Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

« Not-So-Scary Curried Lima Bean Hot Dish (vegan, gluten free, grain free, ACD) | Main | The Waiting Game. »

Gluten Free Sugar Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe with Crunchy Crust and Cashew Whipped Cream (soy free, ACD-friendly)

THIS PIE IS AMAZING.  I like this more than regular pumpkin pie.  My whole family and some of my friends tried it, and they all said it was totally bangin'.  Even my put-a-pound-of-butter-in-everything grandma loved it. How can a egg free, dairy free, soy free, gluten free, sugar free pumpkin pie win over a crowd?  Magic and a pinch of love.  Okay, okay, and some good recipes to work from.


The whole foods/gluten free/vegan/allergy blogosphere is bursting at the seams right now with pumpkin recipes.   'Tis the season, after all.  Ali from Whole Foods Nutrition just posted a recipe for Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake, Nancy from The Sensitive Pantry shared her Spiced Pumpkin Cider Smoothie recipe , Gluten Free Goddess Karina posted a Pumpkin Pie Bread recipe that makes me drool at the thought of it,  Naomi at Straight Into Bed CakeFree and Dried posted a recipe for Stuffed Tiny Pumpkins a while back that looks lovely, Susan from FatFree Vegan Kitchen posted a recipe for Fat Free Pumpkin Raisin Biscuits that I want to make GF, and Stephanie at Gluten Free by Nature offered up some delectable-looking dairy-free Pumpkin Ice Cream that I want to try making without eggs.  And that's just the beginning!  Whew.  My reader has been full of pumpkin.  And I, like all of you, REALLY wanted something pumpkiny/squashy last weekend.

I wanted pumpkin pie.

Actually, no, I wanted butternut pie.  I love butternuts in pie instead of pumpkin, because they are sweeter and just darn tasty.  My family was in town, we were having Sunday afternoon dinner, and I wanted those homegrown butternuts in my pantry to be served in pie form.  But given my decision to return to the ACD plan, I knew I had some obstacles when embarking on this pie mission.  On top of all my other allergy restrictions, I could only use stevia to sweeten, and I needed a lower carb crust.  Hmn.

Not easily intimidated, I jumped in headlong, and set to work researching in my big collection of cookbooks.  I found inspiration in two standbys: the pie filling is adapted from Myra Kornfield's The Voluptous Vegan, and the crust is adapted from Jeanne Marie Martin's Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook.  Kornfield's book is great, whether you are vegan or not - her recipes are innovative and always delectable.  I've had this cookbook for years, and have always loved everything from it (her chocolate cake is incredible).  I love this filling recipe because it is soy free, unlike many vegan pumpkin pie recipes.  It is creamy and dense, with a great mouth feel, and took to my little tweaks very very well!  Best yet, it is incredibly easy to make - if you can use a blender, you can make this pie.  The most complicated part is finding agar agar powder instead of flakes (according to Myra's recipe notes, the recipe will absolutely not work with flakes).   I used a combination of mesquite flour, allspice, and cardamom to season it, since I am still avoiding all those tasty traditional pumpkin pie spices due to some allergies.  But I included Myra's original spice combination below as well.  The crust is made of high protein flour and ground nuts and seeds, and also worked well with my little tweaks.  Martin's Candida guidebook has a ton of great recipe suggestions (as well as great Candida treatment recommendations), and I've tried many of them over the last year or so. This crust is especially awesome, and totally ACD approved: it bakes up crunchy, has a great flavor, and actually holds together better than a lot of gluten-containing crusts I've seen!  Last but not least, the cashew cream is born of my own mind, and is rich, thick, quite addictive, and absolutely perfect for dolloping on a big slice.

If you have nut and seed allergies, give this crust a try, substituting coconut oil or shortening for the ghee if you don't tolerate it.  Otherwise, try going totally crustless, baking the filling in a greased pie pan for a tasty pumpkin custard!  I'm going to give that a try it this weekend, and think it will be just as delicious. The pie will last for 4-5 days in the fridge, and slices can be frozen and thawed.  Trust me, I tried both, and those slices of leftover pie were just as good as the fresh ones.


Pumpkin Pie with Crunchy Crust (gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, ACD)

 pie filling adapted from Myra Kornfield's Voluptuous Vegan
yields 1 9" pie

  • 3 cup pumpkin or squash puree (from a 2 1/2-3 lb squash, or canned) - I used Butternut squash
  • 1 cup SoDelicious Coconut Milk beverage, coconut milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 4 teaspoons melted coconut oil (or other light oil)
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon stevia extract powder or 30-40 drops tsp plain, vanilla, or English toffee flavor stevia liquid
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon agar agar powder (NOT agar agar flakes.  If you are not vegan, you can sub 1 teaspoon unflavored plain gelatin powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder OR 1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract or flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons mesquite flour, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom OR 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons agave nectar, yacon syrup, vegetable glycerin, coconut nectar, or brown rice syrup
  • 1 recipe for Crunchy Crust (recipe below), or other 9" pie crust

Heat oven to 400º F.

