Delicious (But Healthy) Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This tastes quite unlike typical pumpkin pies made with canned pumpkin, eggs, and evaporated milk. This sweet treat is actually healthy enough to eat for breakfast the next day! I feel it’s worth the extra effort to use fresh pie pumpkins because of the bright flavor they give. And, yes, you'll want to specifically use a “pie” pumpkin if you can. Be sure to roast the seeds—not only delicious, they’re a wonderful source of zinc (which many people swear by for preventing and curing colds). What great planning, Mother Nature!

Recipe from my first cookbook, Radiant Health Inner Wealth

One small pie pumpkin (or 2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin)
One 9-inch whole grain (or gluten-free) pie crust
12.3 oz. aseptic pack of silken tofu, extra-firm
3-5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I use the full 5 teaspoons)
¾ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup organic sugar or coconut sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and remove the stringy pulp from the inside of the pumpkin, using a large metal spoon. Place the pumpkin (cut sides down) in a large baking pan. Pour enough water over the pumpkin so that there is about ½-inch of water in the pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the pumpkin flesh is soft and tender when you prick it with a fork. Remove the pumpkin and allow it to cool slightly.

2. Place the pie crust in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes. Remove the crust, but leave the oven on.

3. When the pumpkin has cooled slightly, scoop out two cups of the flesh and place in a food processor or blender. Any unused portion of the pumpkin will freeze very nicely for future use.

4. Blend the tofu along with the pumpkin until very smooth and no chunks remain. Then, blend in the remaining ingredients until completely smooth and creamy.

5. Pour the filling into the prebaked pie shell. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until nicely browned.

6. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Serve plain or with nondairy vanilla ice cream (or nondairy whipped topping).

Makes one 9-inch pie (serves 8); GF (with substitution)/Blue (according to the guidelines in my cookbooks)