Eating Season (Damn You Diabetes!)

by mratner

So, it’s November. When did that happen? I swear that just the other day my (ex)boyfriend was jumping up and down on the bed while I was trying to sleep off the flu at midnight yelling, “It’s 2000 baby! Wake up!” So now, at the end of 2013, I find myself wondering where all that time went, and most importantly, like I have every holiday season with diabetes and food allergies, what the hell am I going to eat this year?!

This year I have decided to have awesome holiday feasts regardless of disease and allergy issues and so the challenge becomes how do I eat what I want and what I need to at the same time? My mission: to modify classic holiday recipes to make them low carb, dairy free, and gluten free while making them taste just as good or better than the originals. Can I do it? Well, I don’t know. But we’ll find out.

Please comment with any favorite dishes you’d like modifications for and let’s see how many dishes we can recreate!

First up: Pumpkin Pie!


makes 12 servings


I make my own crust using Smart Balance and a GF all purpose flour mix. This is easy peasy.

1 9″ pie pan

1 C flour mix

1/4 C smart balance

Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract, and any other “Thanksgiving spices” you like. These are just what I use.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Mix flour and smart balance together in large bowl by kneading it together with your hand. Start with half of the smart balance and add as needed. It should be a bit dry and crumbling but hold together when pressed into to the pie pan. Add in your spices to taste (until it smells yummy). You can add a little brown sugar here but I generally skip it to keep the carbs down.  Press finished crust mix into bottom of pie pan (I also skip out on the sides of the crust to keep the carb count down).

Place pie pan in preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until top begins to brown slightly.

Pie filling:

There are a couple of ways to do this. You can buy a pie pumpkin and slice, clean, bake, scrape, and process it. Or you can buy a 29 oz can of Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin and do this the easy way. I go with the can these days. It’s a real time saver.

1 29 oz can of Libby’s pure pumpkin (or other brand as long as it is 100% pumpkin – nothing added)

3 large eggs

Spices to taste (brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, cloves, ginger, etc) Use what you like the flavor of and use as much or as little as you like. If you really, really need measurements, go with the following:

  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix everything together in that same big bowl you used to mix up the crust. Take crust out of oven (use a mitt) and place on a safe, steady surface. Turn oven temp up to 425 degrees.

Pour filling mix into pie pan and smooth out top. Put it back in the oven. After 15 minutes, turn the oven temp down to 350 degrees and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Pie is done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Pie should have just a bit of “jiggle” to it. We’re making pie here, not a giant pumpkin brick, right? 🙂

Let pie cool, sprinkle a little nutmeg on top, and slice into 12 evenly sized pieces.

Eat (just one slice for you, Diabetic!) Remember, we eat to live, not live to eat!

*Each slice comes out to about 15-20 grams of carbs when using Libby’s pumpkin.

**Reddi Whip and Cool Whip have surprisingly low carb counts and can make a nice topper to the pie when used in moderation.

***The pie really does come out just fine without the evaporated milk and extra sugars, etc. I have made this pie many times and everyone always likes it.