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Pumpkin Pie Custard

These little custards are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and sugar-free.Rest assured they are definitely not free of flavour or sweetness. In fact, the s
Oct 22, 2012 | Joy McCarthy

These little custards are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and sugar-free.

Rest assured they are definitely not free of flavour or sweetness. In fact, the spices and creaminess remind me of my favourite Thanksgiving and holiday indulgence -- pumpkin pie. Oh yes!

If you think that eating healthy means you have to sacrifice taste? Think again! :) Hurray for real whole food that is full of flavour and nutrients.

Now because I'm a nutritionist, I have to tell you why this recipe is so gosh darn healthy:

The spices, including cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg are of royalty breed when it comes to the level of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory naturally occurring plant chemicals they contain. Just look up Tuft's University ORAC scale on these spices.

The good fat in the coconut milk is chock-full of fat-busting nutrients. These good fats especially MCTs are particularly beneficial in that they don’t require bile acids for digestion, and they’re directly shunted to the liver via the portal vein. In fact, you can read my post on why coconut products are so good for you.

The medjol dates add fibre and a natural sweetness, plus you may find you don't even need to add the maple syrup. Also, dates are a source of immune-enhancing and blood sugar balancing beta glucan. This type of fibre helps to absorb cholesterol and flush it out when you, ahem, eliminate.

It's raw! This recipe requires no cooking whatsoever.

I do strongly recommend you use the highest quality ingredients in this recipe. You will notice a significant difference especially with the spices if you use organic. Just let your nose and taste buds lead you in the right direction and you can't go wrong.

This is fabulous as a fall dessert or as a breakfast if you enjoy a sweet taste first thing in the morning. I'm ALL about the sweetness first thing in the a.m. ;) I topped them with candied ginger and pecans.


5 medjol dates (these are the really plump ones), pits removed, soaked in water for 30 minutes.

1 can (14 oz) organic pumpkin or sweet potato puree (even better if you make your own!!)

1 can (400mL) organic coconut milk (I used FULL-fat because it's creamier and more luxurious -- remember you aren't eating the entire batch in one sitting, so fat is A-Okay).

1 tsp organic pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup chia seeds

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp each nutmeg, cloves, ginger

1/4 cup water -- save the water from the soaked dates

If needed: 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup or 4-5 drops liquid stevia (herbal sweetener)


The only kitchen tool you'll need is a blender.

Toss your dates, coconut milk, pumpkin or sweet potato puree and vanilla into your blender. Blend until smooth.

Next add your chia seeds and all your pumpkin pie spices. Give it a taste taste. Need more sweetness? Add maple syrup or stevia at the end.

You may eat it right away or let it sit either overnight or for a hour in the fridge if you want it to become more custard-like. Basically, you need to let the chia seeds work their magic. New to CHIA? Check it.

Topping: I added chopped pecans and a bit of candied ginger on top. YUM!

Serving Size: Fills 6-8 little custard cups (ramekins).

Candace Hendrick   •   October 22, 2012

I LOVE pumpkin! So anything pumpkin-y makes my heart happy:) Thanks for sharing!

Joy McCarthy   •   October 22, 2012

Joanna   •   October 22, 2012

I love all things pumpkin + coconut. On my to make this weekend list! Thanks Joy :)


Tamzin   •   October 22, 2012

Wow that sounds amazing! x


Kathrine Sudbury   •   October 23, 2012

OMG that looks and sounds so amazing! I have to try it! A friend of mine is a raw-foodist and I'm sure she'll love this. And it could technically be 'Halloween' food. Thanks for sharing Joy! :)


Healthpundit   •   October 24, 2012

Looks is rich in nutrition as well.


Karen   •   October 24, 2012

Hello - love your blog and follow you on Twitter and FB :) Would you mind sharing what brand of coconut milk you prefer? I've read a bit about carrageenan and I can't seem to find coconut milk (or almond milk) without this ingredient. This looks delicious - can't wait to try it! Thank you!!


Elisa   •   October 27, 2012

Sounds amazing Joy. I love pumpkin and it's the best time of year to enjoy it. Always love reading your posts :).


Pumpkin Recipe Roundup |   •   October 11, 2013

[…] recipe at […]


Sara Dube   •   November 4, 2013

Is there anything else I can use besides the chia seeds to thicken they don't always agree with me.....otherwise it's the BEST pumpkin custard I've ever tasted!


candise   •   November 5, 2013

Hi Joy This is yummy and very rich. Makes a big batch so wondering if this can be frozen in single serving containers? Thanks


Shannon Hoover   •   November 9, 2014

Hi Joy! I made this recipe for my 18 month old and it was awesome. I did change a few things, like cut back on the spices a bit so it wasn't too powerful for her. I also sweetened it with an organic apricot puree that I make from stewing dried apricots. It turned out great and she has been eating it on its own, stirred in her oatmeal, or with a graham cracker as a treat. Thank you so much!

Kate McDonald Walker   •   November 10, 2014

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