Delicious Pumpkin Custard, Paleo and Gluten Free

This pumpkin custard recipe makes a great lower carb paleo alternative to pumpkin pie.  It’s really decadent while also a nutrient dense, healthy dessert treat. The custard still has a similar consistency to the “meat” of pumpkin pie, without the crust – though it’s lighter, fluffier and more silky.

Paleo Pumpkin Custard
Servings: 6-8 ramekins (either 6 or 8 ounce size)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45

Ingredients:

1-15oz canned organic puree pumpkin (or 2 cups fresh roasted pumpkin, sugar pie pumpkins have best flavor)
4 large eggs (use 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks*)
½ cup full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup organic maple syrup, or coconut sugar, or Lakanto’s Monkfruit no-sugar alternative sweetener
3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
Optional: coconut cream for “whipped cream” and chunks of dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor combine pumpkin puree, and eggs (just enough, don’t overmix)
  2. Pulse in coconut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, ginger and salt
  3. Place empty ramekins into a deep cookie sheet or baking pan
  4. Pour filling into ceramic ramekins until almost full (leave about 10% empty space for rising)
  5. Pour boiling water around the ramekins in baking dish, try to cover at least ¼ ideally ½ of the height of your ramekins
  6. Lightly dust top of each filled ramekin with nutmeg
  7. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out relatively clean
  8. Allow to cool then refrigerate for 2 hours to set up

For whipped cream alternative: Take a can of coconut cream (not milk) and chill it for at least a few hours, overnight ideal.  Whip it until frothy, like you would regular whipped cream.  Doesn’t take as long to whip.  Add in a small amount of vanilla before whipping as desired.

To roast your own pumpkin: Buy a small sugar pie pumpkin. Cut it in half.  Scoop out seeds. Turn them face down on cookie sheet and bake for approx. 1 hour at 350 degrees.  You want the pumpkin flesh to be very soft.

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Favorite Healthy & Delicious Foods – Shopping List

Favorite Foods

The items listed below are a few of my favorite healthy foods! They are all very tasty, paleo friendly, gluten free and on the healthier side compared to mainstream options. It is not an exhaustive list of things to eat, just some that I have found, especially things that are good replacements for unhealthy alternatives.

They are linked to Amazon. However, another really good option is Thrive Markets online. They have really good prices and deal exclusively in health foods. They do have a yearly membership fee, but the cost savings are pretty significant. Amazon doesn’t always have the best prices.  You can also find most of these items at a local health food store, like Whole Foods (believe it or not, Whole Foods can have better prices than Amazon.)

Alternative Flours/carbs:

These are lower glycemic load “carb” alternatives that won’t wreak as much havoc on your body as many refined flours. You can bake with these or use them for a number of cooking needs.  They taste great. They are paleo friendly and gluten free. You should still be mindful about how much you indulge.

Paleo Pancake and Waffle Mix by Birch Benders.  This mix is sooo good.  Totally hits my need for occasional pancakes, without the giant carb hit.

Cassava Flour by Otto’s Naturals: This flour is made from Yucca root. Another great alternative baking flour that is a staple in low glycemic non-wheat flour baking.

Nutiva Coconut Flour: This is a great alternate for baking.

Bob’s Almond Flour: so great for baking. Makes yummy chocolate chip cookies (see my recipe)!

Cassava and Coconut Flour Tortilla’s by Siete. These taste good and are a great alternative for those that really want some kind of carb alternative for wraps or other uses.

Miracle Noodles Shirataki noodles made from a Japanese yam. These are zero carb and gluten free. Taste good. They have an assortment of styles, fettuccini, angel hair, etc.

Capello’s Almond Flour Pasta: You can find Capellos at many stores nowadays, usually in the freezer section.  They have many styles and it tastes great! Their pizza crust is really nice too.

Snacks & appetizers:

Mary’s Crackers: These are gluten free and relatively clean ingredients if you want a crackery snack. They have many flavors.  Crunchy and nice.

Absolutely Gluten Free Crackers: These are my favorite.  They are made from tapioca starch but taste just like a mix between a water cracker and saltines. They also come in flatbread.

Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips: These are AMAZING! So light and crispy. Tastes surprisingly like corn chips. They are made from Cassava and fried in Avocado oil.  Both are much better for you than other chips made with cheap industrial seed vegetable oils which are rancid and toxic.

Lesser Evil Organic Paleo Puffs: These delicious treats are made with quality, simple and nutritious ingredients – lower glycemic cassava root, sweet potato, coconut oil, Himalayan salt. They are baked not fried and come in a variety of flavors, including Salt ‘N Apple Cider Vinegar, Himalayan Pink Salt, “No Cheese” Cheesiness and Fiery Hot (these last two taste a bit like Cheetos).  All of them are super tasty! The brand Lesser Evil makes some other great products as well, like their Veggie Sticks.

Sweet Potato Chips or Blue Corn Chips: Jackson’s Honest chips are fried in coconut oil, which is a better option than cheap vegetable oils.

