Pumpkin Pie Custard

Pumpkin Pie Custard might not sound as familiar as its better known counterpart, Pumpkin Pie, but it is every bit as delicious.As well as being low-carb, low-calorie and low-fat, this dish is also gluten free, and can even be dairy-free with a simple substitution (almond milk for milk). Even better, it is made without artificial sweeteners and utilizes natural Stevia (or, if you prefer, Sucanat). And, if all of these benefits aren’t enough to convince you, pumpkin pie custard is a great alternative to pumpkin pie because there’s no crust to make, which equals major time (and hassle) savings.

If you aren’t familiar with white or brown cane sugar replacements, Stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener and sugar substitute. As a result, Stevia has a very minor effect on blood-glucose levels which makes it an excellent alternative for people on low-carbohydrate diets. Sucanat ("Sucre de canne naturel") is a less refined sugar, made from pure dried sugar cane juice. Less refinement makes it easier for the body to process. While not as negligent on blood-glucose levels as Stevia, it is still a good substitute to regular white cane sugar.

While the pumpkin filling could be made from scratch, this recipe calls for a can of pure pumpkin which makes the dish creation much quicker and easier. Canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie fillings, rather than being made from the pumpkins we buy for Halloween or Thanksgiving displays, are often made from different types of winter squash (of which pumpkins are a cultivar). Just to throw an interesting fact out there: While the world’s largest squash grew to 1,500lbs, the world’s largest pumpkin grew to 2032lbs. (Imagine how many cans of pumpkin filling that would make, at 15 ounces per can!)When your dish is ready, for an added treat, add a big dollop of fat-free whipped cream to the top before serving!

Fall really is my favorite time of year, with the leaves changing colors, the weather nice and cool, with beautiful bright sunny days. It's also the time of year when we get to enjoy all the seasonal fruits and vegetables that are harvested at this time of year. Of course pumpkin seems to be the most abundant of the seasonal vegetables, you can see them everywhere and in all sorts of tasty recipes. This is the time of year when you see pumpkin spice lattes,pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bread, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup and pumpkin stew, well you get the idea, it's everywhere. Pumpkin pie is a traditional part of Thanksgiving meals in the United States and Canada, although commercially canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie fillings are usually made from different kinds of winter squash than the pumpkins frequently carved as jack-o'-lanterns for decoration around Halloween. The oldest evidence of pumpkin related seeds dates back between 7000 and 5500 BC, and were found in Mexico.

Sugar Free Mom, a blog written by Brenda Bennett, is full of naturally sweetened (and delicious) recipes just like this one.

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