There’s one staple crop that’s sure to grace most people’s homes every autumn: the humble pumpkin. Although it’s a crop you can enjoy all year round, pumpkin holds a dear place during this season in American tradition, as it’s often associated with harvest time and Thanksgiving.1 There’s no shortage of pumpkin treats in autumn and even throughout the winter months — from desserts to savory main dishes, this orange fruit’s earthy sweet flavor2 goes well with many other ingredients.
One autumn favorite is pumpkin pie. This food has a long history in the culinary scene, beginning during the Middle Ages in Europe. Back then, pies were a staple dish, and were made using gourd. After the Europeans brought back pumpkin and other crops from the Americas, people started adding this food to their pies.3
Today, pumpkin pie is a favorite treat served during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.4 Below is a delicious and healthy take on this timeless dish. Perfect for those following a ketogenic diet, this sweet and easy-to-make pumpkin pie cheesecake from Ruled.Me makes use of only wholesome ingredients and has a homey flavor that you will surely love. Plus, there’s no need to pop it in the oven!
Keto No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Recipe
- 3/4 cup almond or coconut flour
- 1/2 cup freshly ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup organic grass fed butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 25 drops (1/4 teaspoon) liquid stevia
- 1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
- 4 ounces organic cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons organic sour cream
- 1/4 cup organic raw heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons organic grass fed butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 25 drops liquid stevia (approximately 1/4 teaspoon)
- Mix together dry ingredients for crust, then add in butter and stevia. Mix together well.
- Form small spheres with the dough and press into the tart pans.
- Combine all ingredients for the filling, then immersion blend until smooth.
- Spread filling into crusts, then refrigerate for at least four hours.
Pumpkin Food Facts: More Than Just a Halloween Décor
The word pumpkin hails from the Greek word “pepon,” which translates to “large melon.”5 This big orange fruit — yes, it’s a fruit,6 though many think of it as a vegetable — is part of the Cucurbitaceae plant family, which also includes gourds, melons and squashes.7
For youngsters, pumpkins are a staple during Halloween, since they’re used to make jack-o-lanterns. But in the culinary world, this food is a superstar ingredient in many recipes. Apart from the stalk and the skin of large varieties (though for smaller squashes like the gem squash, the skin is tender enough to eat), all parts of this crop are edible, including the guts (ideal for broths and making mulled wine) and seeds.8 Even pumpkin blossoms can be used for cooking.9
Pumpkins are packed with nutrients like vitamin A, potassium and fiber,10 so you’ll have no regrets adding them to your meals. According to WebMD, some potential benefits you may reap from pumpkins include the ability to help:11
- Keep your vision sharp
- Provide immunity
- Keep your skin young-looking
- Manage your weight
- Reduce the risk of cancer and manage diabetes
One study notes that pumpkin has “antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant and antimicrobial potential” and may help inhibit conditions like kidney stone formation.12
Pumpkin Spice: The Flavors of Autumn in One Blend
Aside from the natural sweetness of pumpkin puree, the flavors of this delicious dessert come from pumpkin spice — a unique, fall-associated flavor that comes from a blend of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger,13 all of which are traditionally used when baking pumpkin pie. Pumpkin spice products are all the rage during autumn, with foods like candies, beverages and even hummus14 being enhanced with this flavor.
In recent years, the popularity of pumpkin spice spiked with the release of Starbucks’ limited edition Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003, and it became the coffee chain’s “most popular seasonal beverage of all time.”15 However, expert say that the combination of flavors in pumpkin spice has been around for quite some time. A CNN article reports:16
"[S]imilar mixtures of spices are used in Indian masala chai and Middle Eastern baklava … These mixtures are often used in celebratory occasions — most often to ease the digestive impacts of overindulgence."
Pumpkin spice blends can be bought in groceries, but beware, as some varieties contain artificial flavors and additives. Since most of the main spices in this blend are readily available, you can easily make your own pumpkin spice blend at home. Check out this simple recipe from All Recipes.17
Always Use Raw Dairy for Your Desserts (and Other Recipes)
Since this recipe is a cross between traditional pumpkin pie and cheesecake, dairy makes up a good portion of the ingredients. You’ll need heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese and butter to complete this dish.
When buying any type of dairy, remember to choose raw over conventional. Raw milk is described as a complex “living food,” unlike conventional milk that has gone through processing and pasteurization. It offers a number of benefits, mainly due to its high amount of nutrients. One example is alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme known to be anti-inflammatory. According to a study in Medical Hypotheses:18
"This enzyme dephosphorylates and thus detoxifies pro-inflammatory microbial components like lipopolysaccharide, making them unable to trigger inflammatory responses and generate chronic low-grade inflammation leading to insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity, known risk factors for CVD [cardiovascular disease]."
What’s more, raw milk has protective components that are eliminated during pasteurization. These include antibodies and beneficial bacteria that help eliminate pathogens in the milk.19 One study also notes that consuming raw milk is linked to a lower risk of allergies and asthma.20 For more about raw milk’s advantages and benefits, read “Will Raw Milk Save Dairy Farmers?”
Ruled.Me was created by Craig Clarke, a blogger who originally struggled with weight problems. The website not only focuses on the ketogenic diet as a way to lose weight, but as a lifestyle that can improve your quality of life. It contains dieting tips, strength and endurance exercises and various recipes for people who are struggling with their weight and nutritional deficiencies.
+ Sources and References