Quinn Paleo-friendly Pretzel Chips: Grain-free and gluten-free pretzels that actually deliver on great taste. They are very crunchy and great with dips.  Made with cassava flour, a root vegetable. Baked and topped with rock salt.

CoconutAlmond Butter: by Maranatha. This is so tasty! Creamy and delicious. A blend of almond butter with coconut cream. One of my favorite treats is a tablespoon of it.

Roasted Seaweed: by SeaSnax. This is one of the only seaweed snacks that uses olive oil to roast in, not a cheap, crappy oil like canola.

Go Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds: These taste great and are healthier in that they are sprouted and raw.  Raw nuts and seeds aren’t as rancid as roasted, protecting the delicate healthy oils within. They also have great sprouted sunflower seeds.

Hummus, Organic by Hope: Make sure to get a brand that has good oils.  Most use canola or other cheap, bad oils. Hope brand uses extra virgin olive oil.

 

Sweeteners:

You don’t have to fully give up your sweet tooth! These sweeteners are less negatively impactful as cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener: Tastes good and makes a nice replacement for cane sugar. You can use it the same, cup for cup. This has almost no glycemic load (blood sugar raiser).

Stevia: Liquid or powdered packets: Avoid cheap crappy stevias, they don’t taste good. Only get 100% Stevia, not mixed with other types of junk sweetener. Just say NO to Truvia.

YS Raw honey: Be sure to buy raw honey, unfiltered if you can.  Heat processing kills many of the good nutrients in honey.

Coconut Sugar, Organic: Nice flavor, works well for cooking.  Occasional treat.

Maple Syrup, Organic: by Coombs Family Farm.  This should be used only occasionally, it still has a lot of sugar in it.

Oils and Fats:

Olive Oil, Napa Valley Naturals Organic: Great flavor and good quality. Always buy cold pressed extra virgin.

Amphora Olive Oils: This is a great company that carefully sources its oils (and amazing flavored, barrel aged Balsamic Vinegars).

Ghee, 4th and Heart Plain

Ghee, 4th and Heart Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

Love these. Ghee is a great alternative for butter. Both of these are grassfed. Ghee has a high smoke point, so you can sauté with it at higher temperatures. I use the plain for cooking and the sea salt version for snacking.

Coconut Oil Dr. Bronners: Nutiva brand is fine as well, it’s more affordable, but I like Dr. Bronner’s taste even better.

Avocado oil: I use La Tourangelle for more delicate flavorful needs, like salad dressing.  I use Primal Kitchen or Chosen Foods for cooking. Avocado oil has a high smoke point, and doesn’t oxidize as easily. So you can sauté with it at higher temperatures. Or even for frying. Chosen foods makes a pan spray as well.

Avocado Oil Mayo: Primal Kitchen. Tasty and much better than almost all other mayo’s, as they all use cheap, unhealthy vegetable oils.

Macadamia Nut Oil: by Roland. Mac oils are great for salad dressings.  Healthy oil, don’t need a lot though, just a splash mixed in with olive and avocado. Another option is Piping Rock.

Avocado Oil Salad Dressing and Marinade: By Primal Kitchen.  These dressings and marinades are delicious!  And the best news is that they use avocado oil instead of the unhealthy industrial seed vegetable oils that 99% of other dressings use. They have a wide variety of flavors.

Dairy Alternatives:

Coconut Milk, Simple, Native Forest: This is one of the only brands that makes it without Guar Gum, which can cause digestive problems for some people.

CoYo Coconut Yogurt: This coconut-based yogurt is very delightful and surprisingly creamy.  It also makes a great substitute for sour cream.  A similar consistency. Since it’s refrigerated, it’s at stores only. Check here to see if it’s in a store near you.

Herbs, Spices & Flavorings:

Celtic Sea Salt

Himalayan Sea Salt

Real Salt, by Redmond: This “sea salt” comes from an ancient seabed in Utah that was not exposed to modern toxins like sea salts are often today.  Another bonus is this is one of the only sea salts that has iodine.

Balsamic Vinegar: Amphora makes these barrel aged vinegars that really are pretty amazing. My favorites are the red “cinnamon & pear” and the white “apricot”. These are slightly thicker and a touch of sweet. But it doesn’t take much to flavor a great salad dressing or for a drizzle.

Swiss Chard Powder by Dr. Cowan’s Garden: This delightful flavoring powder is nutrient dense. If you have a hard time squeezing in enough vegetables in a day, try this out.  They also have Kale and number of other great options. I put a spoonful in salad dressings, sprinkle into soups, etc.  Great way to spice up and packed with nutrients!

Miscellaneous:

Bone Broth, Grassfed: by Kettle and Fire. Great source of nutrients for your gut and skin health, plus so much more.  Should be a dietary staple.

Wild Salmon: by Wild Planet. These are a great alternative to tuna (which is high in mercury). Loads of good omega 3 fats and decadent.