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Autumn and good food go hand in hand, and have done so for time out of mind. It’s a time to celebrate the harvest, to enjoy the bounty, and to knock back a pumpkin spice latte every day.

Well, no. It’s not likely that the settlers had pumpkin spice lattes, but they surely had pumpkin. But they didn’t have to worry about added sugars, chemicals, and the creep of gained weight around the middle. Pumpkin spice and all the things that go along with it – pies and cakes and granola and even ice cream – are no doubt delicious, but they signal the beginning of a long feasting season that stretches for three months into the New Year. That spells bad news.

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Resting in the mason jar! Photo: Natania Barron

Pumpkin, for me, was an acquired taste. For years I hated it. And when it comes to the famed pumpkin spice latte? Let’s just say I was working my way through graduate school at a big-name coffee chain when it first landed, and I still steer clear. Some things I’ve seen I can’t unsee.

But that doesn’t mean that I go pumpkin-free. In fact, pumpkin flavor cravings are unavoidable for me this season, mostly because I’ve learned to cook with it myself. Finding myself with a wheat allergy, however, and a need to cut down on sugar, has made this season a little difficult when it comes to satisfying that pumpkin madness.

No more. This past weekend’s experiment has led to not only an insanely delicious pudding, but one that is raw food only, Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free. Did I also mention it was super easy to make and full of heart-healthy chia seeds? Here’s the scoop on how to make it. You can thank me later.

Gluten-free, Sugar-free Pumpkin-Pie Chia Pudding

  • 1 12. Oz. can of pumpkin puree (you can also make your own if you’re feeling adventurous – but make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 cup. Unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. clove (more if, like me, you like it spicier)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. stevia (full strength powdered, not cup-for-cup sugar strength) or 10 drops liquid stevia
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Final product! Photo: Natania Barron

(Alternatively, you’re looking for about ¼ cup worth of sweetness – if you want to use agave or honey or whatever strikes your fancy, this is where you can alter the recipe a bit; I prefer it less sweet)

Put all the ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth. Pour into two mason jars (there’s approximately two servings per jar). Let chill over night.

The result? Creamy and delicious, and bound together not with sugar or fat, but with the miracle of chia seeds! It’s particularly good with a little dollop of Greek yogurt on the top.

About Natania Barron

Natania Barron is a social media specialist at BCBSNC, a newbie runner, a healthy food nut, and a mother of two. She's passionate about connecting with consumers through social media and helping to deliver a personal, meaningful experience online.

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