Pumpkin Pie Recipe – Finding Joy in Food during the Pandemic

This time of year is my favorite. Seeing the beautiful colors of the fall harvest soothes and invigorates me.  Being outdoors with my community is especially healing during this unusual and stressful time of isolation due to the pandemic.

I especially adore shopping and gathering fresh produce and other goodies from our local Farmers’ Market!

The farmer’s market is also a special place for me because my daughter works there. Her booth is overflowing with all the pumpkins and winter squash they have harvested.  Last week, at the market, my daughter introduced me to her friend as they were talking about a pumpkin pie he had made from the pumpkin that he had purchased from her. 

“Unfortunately, I can’t eat the pumpkin pie anymore because I was just diagnosed with having Type-2 Diabetes,” he explained.

 I couldn’t help but tell him that I was a Dietitian and Diabetes Specialist.

We started talking about modifying the recipe using sugar substitutes or low carbohydrate crusts. We discussed portion control and going for a walk after eating a piece of the pie. He was intrigued. 

My philosophy is that, with thoughtfulness and creativity, all of our favorite foods can be included in our meal plans with knowledge and love. 

Pumpkin and other winter squash do contain carbohydrates but are nourishing food. Benefits include:

  • They are high in fiber, beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, lutein, and zeaxanthin. 
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree has 80 calories, 22 gms carbohydrate, 6 gms of fiber. 
  • A piece (1/8  of a 9-inch pie) of traditional pumpkin pie made with sweetened condensed milk contains 379 kcal and 31 gms of carbohydrate or
  • Compared to the included recipe (see below) of a piece of stevia-sweetened pumpkin pie (1/6 of a 9-inch pie) made with low fat evaporated milk and stevia containing 188 calories and 17 gms of carbohydrate. Both can be included in our meal plans if desired. 

It is important to take away the judgment around food choices, to encourage thoughtful choices, and find joy in our food.  At this difficult time, every effort to empower ourselves with choice and joy is highly recommended. 

Stevia Pumpkin Puree Recipe (Serves 6):

Choose a pie pumpkin and wash it’s exterior. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and pulp. Roast in your oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Simply peel away the skin from the flesh and toss the pumpkin pulp into your food processor or blender.


  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
  • ½ teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup low-fat evaporated milk. 

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and pumpkin puree together. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together while slowly pouring in the evaporated milk.

Pour mixture into pie crust.Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 390 degrees, reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for another  45 – 60 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Store in the refrigerator overnight.

Written by Dawn DeSoto RD, CDCES, our resident Nutrition Content Writer

Dawn Desoto, Nutrition Content Writer

Meet Dawn Desoto, our resident Nutrition content expert. Dawn has specialized in diabetes care for over twenty years.

As a diabetes specialist, Dawn provides individual and group coaching. Dawn launched a Diabetes Prevention Program in her community and provided plant-based cooking classes coupled with take-home recipes. The participants loved the helpful, delicious, easy-to-understand food demonstrations and recipes. But, a big motivation to keep coming to classes, was the fact that they felt celebrated and supported by the kind wisdom of Dawn’s approach.

In addition to her diabetes and nutrition expertise, Dawn loves to garden, cook, swim, bike and hike with her son and daughter. She also enjoys reading, traveling, and star gazing!

Please join me in welcoming my friend and colleague, Dawn Desoto, RD, CDCES 

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