Prepare Crunchy Crust or another pie crust recipe, and put in prepared 9" pie pan.

Make puree by placing cooked squash/pumpkin in a food processor/blender, and pureeing until totally smooth.  
Add milk, oil, stevia, arrowroot, agar agar powder, salt, vanilla, liquid sweetener (if using) and spices to blender, and blend again until totally smooth and well incorporated.  Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared crust and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.


Gluten Free Crunchy Pie Crust

crust adapted from Jeanne Marie Martin's Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook

yield 1 9" crust

  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (or almonds or hazelnuts or other nut/seed)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour or arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 cup teff flour or amaranth flour
  • 1 tablespoon mesquite flour or 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or other oil)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Heat oven to 400* F and oil a 9" pie pan.

Grind nuts and seeds in a blender/food processer until finely ground (a few chunks are okay). Mix together ground nuts/seeds, arrowroot, teff, mesquite/cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed.  Add coconut oil, and toss to evenly coat mixture with oil.  Add water bit by bit, until a coarse, dry dough forms.  If it seems really dry and won't stick together, add a little more cold water.

Pat into prepared pie tin into a crust about 1/4" thick, and then place in the oven for about 7-8 minutes.
Remove crust from the oven, and let cool slightly in pan on wire rack before filling with pumpkin mixture.


Dairy-free Cashew Whipped Cream (vegan, gluten free, ACD)

yield about 3/4 c

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup SoDelicious Coconut Milk beverage, or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon agar powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch stevia powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/16 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkle agar agar powder over 1/2 c of non-dairy milk in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, whisking until powder is totally dissolved, about 5 minutes.   Add to blender with cashews, additional 1/4 c milk, vanilla, and salt.  Add water as needed to get things flowing! Once smooth, add stevia powder to taste.  

Chill in refrigerator for about 2 hours, mixture will firm up.   


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Reader Comments (23)

Wow! Is this for real!? We just had our Canadian Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago but maybe I can find an excuse to make this pie anyway...Thanks so much for the ACD friendly treat :)

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Oooh! I'm totally gonna bake this up next week sometime, because I need to test pie out for Thanksgiving AND I need to lay off the sugar (yesterday went badly...). Thanks for being so generous with your awesome recipes yet again!

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commentera-k

Well, you certainly leapt back into the ACD with a bang!

I cannot WAIT to try this! It looks just fabulous. I love butternut in pies, too (though I wouldn't sneeze at pumpkin);)

The cashew cream looks great, and I bet it was really rich. I've also used my coconut whipped cream recipe w/ stevia instead of agave and it works--you might want to try it for a full-coconut effect. Mmmmm. . . now I'm going to dream of pumpkin pie tonight!

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Wow Kim that is so strange! The recipe I have in my book is sooo similar. I have never even heard of that vegan book, it does sound great though! I use arrowroot and agar too. I do use maple syrup to sweeten mine. I like the use of stevia for the ACD. The crust sounds really neat - I use gf grain flours in mine. I love using butternut squash for the filling too! Happy Fall! :)

October 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAli

This recipe sounds great. If you like coconut you should give a coconut crust a try. Toast 2 cups of unsweetened coconut and add 1/4 butter or ghee. Spread in the bottom of pie pan and pour in your filling. Bake as usual. Experiment a little. Some people find they need more sweetness but I find that the filling adds enough.

November 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Wilkey

Thank you so much for your blog! My brother and I have so many crazy food sensitives that we were beginning to think we were alone. It's nice to know there are other people out there who love food just as much as we do and struggle to eat in a world full of refined this and wheat-filled that. Your recipes are incredible and I cannot wait to start creating. Thank you for the inspiration and the confidence your blog supplies.

:) Rita

November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRita

Alex - I hope you can come up with an excuse to make it; I can always come up with SOME reason to bake. :)
a-k - let me know how you like it, thanks!
RIcki - I keep meaning to try your coconut whipped cream, it looks SO good. I need to plan ahead and leave enough time to try it one of these day :)
Ali - great minds think alike, I guess, huh? I need to check out your cookbook, it sounds awesome.
Brenda - thanks for the crust suggestion, that sounds great! I will totally try it sometime. Thanks again.
Rita- thank you for the kind and generous comments; I'm so pleased you like what you're finding on the blog. It is great to connect with other people; we all need to help support eachother, right? I hope to see you around the blog often, and let me know what you think of anything you try! :)

November 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Whoa, this looks amazing! I usually don't even like pumpkin pie, but this year at Thanksgiving when I couldn't have it, I really wanted it (of course).

I'm going to make this at my mom's for Christmas.

