugar-free vanilla extracts, primarily online. Note that these may be a little more expensive than store-brand options, but the extra couple dollars will be worth the taste and sugar-free benefits. Vanilla is naturally sweet anyways, so good-quality vanilla does not actually need any additives.
As for sugar, there are many better options out there to sweeten your food. Whipped cream recipes use confectioners’ sugar because it is a lot finer than granulated (“regular”) sugar and blends better into the heavy cream. As a result, it is important to find an alternative to confectioners’ sugar that has a similar texture. The best option in this case is any variation of Stevia, a fine-textured natural sugar substitute.
This sugar free whipped cream recipe comes from Melissa B. Howell’s blog Beautiful Life and Home.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 packets Stevia (brand names may vary)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Start by chilling your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer until cold (about 10-15 minutes). Next, add all three ingredients to the bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Alternatively, you can use a whisk.
Before declaring your whipped cream done, taste it to make sure it is sweet enough. If it is too sweet, add some cream, and if it is not sweet enough, add small amounts of Stevia at a time. Serve right away, or put some plastic wrap on top of the bowl and store the whipped cream in your fridge up to 24 hours before use.
By making all three components of your pumpkin pie sugar-free, you can reduce the risk of a blood sugar spike. You will find that while a sugar-free or reduced sugar diet does require some extra steps, you can still be excited about food and satisfy your sweet tooth!