Healthy Holidays: Thanksgiving and Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I believe in celebrating healthy holidays, so much so, we have regularly hosted Thanksgiving, serving our unsuspecting guests low-carb, gluten-free and sugar-free dishes. The picture on the right was last year’s spread; everyone left the table with healthy and happy tummies.

Once again we will be hosting Thanksgiving only with an added twist, it will also be dairy-free. Over the next few weeks I will be practicing (and sharing) my recipes, some the same as last year and some new ones. All of them delicious and healthy. When the big day comes I will be ready (and so will you).

#1 Tip for celebrating healthy holidays, offer to host!

There is no shortage of pumpkin recipes here at Healthy Living How To, but I figured I’d start with an easy low-carb, sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free healthy Crust Less Mini Pumpkin Pie recipe. You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to make this healthy recipe, in fact I ate it for breakfast, after eating my eggs and bacon.

Making pumpkin pie from scratch is really quite simple, other than the obvious pumpkin, it’s just spices, eggs and sweetened condensed milk poured in a pie crust. I looked up the nutritional information of the sweetened condensed milk to get a comparison of my healthy pumpkin pie recipe versus a traditional pumpkin pie, and my eyeballs just about popped out of my head.

One 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk has 294 grams of sugar!

That is unbelievable. I realize it’s Thanksgiving and it only comes around once a year, however, so does Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, your birthday, your spouse’s birthday, your kid’s birthday etc. You do see, therein lies the problem? There will always be an occasion to over indulge in sugar, which in my book sugar is toxic. But here’s the thing my friends…

The beauty of living a low carb lifestyle is you can still celebrate healthy holidays and eliminate sugar or significantly reduce sugar consumption at the same time.

It can actually be quite simple. Take today’s healthy recipe for example, all I did was swap out the unhealthy sweetened condensed milk for healthy coconut milk combined with my favorite natural low-carb sweetener, Swerve, and voilà we have a healthy low-carb holiday dessert.

And just to prove it to you, check out the side-by-side nutritional comparison of the recipe made with:

  • sweetened condensed milk 250 cals | 7 g fat | 41 g carbs | 2 g fiber | 7 g pro
  • coconut milk + Swerve 115 cals | 9 g fat | 7 g carbs | 2 g fiber | 2 g pro
Easy Crust Less Mini Pumpkin Pies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 8 Mini Pies

Serving Size: 1 Pie

Easy Crust Less Mini Pumpkin Pies



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, using electric beaters, combine pumpkin, coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice, salt, stevia and sweetener until smooth.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Place eight oven-safe custard cups on baking sheet.
  5. Fill each custard cup with scant 1/2 cup filling.
  6. Bake 15 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 40-45 more minutes.
  7. Cool completely on rack for 1 hour or until set.
  8. Top with dairy free whipped cream, serve and enjoy!


This recipe has been tested with my preferred ingredients. Please consider, if I recommend a substitution, it will be included as a note in the recipe.

Nutrition Information: 115 calories 9 g fat, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein

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  1. Melissa says

    What if you don’t have Erythritol? That stuff is expensive. is there something else I could sweeten it with that is low carb and low glycemic?

  2. Kay N. says

    I love and repost all of your recipes to my Pinterest LC file. I always give credit to the originator of all recipes. Would it be possible for you to put your name or FB name in the recipe name that comes up when I repost? Thanks!!!

  3. says

    This is probably a really dumb question. I do not have custard cups and when I’ve looked at them in the store they come in different sizes. Is there a good size to get, and 2nd, can this work as well in a pie shell or similar?

  4. Kathleen says

    This looks awesome; I cannot wait to try this! My husband makes an awesome pumpkin pie that we need to replace since changing our eating habits. We made your no bean chili yesterday which I had for lunch today and lamb burgers for dinner – yum!

  5. Alison says

    This was too sweet for our liking. I only had Zylitol, so that is what I used. Could you please explain the difference between Zyliton and erythritol. If I lower the sweetner would the texture be the same? Thanks in advance. Alison

    • Vanessa says

      Erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar, therefore you need more of it for equal sweetness. Xylitol has the same sweetening power as sugar therefore it can be replaced cup for cup. Both are natural low-carb sweeteners with different benefits. Erythritol has 0.2 calories per gram making a cup about 30 calories or so. It also has a glycemic index of zero, meaning it has no effect on blood sugar. Xylitol provides 2.4 calories per gram (for comparison sugar provides 4 calories per gram) and scores about a 7 on the glycemic index (sugar scores an 80). Xylitol has a negligible impact on blood sugar however due to how it is metabolized, in higher amounts can cause gas. If you replaced the erythritol in this recipe for the equal amount of xylitol it is going to be sweet. In this particular recipe we are looking for 1/2 – 1 cup of sweetener equivalent depending on your taste level. Did you use stevia as well as xylitol?

