Thanksgiving Desserts – Keeping It “Clean”

Last year, after my 30-day clean eating stint, I didn’t want to mess it all up with unhealthy holiday pigging out. My clothes were finally fitting again and I felt great so I was determined not to gain back the 20 pounds I’d lost.

My stepdad was hosting Thanksgiving at his house in Tampa and was also on a clean eating kick, so I scoured the internet for “clean” and “Paleo” dishes. I didn’t want to feel deprived. Thanksgiving food has always been some of my favorite!

I was in charge of two side dishes and the desserts. I don’t bother sharing recipes that didn’t turn out well or that I didn’t love. And because dessert is top of mind for me at the moment, I’m sharing these recipes for a pumpkin pie (borrowed from and pecan pie (borrowed from that are Paleo, gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. They are definitely on the menu again this year.

Paleo Pumpkin Pie


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 egg


  • 1-15oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup canned coconut milk
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix almond flour and salt (I did this by hand but the recipe called for a food processor).
  3. Add coconut oil and egg (maybe I should have used a food processor?) and mix until it comes together in large crumbles.
  4. Pat the dough into a pie pan evenly and firmly, around the bottom and sides.
  5. Cover pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven.


  1. Mix pumpkin puree, honey, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice, coconut milk, and eggs in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Pour into pre-baked pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until top if firmly set.
  3. Remove and let cool completely. Then refrigerate.

The pumpkin pie recipe also had directions for a whipped cream using honey and coconut cream but I just didn’t have time for that. If you decide to make it and it’s delicious, let me know.

Paleo Pecan Pie

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • sea salt (1/4 tsp. used in crust and ¼ tsp. used in mixture)
  • 2 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ cup unrefined coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter or ghee
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup pecan halves
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in lower-middle of oven.
  2. Mix ¼ tsp. salt and almond flour (again, they say in a food processor). Add coconut oil and one egg and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Press into a pie dish on bottom and sides.
  3. Heat maple syrup in a sauce pan on medium heat until it simmers (about 10 minutes). In the meantime, put coconut sugar and butter or ghee in a metal mixing bowl. Add simmering maple syrup to the bowl and let sit for one minute before whisking everything together. Then whisk in three eggs, vanilla, ¼ tsp. of sea salt.
  4. Pour mixture into pie crust and top with pecans. Cover pie pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  5. The pie will set as it cools. Serve at room temperature or warm.

I hope you and your family enjoy these recipes as much as I did. No, they’re not fat free. But I certainly feel better about the ingredients in these recipes than any store-bought pies! Happy Thanksgiving!

Shannon Steffee is a magazine editor by day, and a mom, health nut, and music lover by night. In her spare time, she enjoys writing about health-related topics and sharing her personal experience with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and gluten-free eating. You can find her on Twitter: @ShanSteffee. She is based in Orlando. 

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