A Totally Possible Holiday Treat from “Kitchen Impossible”

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and for many of us who love to cook and eat, it is an extremely anticipated and joyous holiday.  I’ve been planning my menu for months, brainstorming how to serve up indulgent yet health-supportive, classic yet alternative Thanksgiving fare that is sure to please even the pickiest palate.  In my “anything is possible” kitchen, I eagerly take on this task.  This year is no exception….

I have a friend who just heard some shocking news, 2 days before Thanksgiving: no more gluten, no more dairy.  I can only imagine the swirl of emotions and sheer disappointment she must have been hit with upon realizing that many traditional Thanksgiving dishes were suddenly off-limits to her.

As you may know from my previous blog posts, I can’t stand to see my friends feeling defeated…. especially not about food.  So I greeted her news with steadfast resolve and a healthy dose of determination.   “You can do this,” I told her, “and I can help”.  I rolled up my sleeves and began brainstorming the substitutions…

Freshly made cashew milk is a great, creamy stand-in for cow’s milk.  Simply blend 1 cup of cashews with 2 cups of filtered water in a high powered blender, then strain through a nut milk bag.

And forget about white sugar.  Maple syrup adds a deep, rich flavor that pairs perfectly with the season’s best warming spices (cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves).

The subtly sweet and floral flavor of coconut oil harmonizes perfectly in this treat.  Nobody will miss the butter, I promise.

In no time, I whipped up a fragrant and comforting holiday treat that was free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar.  You should have seen her face when I served her a warm slice of gluten-free, dairy-free Pumpkin Bread Pudding….

Check out the recipe below, and remember, anything is possible!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

1 1/2 cups cashew milk
3/4 cup roasted pumpkin (or other winter squash)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (optional)
5 cups cubed (1-inch) gluten-free bread
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle.

2. Whisk together cashew milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, eggs, yolk, salt, and spices in a bowl.  Set aside.

3. Toss bread cubes with the melted butter in an 8 inch square pan, then add pumpkin mixture and stir to combine.

4. Bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.  Serve warm.

Author: Kasey Caletti, Natural Chef

image used with permission from www.veganbaking.net