BPA-free pumpkin pie

What’s better than making pumpkin pie with your family? No, not getting a store-bought pie and eating it in front of the television. Making BPA-free pumpkin pie! Since the hormone-disrupting chemical known as BPA is found in nearly all canned food in the US, skip the canned ingredients this holiday season and use these eco-friendly alternatives. For Thanksgiving, we made this recipe from Diamond Organics, substituting fresh, homemade pumpkin puree for canned. We'll never do canned again if we can help it!

Buy a little, tender, organic sugar pumpkin at the farmers market, cut it in eighths, scrape out seeds, and steam or boil it. Cool, remove skin, and blend. Presto, puree! Not only that, but exactly the 15 oz. or so you'll need to fill the deep dish pie recipe above.

You can also use pumpkin butter, packed in non-leaching glass jars, from your local farmers markets or a pumpkin farm near you, which you can locate with Local Harvest’s handy search engine. Two good companies that make pumpkin butter are Muirhead Foods and Latimore Valley Farms.

Many pumpkin pie recipes called for canned evaporated milk. Anyone who grew up across the road from a dairy will say blech and tell you to use thick, heavy organic cream or soy milk, BPA-, hormone-, and antibiotic-free. Organic Valley has some truly scrumptious cream, widely sold in supermarkets,  if you can't find some from a local dairy (see Local Harvest, above). 

Vegans shouldn’t be left out of the cold. You can use sweet soy milk from Eden Foods, in BPA-free aseptic cartons, or use this pumpkin pie recipe that only calls for pumpkin butter, sweetener, and spices.

For those who actually like baking and not just the idea of baking, here are instructions for an egg-free, vegan pumpkin pie filling recipe from GreenerPenny.com:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb. firm tofu
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (if you use pumpkin butter, taste before adding any spice/sugar)
  • 1 cup brown or raw sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (safflower, canola or corn)
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
Time Estimates

Prep time: 10 min  

Cook time: 1 hr  

Total time: 1 hr 10 min  

Instructions:

  1. Blend or process until smooth
  2. add to pie shell; and bake for at least 350 degrees F for 1 hr., or until firm and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes one pie

Win-win: One pumpkin pie from scratch, and another way to scratch BPA off your list!

It's a way to truly be in the moment. A slice of Zen. And a slice of pie.

Story by Rachel Brown. This article originally appeared in Plenty in December 2008. The story was added to MNN.com.

Copyright Environ Press 2008