        • Vanessa says

          So then you would use the stevia as listed and 1/2 cup of xylitol. This would equal 1 cup of sweetness. Otherwise if you want to try a 1/2 cup sweetener equivalent use: 1/8 + 1/16 tsp. stevia + 1/4 cup xylitol.

          • Alison says

            Thank you so much. I will order the Erythritol and try that also. I am glad to know the difference. Again, if I lower the quanity of sweetner will the texture be o.k? And if I use the Erythritol and prefer it less sweet, use how much Erythriol with the stevia?

          • Vanessa says

            The texture will still be good with the reduced amount of sweeteners. If you are going to use erythritol for 1/2 cup equivalent you will use 1/8 + 1/16 tsp. of stevia PLUS 1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. erythritol. I plan to put a sweetener equivalent page this week….you are not the only one it will help. 😉

          • Gina says

            Thanks! I actually put the same amount in and they came out great! I emailed you after I measured out the ingredients and then wondered how much to substitute. I was worried that they would not turn out, so I posted the question so I would know for next time. Actually, these came out so good how I did it!!! Thanks for sharing your recipes and health tips!! I love learning and trying about new healthy foods (and health tips in general).

    • Vanessa says

      You will use more if you are measuring already powdered…not sure the exact measurement though. Sorry. I would just taste as you go.

  6. Hallie says

    Hi Vannessa-If you were choosing which sweetener to use would it be Xylitol, Swerve or Erythritol? Are they interchangeable? I have them all, but have never used since I don’t typically make treats…just protein, fats and veggies. The paleo sites are inundated with recipes that use honey, maple syrup, molasses, sugar, etc…… just don’t see how using that in recipes would be beneficial, even if a small amount. Although, I am sure they taste great, I just think that would put me on a craving merry go round. Do you find that making treats with any of the sweeteners you use cause enhanced cravings for more treats?

  7. Cheryl S says

    Made these last night and they were a hit! What a quick and easy recipe – and they browned up nicely so they looked pretty too. I saw an earlier conversation about sweetener and I used 1/2 cup of erythritol only for a sweetener. It turned out great, not overly sweet but not really savory either. This one is a keeper!

    • says

      As noted in the recipe above, “This recipe has been tested with my preferred ingredients. Please consider, if I recommend a substitution, it will be included as a note in the recipe.”

      I do not use sugar, even natural sugar, here’s why:

      Health experts seem to agree that fructose and trans-fats are the two evils when it comes to health and weight management. Most would agree, HFCS is “bad”. It has been successfully vilified, because of its “fructose” content, which is anywhere between 42% to 55% fructose and 45%-58% glucose.

      While the following sugars may be coined “natural” they too derive 50% of their energy from fructose (and 50% from glucose):

      Maple Syrup
      Coconut Palm Sugar
      Turbinado Sugar
      Date Sugar

      The one exception is Agave Syrup which is 75%-90% fructose.

      So the question becomes, does the body metabolize a natural sugar different than a processed sugar when the sugar content is identical? Based on my research, the answer is NO, which is why I choose to use the highest quality stevia, erythritol and xylitol I can source. What you choose to use is up to you.

  8. says

    My pumpkin pie has heavy cream, eggs, maple syrup and spices in it. I put crust because half of what I love about pie is the crust.

    I know coconut milk is the trendy choice these days, which is why you are probably using it. It is tasty, but my pie with heavy cream is perfect too!

  9. Rebecca Austin, TX says

    I just made these today using Swerve sweetener that I ordered from Amazon after seeing it recommended here. They were wonderful! My husband said they were great and to not modify them in any way the next time I make them. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • Rebecca Austin, TX says

      I just pulled a batch out of the oven. This is the third time I have made this recipe and I love it! It is a great dessert and does not raise my blood sugar. This recipe is wonderful!!! Thank you so much for posting!!


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