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don't miss dairy

Emily Stokes
I'm a lady who loves cheese, sour cream, & ice cream, but I recently became lactose intolerant. My key focus in recreating dairy recipes is taste, but I try to be as health conscious as possible. Some of my recipes are low lactose rather than dairy free. I'm also a writer, teacher, nanny, dog mom, housewife, native Yinzer, current Californian, and social organizer extraordinaire.

Pie

No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from dontmissdairy.com
Want to try something amazing? Trust me when I say, there is nothing healthy tasting about these incredible and incredibly healthy pumpkin pie bites.

My go-to pumpkin pie recipes have undergone many changes over the years, adapting to my dietary restrictions and taste preferences. But this year I thought I’d go all out and make a dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan pumpkin pie. I did some research to see if this was possible.

It was very possible.

No-bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from dontmissdairy.com

The trick was what recipe to trust, choose, and how to adapt it. I found a lot of raw pie crust recipes made with dates, and, unfortunately, I am not the biggest fan of dates, so they are not a usual ingredient I buy. Not wanting to make a special trip to the store just for dates, I found a recipe on lunchbox.com for no-bake pumpkin walnut pie—date free—and decided to adapt it to fit the ingredients in my kitchen.

During my research I saw so many complicated no-bake raw crusts. They called for all kinds of nuts and ingredients. I just kept thinking about how simple a raw crust should be. I mean, anything can be crumbled and made into a crust! (It just needs to taste awesome)

So I simplified the crust into three ingredients, an idea I found on hacres.com: walnuts, maple syrup, and vanilla. It’s a treat in itself! It’s technically not raw, but there is no baking involved. I was eating this before I could turn it into a crust. I thought this combination would be pretty sticky, but it’s actually not. It’s smooth and buttery. Nevertheless, I still greased the bottoms of my mini cheesecake pan for easier removal.

Making three ingredient walnut pie crust from dontmissdairy.com.

This is what the crust should look like after processing.

No-bake walnut pie crust from dontmissdairy.com.

Pressed walnut crust in mini cheesecake pan.

I made these bites to try something different, and to serve individually at a party. I think this would work very well as a whole pie, and the measurements should be the same.

If you are making pumpkin pie bites versus a whole pie, keep in mind that these are very soft and delicate. Like whipped cream, these delicious, fluffy pie bites will start to soften as soon as they are taken out of the cold.

I did not wrap the bites in paper while making because I wanted to see how pretty they were. But I recommend making these in cupcake liners or individual serving cups unless you are very patient. I made mine in a mini cheesecake pan. I used a butter knife to loosen the pumpkin pie filling from the edges, then pushed them out from underneath very carefully.

To serve them unwrapped, place pumpkin pie bites on a chilled tray or individual plates for immediate serving. Since I was transporting mine, I placed them in tulip parchment liners, which unfold and fold back easily. These could also be frozen for an hour so they become easier to serve, and should have the consistency of ice cream.  Keep them in the freezer longer in an airtight container for frozen pumpkin treats.

No-bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from dontmissdairy.com

This is my pumpkin pie bite wrapped in a tulip parchment paper liner. Easy to serve, easy to eat!

For a thick, solid filling, use coconut oil and full fat coconut cream, which stiffens and solidifies upon chilling. Also, make sure you use walnuts for this recipe. The walnuts act as a thickening agent to keep the filling solid. They are also heart healthy!

Maple syrup is apparently healthy for you as well—in moderation. This recipe calls for a small amount of maple syrup, but it goes a long way! These pumpkin pie bites are perfectly sweetened. I served them at a Halloween party, and they were a big hit.

I love creating as many recipes I can that adapt to different dietary restrictions because, hey, I know how it feels.

No-bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from dontmissdairy.com

No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites
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For the Crust
  1. 2 cups raw walnuts
  2. 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
For the Filling
  1. 1 can pumpkin (15oz)
  2. 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  3. 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  4. 1 cup full fat coconut cream (the solid part of the canned coconut milk that separates when chilled)
  5. 1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  10. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
For Crust
  1. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until finely crumbled. Add syrup and vanilla and pulse until ball forms.
For Filling
  1. Pulse 1/2 cup walnuts in food processor until finely crumbled. Add 4 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, salt, and all spices then pulse until smooth.
  2. Add pumpkin 1/3 cup at a time to food processor and pulse until well combined.
  3. Transfer pumpkin mixture to medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup full fat coconut cream (leave the clear liquid behind in the can).
  4. At this time, taste and add more sweetener if desired.
  5. For the last step, add melted coconut oil and stir quickly. Once cool it will begin to solidify.
To Complete Pie Bites
  1. Brush 12 cup mini cheesecake pan bottoms with coconut oil or Smart Balance Light. Alternatively, use a 9 inch greased pie pan or paper lined cupcake tin.
  2. Press 3/4 tablespoon (about 2 teaspoons) of walnut mixture into bottom of mini pans to form crusts.
  3. Spoon filling evenly into crusts. There may be a tiny bit left over to snack on. Refrigerate for at least four hours to firm, then pop out of the tins and serve immediately. Filling will soften if not kept refrigerated.
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No-bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bites from dontmissdairy.com

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Dairy Free Turkey Taco Pie

Eric and I love turkey tacos. We use a great recipe from the bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce. It’s our go-to meal and we have it about once every two weeks because it’s so easy, incorporates all food groups in one dish, it’s healthy, and it’s the perfect comfort food. Turkey tacos are so easy because you can store all the ingredients in your kitchen without having to stop by the store to pick anything up. I keep ground turkey at the ready in the freezer, canned black beans and diced tomatoes in the pantry cupboard, buy rice in bulk, and store jarred salsa and Frank’s in the fridge. It’s a meal I don’t have to plan, I just get out all the ingredients.

