Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Surviving the holidays; plus pumpkin pie with pumpkin flour crust

Make a pumpkin pie with ingredients you can eat
I’ve always enjoyed the holidays but found them stressful as I tried to create the perfect, magical holiday. Now that I have fibromyalgia, I approach the holidays from a new perspective. I’ve let go of the “have-to’s” and kept only the traditions and activities I really love.

I can’t blame this new philosophy all on fibromyalgia as I already was headed in the direction of simplifying the holidays. I call it my “keep it simple” (KISS) rule for the holidays and for life, in general. I recommend that everyone give himself/herself a “KISS” and start really enjoying the holidays.

K—Kick away guilt and expectations for a perfect holiday.
No one can do it all and have anything left over for himself/herself. This is especially true if you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia. Individuals with fibro have so many additional things they have to do on a daily basis just to manage their symptoms. You want to stick with these things to prevent a flare-up which might occur with the stress of being a holiday overachiever.

Decide what things you really want to do and kick away the rest.

I---Invent or create new traditions.
Maybe it’s time to let go of the past and change your holiday traditions.  You don’t need to cook up a huge feast for Thanksgiving. Instead, keep your meal simple. Tell your guests you’ll prepare the turkey and they can bring the side dishes. Or instead, go on an outing on Thanksgiving and make that your holiday celebration.

Enjoy time with your furry friends
S—Spend time with family and friends.
Spend the holidays with people you truly enjoy. Family and friends who understand your situation will embrace this new way of celebrating with you. Leave the gripers behind.

S----Seize the moment.
Plan ahead so you can enjoy every moment and be more relaxed. Make a list of what’s important but give yourself permission to modify the list if you don’t feel well. Or better yet, enlist some help from other family or friends.

Remember if you stick to the “KISS” rule, you’ll be more likely to take care of you (which should be your first priority) and enjoy the holidays at a relaxed pace.

Pumpkin pie made with pumpkin flour from Anti-Grain

 I love baked goods as much as anyone but I must avoid grains for health reasons. I consider the new “flour” offerings from Anti-Grain to be a holiday gift to folks like me. Anti-Grain flours are made from apples, pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potatoes which are far from the “grains” most of us think of.

Anti-Grain pumpkin flour is my personal favorite. A one-pound package costs $16.99. The flour is made from more than 90 percent pumpkin flesh plus pumpkin seeds for added protein and fiber. A one-quarter cup serving contains 102 calories which includes 20 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams protein. You can purchase the pumpkin flour or other Anti-Grain flours at or

I cooked up a delicious pumpkin pie using the Anti-Grain pumpkin flour. I tweaked the pumpkin pie recipe I found on the Anti-Grain website. You can find lots of other recipes on the website to use your Anti-Grain flours.

Pumpkin Flour Crust Pumpkin Pie

For a pie crust:

¾ cup pumpkin flour
1 cup almond flour
stevia or sweetener of choice
1 T. coconut oil or olive oil
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 large egg

For the filling:

1 can pumpkin puree (15 ounces)
½ cup milk beverage of choice
optional: 1/4-1/2 cup sunbutter or nutbutter of choice
3 large eggs plus 1 yolk
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. cardamom
½ cup sugar

Crust preparation:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crust ingredients in a food processor. Press “dough” in an 8-9-inch pie pan or you can use an 8-inch square pan as I did.  Bake crust 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for 10 minutes. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Filling preparation:

While the crust is in the freezer, prepare the filling. Mix the filling in a large bowl. Pour filling into the pie pan once the crust is cooled. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door and allow the pie to cool.
Serve with your favorite pumpkin pie topping.

Article submitted to :