Monday, November 24, 2008

BPA-free Pumpkin Pie

Want to cut back on BPA? It's simple. Use fresh not canned foods and avoid the BPA in their linings. According to Consumer Reports' December 2009 issue, almost all samples of the 19 name-brand foods tested contained some BPA. .The secret to making BPA-free pumpkin pie is a simple one: Don't use pumpkin or milk from metal cans, which are lined with resin containing the estrogenic, toxic chemical. See watchdog group EWG's good summary of BPA findings.
For the pumpkin puree, you can make your own. While Halloween pumpkins go for jack o'lantern size, yfor a pie you want a sweet, tender little sugar pumpkin or acorn or kabocha squash. Pick your own and work up an appetite. You can easily find the pumpkin farm or farmers' market nearest you at Local Harvest.
Want something quicker in a time-pressed pinch? Stock your larder with pumpkin puree or pumpkin butters (above, from Muirhead Foods) packed in glass, which is always BPA-free. Jars of organic pumpkin pie butter can be ordered from Latimore Valley Farms.
Instead of canned evaporated milk, indulge in thick sweet organic dairy cream or soy milk (both are also free of added hormones and antibiotics) in cardboard or aseptic cartons or glass.
To make your own pumpkin puree:
*Buy a 2 lb. organic sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, enough for one pie filling.
*With a sharp knife, cut out the top, slice pumpkin into eighths, and scrape out insides (a serrated knife or grapefruit spoon works nicely).
*Boil or steam slices until pulp turns bright orange and soft.
*Let cool to room temp.
*Blend or puree in food processor until smooth.
Pumpkin Pie Recipes
*We like this classic version, which you can alter according to your own tastes, from Diamond Organics, where you can also buy all the ingredients for next-day delivery.
* Here's a recipe using pumpkin butter (which doesn't contain dairy, just pumpkin, sweetener and spices)
* And here's an egg-free, vegan pumpkin pie filling recipe:
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
Blend or process until smooth; 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.
One pumpkin pie from scratch, and another way to scratch BPA off your list!