Have you given up pumpkin butter because of the sugar? I mean it’s smooth, rich and delicious, but do they have to put so much sugar in it?
Well… no, they don’t! Here’s a really easy, dump a few things in your slow cooker and wait a few hours recipe that doesn’t require gobs of insulin to consume, and tastes like idyllic, sweet and spicy fall.
Pumpkin butter is one of those really nostalgic treats for me. I have a tendency to default to memories of apple picking at MacQueen’s orchard, complete with the smells of straw, sweet baked goods, and spiced sachets of various mixes for sale, in moments of intense sadness or stress.
I guess they call that “your happy place”. Mine is definitely either the woods, or a small Ohio market in the fall.
Perusing the shelves, one thing I had to get every year was pumpkin butter.
Since coming to terms with the fact that sugar is something I’ll always have to avoid or at least limit hardcore, I’d parted ways with pumpkin butter for the last couple of years.
Every ready-made version was loaded with sugar or corn syrup, and every recipe called for sugar, brown sugar or at least a large amount of apple juice (which is basically liquid sugar).
But this year I decided to try making it in my own way with just spices, a little fresh ginger and apple slices for extra sweetness.
Guess what? It worked. It’s just as good, if not better, because it’s pure, fresh and actually really good for you in its stripped down state.
The slowly cooked pumpkin ambers in the slow cooker and absorbs some sweetness from the apples, while the spices elevate it to the fall favorite it is.
Pumpkin is good for you in so many ways. It offers vitamin C and beta carotene which supports healthy immune and reproductive systems. It also lowers cancer risk and improves blood pressure levels.
Ginger is a well-known digestive aid and helps sooth the entire body and even combat arthritic pain and stiffness by reducing inflammation.
And apples have been linked to improving neurological function and even warding off dementia, as well as staving off breast cancers, reducing risk of stroke and lowering bad cholesterol.
So much good stuff, right? But it’s all negated the moment you dump half a bag of sugar in there. Sugar jacks up insulin levels and can lead to all kinds of problems like insulin resistance and diabetes over time. Some studies have even linked insulin resistance and refined sugar consumption with cancer.
Especially if you have, or are recovering from a candida overgrowth, refined sugar will make your condition worse as it feeds the yeast. Even “natural sweeteners” like coconut sugar and maple syrup can have too much of an effect on your glycemic index.
There’s a little natural sugar in pumpkin and apples, but if you eat a small amount of it, along with some green veggies and a little protein, you can enjoy it without feeling “out of it” and then suffering a sugar crash.
I’d caution that if you’re following a candida diet regimen, wait until you have your candida levels under control and can handle some carbs without feeling spacey or exhausted afterward.
I’ve just become aware of histamine intolerance too. Unfortunately pumpkin is a higher histamine food. So if you’re suffering from dry, itchy eyes and nasal drainage, I’d hold off on making this.
But if you’re in good health and spirits and have felt like you couldn’t enjoy creamy pumpkin butter to top your grain-free or gluten-free toast, I’m happy to give it back to you: pure, clean and with no added sugar.
- 1 15 oz can organic pumpkin purée
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- Half of a green apple cored and sliced
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- 1.5 tsp pumpkin spice
- ⅛ tsp clove
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- Put all ingredients in slow cooker and set to low.
- Let cook for 3 hours, stirring every hour.