dairy free options

Dairy-free Turmeric Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta

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It’s pumpkin everything season! Oh wait, I mean it’s fall!  We always see all kinds of super sweet pumpkin recipes pop up around this time of year.  If you’re wanting to indulge a bit this fall without taking a ride on the blood sugar roller coaster this Dairy-free Turmeric Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta is for you.

Why we love it

Did you know that a grande (16 oz) Pumpkin Spice Latte contains 50 grams of sugar?!  Yes, you read that right, fifty!  Starting your day off with a sugar bomb like that is sure to set you on the blood sugar roller coaster.  What is that you may ask?  In NTI’s course, Pathophysiology and Clinical Applications the blood sugar roller coaster effect, and other blood glucose dysregulation issues are covered in depth, but to briefly summarize what is happening in the body when you eat or drink an excess amount of sugar or highly processed carbohydrates let’s take a look…

The Blood Sugar Roller Coaster

The blood sugar roller coaster effect is triggered when blood sugar becomes too high.  When the body senses this, it then signals the pancreas to release a proportionate amount of insulin. This compensatory mechanism then lowers blood glucose to below the ideal range which causes cravings for more sugar, moodiness, and the stress response to bring blood glucose back up to an ideal level.  Have you ever gotten hangry, grumpy, or super sleepy after having a sugar bomb like a PSL?  Well, now you know why.

​​If you ride the blood sugar roller coaster too often then over time it will negatively influence insulin sensitivity.  If this pattern is not addressed through proper diet and lifestyle modification it can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.  Part of this strategy is eliminating or at the very least greatly reducing foods that have a high glucose load (aka sugary foods or highly processed carbohydrates).  While this Dairy-free Turmeric Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta certainly contains sugar (yes, maple syrup still counts), it also has coconut cream and coconut yogurt which are healthy fats that will help to slow the absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream and therefore not send you on the blood sugar roller coaster.

Additionally, this Dairy-free Turmeric Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta recipe contains lots of spices that are high in polyphenols which help to protect against the damaging effects of chronic blood glucose dysregulation.  Polyphenols have also been shown to improve blood sugar control and increase insulin sensitivity.

Nutrition Therapy for Diabetes

According to the most recent CDC data, it is estimated that over 130 million adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes in the United States.  Nutrition Therapists are in the perfect position to help those with blood glucose regulation issues and stop the progression of chronic disease.  If you’re passionate about nutrition and have been thinking about formal education, then Nutrition Therapy Institute’s in-depth, science-based curriculum is for you!

Join us for dinner on October 15th, to Dine & Discover the educational opportunities NTI offers and how can you make a positive impact by helping those in your community with their health and nutrition choices. A fantastic fall-inspired meal, including this Dairy-free Turmeric Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta, will be prepared by two NTI-certified Natural Food Chefs.  Tickets are only on sale through October 10th so don’t wait!  To see the full menu, explore the other perks of this event, and purchase tickets visit the Dine & Discover event page.  We hope to see you there!

Dairy-free Turmeric Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta

dairy free options
  • 1 ¾ cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ¼ cup plain coconut yogurt
  • 2 Tbs – ¼ cup maple syrup (depending on your preferences)
  • 1 ½  tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ½ tbs ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Pumpkin seeds and flaky or black lava salt for topping
  1. In a small bowl sprinkle unflavored gelatin over 2 Tbs warm water and let stand for 10 minutes
  2. In a small saucepan combine coconut cream, maple syrup, and all of the spices
  3. Cook over medium-low heat while stirring until the edges are simmering
  4. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and let stand 10 minutes
  5. Place pumpkin and coconut yogurt in a medium mixing bowl, strain in cream mixture and whisk until smooth and creamy
  6. Divide into serving dishes and refrigerate for 3 or more hours to set
  7. Top with sprouted “crispy” (pictured) or toasted pumpkin seeds and flaky salt, or black lava salt (pictured) if you want more of a Halloween vibe

Serves 4-6

Recipe by Jenn LePlatt, NFC, NTM candidate 

Want to learn how to create and prepare recipes like this?

Join our Natural Food Chef program! Jenn LePlatt, the creator of the recipe, used the knowledge and skills she gained in the NFC program to take a traditional panna cotta recipe and turn it into this deliciously spiced, dairy-free, fall-inspired delight. If you want to gain confidence in the kitchen and move away from following recipes word-for-word, ingredient-for-ingredient, and have the ability to make what you cook truly unique to you, then our 15-week Natural Chef program is the place you want to be.

To learn more about the program and all of the valuable skills you will gain from it, you can hear from our Chef Instructors directly by attending a cooking demonstration or get in touch with the NTI admissions team at ad********@nt*******.com.

Did you make this recipe?

We would love to hear your feedback, see your creations and share your recipe photo with the NTI community! Tag your photos on Instagram and/or Facebook with @ntischool, #ntieats, and #ntischool

Related Articles:

If you’re interested to learn more about the nutritional benefits of other ingredients in the Dairy-free Turmeric Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta see Why All Nutrition Therapists Love Pumpkins, Turmeric Benefits and Bioavailability, and Health Benefits of Pumpkin: Cinnamon.

About the Author: Amber Frazier is a self-proclaimed nutrition nerd.  She believes that life should be about thriving, not just surviving— and proper nutrition can help everyone do just that.  As a graduate of both the Nutrition Therapist Master and Natural Food Chef programs, she has experienced firsthand how powerful food can be. This drives her to help others come to the same realization.  Find her on Instagram at @realfoodthriving.

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