The Can-Do Candida Diet: Me Oh My, It’s Practically Pie: Pumpkin Custard, Not Just For The Holidays
Can-Do Candida © Isabelle Burden 2013 All rights reserved

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Me Oh My, It’s Practically Pie: Pumpkin Custard, Not Just For The Holidays

When I came home for Thanksgiving this year, I expected my dietary restrictions would put a damper on things. 

It’s not fun to constantly pass on foods that you want to eat but feel you can’t.  It’s painful to watch everyone else at the table tuck in to the sugary cranberry sauce or the savory stuffing that you have to forgo.  It’s bad enough that your options are limited, but you also have to explain yourself anew each time you encounter food in a social setting. 

Even if you can master this diet in your own kitchen, things always get difficult when you throw other people into the mix.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to have “the talk”.  Often I run through the synopsis multiple times; people seem to have a hard time putting it all together and applying the “no-sugar” idea to the rest of the food pyramid:
            Sorry, I can’t eat that bread your grandma baked for me. 
            Well actually, corn does have sugar in it. 
            ‘How long do I have to do this?’  Well, I was tentatively planning on the rest of my life…
It gets incredibly tiresome, and at times it feels like you just seem downright rude for seemingly rejecting the meal someone has made in your honor. 

As Thanksgiving approached, I knew I wanted to stick with the Candida Diet.  I didn’t want to lose ground on the progress I was making.  I expected my diet to rain on the food parade just a little bit, maybe even put me in an awkward situation trying to explain to my grandmother why I couldn’t share in her annual pumpkin pie.  

I resigned myself to the path I had chosen.  Then, miraculously, my mother found the perfect compromise. 

The answer was pumpkin custard.    

This dessert has all the spicy-sweet pumpkin flavor of a pie, without the sugar that will aggravate candida. 
It’s a no-muss, no-crust, total Can-do.  

If, however, you would like to convert this custard into a pie, our candida diet piecrust recipe takes just five ingredients and a few simple steps to make a delicious crust that everyone can enjoy.  

The recipe my family used is inspired by Sugar-Free Mom’s gluten-free and low-cal “Healthy Pumpkin Pie Custard” (this recipe and others can be found on her website:  I made a few tweaks to the recipe she provided, and substituted her low-fat milk with almond milk in order to make it candida safe.
The result is a decadent Candida Can-do dessert that is easy to make, and is just as yummy in March as it is in November.  


1 can of organic Pumpkin (15 oz)
4 eggs (I prefer organic and cage-free)
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk *
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp liquid stevia
Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Clove and Ginger to taste
1/4 tsp salt
(I like it spicy, but everyone has their own preference)

*You can also use unsweetened coconut milk, if you are craving a creamier consistency.

Candida Alert:  Pumpkin belongs to the family of winter squash, which means it is a relatively high-sugar fruit.  While the Candida Diet restricts consumption of fruit sugars, you have to live a little.  As long as you stick to small servings and don’t make this a daily part of your diet, there really isn’t anything remotely unhealthy about this dessert.  

Part of what makes this custard so convenient is that the whole thing can be mixed up in one bowl.  For a college student like me this is extremely exciting, not only because it means I only have to clean one bowl, but also because my kitchen is so minuscule I can’t fit more than one bowl on the counter at a time anyway.

In a large bowl, beat four eggs.  Whisk in your stevia, vanilla, almond milk, salt, and spices.  Then add your can of pumpkin and continue whisking until everything is evenly integrated.  Pour your custard mix into a baking dish (I used a 9-inch, smaller area will make a thicker custard) and bake in a 350-degree oven for thirty minutes.  At the fifteen minute mark, turn your custard in the oven so one side doesn’t overcook. 

You can jiggle your dish while it cooks to check whether the eggs have cooked solid (please, use potholders).  If everything looks solid, stick a knife in the center.  If it comes out clean, you’re all set.

Just like grandma used to make (sort-of)

I think pumpkin pie is always best for breakfast the morning after, so I like my custard to be chilled as well.  

I let the baking dish cool, then I either divvy the custard up into smaller portions and refrigerate them in plastic containers, or I cover the whole pan with saran wrap and put it in the fridge.  

Whether you’re enjoying this after a long holiday meal, or just whipping up a batch to treat yourself on a nice spring afternoon, I hope you enjoy this pumpkin custard in good health and good spirits.  

This Sunday, I am thankful for stevia, because boy does it make this diet easier!  


  1. This looks good! I love pumpkin and want to partake this Thanksgiving without having a Candida flare. Is the Stevia supposed to be the liquid kind or powder?

  2. Oops.. I just saw that liquid stevia is used!

  3. I'm allergic to tree nuts. Would soy milk compromise the diet? Not sure what I could use instead...

    1. Hi Sara,

      While soy milk and rice milk are easy substitutes for people with tree nut allergies, neither is ideal for the candida diet, and especially not in large quantities. Soy products can increase inflammation and rice products contain sugars that won’t help your candida cause.

      Have you tried coconut milk? I find that it has a lovely, creamy taste that is very close to cow’s milk without any of the heaviness that comes from animal dairy. However, do check with your allergist before you try it as I’m not sure if a coconut is the kind of tree nut you would have problems with.

      You can also experiment with hemp milk - I personally have never used it in a recipe but I know some who do. Plus, hemp is full of added nutrients!

      Most importantly, when choosing a milk alternative, be aware that most of these milks, unless they specify “unsweetened”, probably have added sugars you should watch out for. I would suggest doing a little research based on your particular needs and then seeing what’s best for your lifestyle.

      Best of Luck!

  4. My 13 year old daughter was in tears today when the doctor told us we needed to extend our candida cleanse another 30 days because she had not been taking her candida redux suppliments consistently. As a professional pastry chef, I vowed to find a way to make this Thanksgiving "sweet." You, my love, with this great recipe have made it possible. My chef hat is off to you! God bless your future, and Happy Thanksgiving, 2015!

    1. Wow that happened to me too... hold on am I responding to my Mom's comment?

    2. Yes yes I am. LOL

    3. You are so welcome, ladies! Thanks for the positive feedback. I hope you both had a lovely, delicious Thanksgiving, and a happy holiday season!

      Can-Do Candida

  5. Going to try this tonight for Thanksgiving! Thanks!