Sugar-Free Banana Chocolate Pumpkin Pie…Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie for a Healthy Thanksgiving

chocolate pumpkin pie - sugar-free thanksgiving

Thanks so much for the congratulations on our recent engagement! We are so excited to take this next step in our relationship and I couldn’t be happier!

All that aside, this morning I made a shocking realization. it’s now already mid-October and I haven’t even had my first pumpkin spice latte! What?! I have a strict policy that fall-specific drinks aren’t to be enjoyed before October 1st (and no Christmas drinks until December 1st), no matter how early Starbucks wants to roll them out. But we’re two weeks into the month and I haven’t had my first PSL yet. To be rectified ASAP!

While I have my rules about my seasonal beverages, I don’t have any rules or regulations prohibiting the early use of pumpkin in other goods for consumption, which is a good thing since I had to celebrate Thanksgiving a month early this year. As you know, my early Thanksgiving coincided with Sugar-Free September. I wasn’t very worried about pulling it off with the exception of dessert.

For me, Thanksgiving really isn’t Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. So Sugar-Free September was going to need a sugar-free pumpkin pie. Earlier in the month I’d made a Sugar-Free Peach Pie, but peaches have so much sweetness all on their own. If you’ve ever tried pumpkin straight out of the can, or the rind, then you know it isn’t the least bit sweet. In fact, it’s pretty gross! I certainly didn’t want to end up with a gross pumpkin pie, no matter how healthy.

My (needlessly strict) rules for Sugar-Free September prohibited the use of any added sweeteners. That meant I couldn’t use any of my typical baking sweetener alternatives. No stevia, no maple syrup, no dates. So what did that leave? Bananas! I’ve used bananas in plenty of cakes and muffins before, and of course in banana loaf, but could I pull off a banana-sweetened sugar-free pumpkin pie? Yep, I sure could!

But this sugar-free pumpkin pie recipe isn’t that sugar-free pumpkin pie recipe. This recipe is my first attempt at sweetening a pumpkin pie with overripe banana. I didn’t quite trust that it would work, so I added a few scoops of carob powder for extra sweetness. This attempt resulted in banana-chocolatey deliciousness with that smooth pumpkin pie texture, but it wasn’t close enough to the classic pumpkin pie that I wanted to serve my Thanksgiving dinner guests. For that recipe, download my Sugar-Free Thanksgiving Menu. But if you’re looking for another use for that extra can of pumpkin you’ve got in the cupboard, then go ahead and try this Sugar-Free Banana Chocolate Pumpkin Pie.

Sugar-Free Banana Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
 
Prep time
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Author:
Cuisine: sugar-free, dessert, pie
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 20 oz pureed pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 overripe bananas, well mashed
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon/nutmeg)
  • 2 tbs carob powder
  • 1 uncooked pie shell
Instructions
  1. Gently beat eggs with vanilla.
  2. Add pumpkin and banana and mix to combine.
  3. Stir in cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, carob powder and salt and mix until well combined.
  4. Fill unbaked pie shell.
  5. Bake for ~45 minutes, covering crust with foil for final 15 minutes if needed.

sugar-free pumpkin pie - healthy banana chocolate thanksgiving pie

The End of Sugar-Free September and Pumpkin Spice “Nice” Cream

pumpkin spice ice cream

Hey guys! I did it! I survived Sugar-Free September, and am so excited to share my experience.

First of all, I need to confess that I didn’t keep things 100% sugar-free. I enjoyed a glass of champagne at an engagement party, as well as two sugar cookies that were shaped like diamond rings. I also had two mojitos when I went out with some friends, had a scoop of ice cream, and ate sweetened cranberry sauce along with my (otherwise) Sugar-Free Thanksgiving dinner. But y’know what? I feel great about it! During a regular month, I bet there are days when I’d eat 5 things with sugar just in one day, so to eat added sugars only 5 times in an entire month? I think that’s pretty awesome! Progress not perfection, right?

Reduced Cravings

I actually found that I didn’t crave sugar very much at all. During a regular month, I usually crave sweets of some sort every few days, but I think avoiding sugars almost entirely eliminated those cravings. I certainly didn’t experience those strong cravings that sometimes have me grabbing for a muffin during my mid-afternoon slump. My boyfriend kept things fairly sugar-free, too, and while he normally LOVES his candy, he hardly missed it this month. One evening he said, “I wish I could have some candy….actually, I don’t!” I could completely relate. It was almost like we thought we should want those sweet treats, but we actually didn’t. It wasn’t about mustering will power and fighting cravings. We just naturally weren’t super interested in reaching for those sugary foods.

Feeling Happy

I felt great all month. I woke up each morning feeling positive. Each and every morning. I don’t think I’ve ever had such an emotionally stable month before in my entire life! Normally, I have my regular ups and downs, but I felt so consistently well all month that I couldn’t help but notice. A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in helping depression!

Looking Good

A month without “fat days”? Heck yes! I lost 5-6 pounds this month without even trying and hardly experienced any bloating. All I focused on was avoiding added sugars, so there was none of the usual candy and baked goods, and I also avoided a lot of the carbs that I usually eat. Even though I felt like I was always eating, and never felt deprived, I lost some of that extra softness. Woohoo! On top of that, my skin was pretty clear all month and I just generally felt happy with my appearance.