And I LOVE that it's soy-free! Everyone always puts tofu in pumpkin pie, but I try to avoid it.

Thank you!!!

December 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

OK, I had to come back and say how good this turned out! I made it for my family at Christmas and I was very happy with it.

First, it was incredibly easy to make. Second, it baked up beautifully.

My family agreed that it could use a little more of the spices to really make it taste more like pie and less like straight pumpkin. That was the main complaint: it was a little too pumpkin-y. I used almond milk b/c I didn't have coconut "beverage," but that might make a difference.

The crust also made me nervous: it was *so* dry when I put it together that I didn't think it would work out...it almost didn't hold together to stay in the pan, even though I added more oil and water.

I baked it up, though, and once the filling was done, the crust had mellowed a bit. I think I'll use a little more fat in the crust next time.

Overall, though, this totally satisfied my craving for holiday pie.

Thank you for your hard work!

December 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

Thanks for your comment, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Your crust was dry for a good reason - I had a typo in the recipe, it shoudl have been 3 TABLESPOONS oil, not teaspoons! I made the correction now : ) Regardless, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and hope you have better luck with the crust next time! As for the spice, go ahead and spice it up as much as you want! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)

December 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

This looks AMAZING!! I can't wait to try and make it!!

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJocelyn @ Enthusiastic Runner

Hi Kim

I just baked this pie for Thanksgiving dinner and was so excited to taste it, but when I did, I was disappointed. There is a strong stevia aftertaste and it makes the pie inedible! I used 1 t Sweetleaf stevia liquid as per the recipe.


October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

Hi Kerry, sorry you didn't like the flavor. I'll recheck my measurements - try making with 30-40 drops, I just made a similar pie with that quantity of liquid stevia. There will be a stevia flavor, since it is the primary sweetener, but it shouldn't taste bad. Again, sorry you didn't like it, and thanks for bringing it to my attention. Best-

October 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

Any tips on converting the Stevia to maple syrup or other liquid sweetner?

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCeAnne

Thanks for the suggestion. I definitely want to try again! I'm new to the gluten free, sugar free, etc way of eating. Maybe my taste buds need to adjust :)

October 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKerry

Wow! This looks amazing! And the cashew whipped cream made with So Delicious coconut milk is genius! Can't wait to try it!

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGail

I use stevia, but am concerned about the stevia flavor, as my family is not really a fan. I'm going to try the recipe with other sweeteners, and let you know how it works. Before I start, any idea if tapioca starch will work ILO arrowroot?

November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Joy

THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT RECIPE! We had our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday (11/21/2010) and served this pie with dessert for the members of the family with various diet restrictions. It was a hit! Crust is fabulous. Will use this crust for other pies as well. Next time I make it I will cover the edges while it bakes. Mine got a little over done on the edges. All I could find was Agar-Agar flakes, so after blending all of the ingrediants I allowed it to "rest" for 15 min. Pie thickened wonderfully. Baked texture is "creamier" than regular pumkin pie. I used 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves for spices. Omitted the "Mesquite" flour and the vanilla and just used regular stevia. I did not make the cashew whip cream. The pie was wonderful all by itself last night and again this morning for breakfast!

November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHenniPenni

Yes, go ahead and try with another sweetener, it will still work. Just taste as you go along to make sure it is sweet enough for your liking. I would not recommend using tapioca starch. Arrowroot can be used as a thickener for liquids, which is basically what it does as this bakes. Tapioca starch does not have the same results, and just becomes gummy and creepy when you try to use it as a thickener. I'd stick with the arroroot. Good luck!

I am so glad you enjoyed it! Your adaptations sound wonderful, I am happy that you just went ahead and made changes and it still worked. I love it when readers switch the recipes to make it their own! Thanks for this great comment, and I am overjoyed that your family loved it. Have a great week!

November 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

I imagine that you could use any other liquid sweetner you'd like. Start with 1/4 cup total, and see how it tastes. You may want to reduce the amount of coconut milk just slightly, so it doesn't get too thin.

November 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim

First of all - this blog is a life saver. This may be the first year I can actually have birthday cake!

This may be dumb...but......For the agar agar powder...can I just process my flakes into a powder?

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersophie

Hi, your recipe looks absolutely amazing! Especially for people with these food intolerances like myself. I'm eager to try this recipe for Thanksgiving that is coming up however I'm confused with the T measurement that is next to certain ingredients which can't be Tbsp or tsp? Or can it? Also, what other substitutions are there for agar powder? Can I use ground Flax?

Thanks for sharing!

October 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgina

Hi Georgina, Sorry for the confusion, the "T" is a tablespoon. I will update the recipe so it is more clear. As for the agar agar powder, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of powdered plain gelatin. Flax is not an appropriate substitute, as it does not "set" the same way that agar agar and gelatin do. Good luck! -Kim

October 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterKim
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo