Pie – one of life’s more enjoyable simple pleasures.
I probably mention this every single time I write about pie, but it really is my favourite kind of dessert.
My maternal grandmother – my Omi, a phenomenal chef and inspiring hostess – has made some of the best pies people have tasted since as far back as I can remember. She is diabetic, so she has always made them with the smallest amounts of sugar, if at all, and I remember always greatly preferring her homemade delights to the sugar-laden pies you could buy in stores.
As I was shopping at Organic Garage the other day, they had a lovely selection of Hubbard squash and I was inspired to pick one up.
Hubbard squash is part of the winter squash family – a group of delicious gourds known for their high carotenoid content as well as their significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They contain an array of B-complex vitamins: Vitamin B1, B3, pantothenic acid (B5), B6, and folate (B9).
Orange vegetables like this are high in beta-carotene, which acts to increase our immunity and is very beneficial for the eyes and male reproductive system.
Squash are a starchy vegetable, but the healthy complex carbohydrates contained within help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels – these are the carbs you want to eat lots of.
Hubbard squash in particular is much less sweet than other types of squash – I was curious how it would taste as a pie.
As it turned out, it was the perfect choice.
– 1 ½ cup almonds
– 1 ½ cups rolled oats
– 4 dates, pitted
– ¼ cup coconut oil
– pinch salt
– 1 medium Hubbard squash (about 2-3 cups pureed)
– 1 cup grain-based milk, unsweetened
– ½ cup maple syrup
– ¼ cup arrowroot starch
– 1 tbsp vanilla
– ½ tsp salt
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– ½ tsp ginger
– ¼ tsp nutmeg
– ½ tsp allspice
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
Wash squash, cut in half, and remove seeds (I set the seeds aside to be used later).
Roast squash in glass or ceramic dish for 45-60 minutes, or until soft (notice the fork holes on my squash, haha). Let it cool while you begin the crust and preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
For crust, pulse almonds, oats, dates, coconut oil, and salt together until a sticky dough forms.
Press the dough into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan, pressing the crust about 1 ½” – 2” up the side of the pan. Set crust aside while you work on the filling.
When squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the skin (or peel the skin off the flesh, as I usually end up doing) and puree or mash together. This can also be done by hand with a masher or a food mill, or in a food processor.
Beat the squash puree with the soy milk, maple syrup, and vanilla by hand with a whisk until well combined.
Stir in arrowroot starch, salt, and spices. Pour into crust and smooth top.
Bake at 400F degrees for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 350F degrees and bake an additional 45-50 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight so the filling can set (its a bit soft if not refrigerated).