Get your ovens preheated and your sweet tooth ready! You won't be able to tell that this pie is completely vegan!! My fiance and I dug into this pumpkin pie and the first thing he said was, "where did you buy this, this is delicious!?" The best compliment of all!! But I had to validate this anecdotal comment.. and yes, it truly resembled a store bought pumpkin pie. Not only was it bursting with flavor but had a rich, smooth consistency. My secret ingredient, coconut milk!!
When you chill a can of coconut milk, the dense fat rises to the top. This is the portion that can be used as a replacement for cream. And instead of throwing away the remaining coconut water, you can use it as a base in your smoothie!
But let's talk nutrition; why should we replace cream with coconut milk. Well, coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Since it is naturally dairy free making it perfect for those with allergies, lactose intolerance vegans or such. Canned coconut milk is high in fat but this fat is different from most other high-fat foods. This fat is mainly composed of medium-chain triglycerides (MCFAs) called lauric acid. Ironically, lauric acid is also abundant in mother’s milk. Lauric acid has many antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties which may help boost your immune system and its disease fighting abilities. Our bodies are also easily able to convert MCFAs into energy in the liver and can be used up quickly by the body which means less likely to be stored as fat.
If there's an opportunity to swop out an animal sources ingredient for a plant-based ingredient, I'm all for it!
[I buy my canned coconut milk at Trader Joe's but it can be found in most grocery stores such as Meijer, Walmart, Kroger, etc]
I also topped mine with a coconut whipped topping! It is just like cool whip but made from coconuts :) I've found this at Meijer, Krogers, Whole Foods... or online!
Yields 8 servings
For the Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp brown rice syrup
For the Pumpkin Filling
1 (14-ounce/400 mL) can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (see note below*)
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
a dash of salt