The basic Frank’s taco recipe calls for 1 lb. cooked ground meat, 1 cup salsa, 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and 2 teaspoons of chili powder. We build on the recipe and add diced tomatoes, then layer our tacos with black beans and brown rice. Occasionally Eric adds shredded cheese while I add guacamole if it’s in the fridge. Sometimes we don’t always have tortilla shells, and we will either eat it burrito bowl style like Chipotle, or eat with tortilla chips. I usually have some Tostitos Lime Tortilla chips on hand.

One week not too long ago I didn’t have any chips or tortilla shells, but I did have fresh tomatoes, romaine lettuce, cheddar cheese shreds, and even guacamole. All the ingredients perfect for tacos! Rather than go to the store just for taco shells, I pulled out the cornmeal I use for dusting pizza crust and made a delicious Taco Pie. It’s so good and looks beautiful when it’s all put together. You don’t need sour cream or cheese to make this delicious. Add a dollop of guac to your pie when serving to get that creaminess you desire.

Ingredients:

Crust

1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
cooking spray

Filling

1 lb. ground turkey breast
1 cup salsa
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can black beans, drained (not rinsed)
1 cup three cheese soy cheese shreds or mixture of mozarella and cheddar Daiya Shreds
red pepper flakes (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup lettuce, shredded
Gaucamole or advacado (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 inch pie dish with cooking spray then sprinkle a light dusting of cornmeal on bottom and sides of dish to prevent crust from sticking.
                                           

2. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in almond milk and vegetable oil until a ball begins to form.

                                                

3. Use your hands to knead the dough into a ball, then, on a surface dusted with flour, use a rolling pin to roll out your dough into a 10 inch circle.

                                            

4. Place your rolled out dough onto the pie dish, molding to form a crust. Tuck extra dough underneath to make even. Poke a few fine holes in the bottom and sides with a fork to prevent crust from bubbling up.

                                                 

5. Place in oven and cook for five minutes, or until lightly browned and hardened like a tortilla shell.

6. Meanwhile, cook your ground turkey until browned. Drain any liquid fromt the pan, then add salsa, hot sauce, and chili powder. Simmer uncovered for ten minutes, allowing the tortilla crust to cool and the spices to seep into the turkey.

7. Add turkey and salsa mixture into tortilla crust. Follow with a thick layer of black beans, then top with cheddar cheese shreds. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for an added kick.

8. Bake for 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Remove pie from oven and immediately top with diced tomatoes and lettuce. Cut like a pie and serve with guacamole.

   

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Coconut Milk Pumpkin Pie

 (Updated from original post on November 8, 2013)
 

This is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

I’ve made it with white sugar, agave syrup, and even sugar free (using Splenda); it turns out incredible every time! 

It has a beautiful light orange color that turns into a deep, creamy orange when cooked, just a teeny bit lighter than a pumpkin pie made with condensed milk. Previous pumpkin pies that I’ve made with soy milk tend to have a much darker color than a dairy pumpkin pie. Not to mention, it’s texture is light and fluffy when compared to a denser soy milk pumpkin pie.

It’s all about the coconut milk.

The full fat canned coconut milk has the same consistency as cream,  so there’s no need to thicken in it any way. Just make sure your canned coconut milk is full fat and at room temperature.

I hope you enjoy this very simple and absolutely delicious coconut pumpkin pie. I make it every year and dairy-eaters love it.

Coconut Milk Pumpkin Pie
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Ingredients
  1. 1 refrigerated pie crust
  2. 3/4 cup sweetener (white sugar, stevia, maple syrup**, or Agave syrup**)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 15oz can pumpkin
  11. 12 oz full fat canned coconut milk, shaken
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mold the pie crust into a 9 inch pie dish. Fold excess under and flute or cut and use as a garnish.
  3. Mix sugar, salt, and spices in a small bowl until thoroughly blended.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in the pumpkin, vanilla, and then the sugar and spice mixture.
  5. Gradually add full fat coconut milk while stirring and continue to stir until just blended. Pour into pie crust.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes to set, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 40 minutes. To check if the pie is done, stick a knife through the middle and see if it comes up clean. If there is a layer of pumpkin on it, you may need to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. Allow pie to cool before cutting.
Notes
  1. *Updated
  2. **If using all maple syrup to sweeten, you only need 1/2 cup, rather than 3/4 cup. If using liquid sweetener, the pie will also cook better if you reduce the coconut milk by one tablespoon.
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