Convenient Substitutions

One thing that I think will be a long-term benefit of this month-long sugar-free experiment is that I was forced to identify sugar-free substitutes for some of the convenience items I regularly buy. It took a little bit of extra hunting, but I did manage to find marinara sauce, granola and canned soups that didn’t contain any added sugars. I’m going to stick to buying these products since it’s such a simple way to cut out some of the sugars that I don’t miss at all. I also found sugar-free prepared chili, frozen spinach patties and bread for those times when I need quick and easy food options. I also paid a bit more attention to my fruit intake. I’d normally eat a banana or two each day, but I simply substituted apples, peaches and berries, which have lower sugar content, and only ate a few bananas over the course of the month, even cutting them out of my daily green smoothie.

What Now?

I’m not going to be avoiding added sugars as strictly as I did this past month, and I’ll be more open to using alternative sweeteners like stevia, honey, and maple syrup. I’m going to keep looking for sugar-free substitutes for everyday staples to continue cutting sugars where they just aren’t necessary. I’ll also continue to explore sugar-free baking, since I now know I can make delicious muffins, pies and breads. My Sugar-Free Thanksgiving proves that I can even enjoy my favourite holiday meals without needing the usual piles of sugar, and that’s pretty awesome (go download your free copy of the menu, if you haven’t already!).

To celebrate the end of Sugar-Free September, here’s an easy recipe for Pumpkin Spice “Nice” Cream. Enjoy it on its own, or use it to top a slice of sugar-free pumpkin pie. This is a delicious dessert that you can enjoy, guilt-free. Add some granola and enjoy this “nice” cream for breakfast! By swapping in these healthier treat options on a regular basis, it means I’m able to really enjoy my special occasion treats…like those Nutella crepes I’ll be enjoying soon in Paris next week!

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice "Nice" Cream
 
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Healthy Ice Cream made with bananas and spiced with pumpkin pie spice
Author:
Cuisine: dessert
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 5 overripe bananas (1 banana per person), chopped and frozen
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs pumpkin spice (or cinnamon/nutmeg)
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients in a food processor and process on high until smooth
  2. Serve immediately, or freeze to harden (thaw for ~5 minutes before serving)

pumpkin "nice" cream

Did you do sugar-free September? How’d it go? Or if you haven’t tried it yet, have I convinced you to give it a shot?

Find all my Sugar-Free September posts HERE, including lots of recipes!

And don’t forget to get my complete Sugar-Free Thanksgiving menu. All you need to do is subscribe to receive updates from Home at Six, and you’ll receive a printable PDF download. If you’re already subscribed, just enter your email address to receive your free download.

free thanksgiving menu download



Recipes include:

  • Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
  • Turkey Stock and Gravy
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup
  • Thanksgiving Stuffing (Dressing)
  • Turnip Sweet Potato Mash
  • ……….and Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie

Sugar-Free Healthy Thanksgiving (free Thanksgiving Menu download! 6 Healthy Recipes)

Sugar-Free Thanksgiving MenuThank you all for your amazing response to my recent post. It means the world to me to have wonderful friends and readers like you! I am so thankful for the outpouring of support, and it means so much to me that my story touched and informed so many.

Feeling thankful for things, this weekend we hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner. We’re going to be out of the country during (Canadian) Thanksgiving, but since it’s my favourite holiday, I really wanted to celebrate it early. Of course, that meant Early Thanksgiving fell within Sugar-Free September, so well, that was a challenge!

The only thing stressing me out all week was dessert. For me, Thanksgiving isn’t really Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie, so I really wanted to find a way to enjoy pumpkin pie while avoiding any sugars and sweeteners including stevia, and even maple syrup and dates. I found a way!

I’ll be sharing some of my healthy Thanksgiving recipes here on the blog, but as a thank you for reading, I’m giving you a copy of my totally Sugar-Free Thanksgiving menu to download.

You’ll find 7 easy recipes for a healthy Thanksgiving dinner menu that contains absolutely no added sugars, including my sugar-free pumpkin pie.

Subscribe to receive updates from Home at Six and to download a printable PDF of my Sugar-Free Thanksgiving menu. If you’re already subscribed, just enter your email address to receive your free download.

Sugar-Free Healthy Thanksgiving Menu!

free thanksgiving menu download



Recipes include:

  • Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
  • Turkey Stock and Gravy
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup
  • Thanksgiving Stuffing (Dressing)
  • Turnip Sweet Potato Mash
  • ……….and Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie

roasted thanksgiving turkey

healthy thanksgiving dinner

pumpkin pie recipe

Gluten-Free Flax Bread for Sugar-Free September

easiest gluten free bread

Since I probably totally grossed you out by sharing that whole hair-in-bread thing, this morning I’m sharing a great recipe to make up for it. This healthy flax bread takes 45 minutes from start to in your mouth.

My hand mixer would not turn on when I went to mix this so I whisked by hand and it turned out nicely.

sugar-free bread

I wanted a quick and super easy bread recipe that was going to be sugar-free for Sugar-Free September and contained simple ingredients that I had on hand. I found and based my bread on this recipe on glutenfreeeasily.com.

Easy to prepare and packed full of healthy flax, this loaf doesn’t crumble, making it ideal for toast or sandwiches.

Gluten-Free Flax Bread Recipe
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Bread, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 5 eggs
  • 1⅓ cups brown rice flour
  • ⅔ cups ground flax seeds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbs liquid coconut oil
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds
  • 1 tbs flax seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients
  3. Add oil and eggs and mix gently
  4. Transfer batter to greased and floured loaf pan
  5. Top with sesame and flax seeds
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes

Thanks everyone for liking Home at Six on Facebook! I hope to share some great recipes as we head into fall. Visit the Facebook page HERE.