Oh how things change! My husband teases me that my philosophies on food and nutrition change every two weeks. This was even (hilariously) mentioned in our wedding vows- seriously! For Thanksgiving last year I posted a vegan pumpkin pie recipe and up until recentley I’d been striving for a more plant-based diet.

I absolutely love the Naked Foods cookbook (best gluten free chocolate chip cookies ever!) that I got the pie crust recipe from and this is one of its few vegan recipes. Authors Margaret and James are definitely not vegans! They eat good quality, humanely raised animal products and are a great resource for educating on the benefits of good quality animal protein and fat.

Currently my favorite book is “Real Food” by Nina Planck, where she describes our body’s need for the real, unprocessed foods like our ancestors used to eat. She explains how it is very difficult to get the nutrients we need (especially with regards to fertility) if we don’t eat meat (or if vegetarian, she advises eating butter, milk and eggs). Unfortunately, food has changed so drastically and industrial meat, dairy and eggs have lost the amazing benefits offered by pastured meat, eggs and raw diary.  In addition to these obsticles, our healthy fat ratios are dramatically skewed and a whole host of health proplems result from eating heat-sensitive, omega-6-heavy vegetable oils that are damaged and unhealthy when heated. Heat-stable fats. like butter, lard and coconut oil are a much safer bet.

So it was with this in mind that I headed over to Lindy and Grundy, the high quality butcher on Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles, to pick up some good quality lard. My mom’s original recipe calls for the once-thought-to-be-better-for-you vegetable-shortening, but after reading Nina Planck’s words of wisdom, this year I’m going to use lard from happy pigs on California ranch. So here’s my latest take on Mom’s Pumpkin Pie .


Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 tsp salt (optional)

1/2 cup lard

2 tbsp butter

Use a pastry cutter to combine until crumbly. Add cold water and mix to bind together. Start with about 7 tbsp water and add more  if needed. Roll into a ball, flatten and cover it in the fridge to chill.

Roll out on a clean, floured surface with a rolling pin until about a 1/4 inch thick. Lay in pie pan.


3/4 cup brown sugar (I use coconut sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons spices (mostly cinnamon/ginger but also allspice, nutmeg, mace and cloves)
2 cups (16 oz can) PURE pumpkin*
1/2 cup evaporated milk OR coconut milk (for non dairy)
2 eggs

Beat together eggs and pumpkin. Add already mixed sugar and spices. Add evaporated milk and blend well.

Pour into pastry shell. Bake 425 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce to 350 and cook 40-50 minutes, or until knife cuts through clean.

*pure pumpkin is important! It makes it so much more hearty and homemade vs using pumpkin pie filling


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