As a little girl, whenever my family celebrated a major holiday, we would give thanks for the food we were about to eat. Each time, I wondered why we only gave thanks on holidays and special occasions.

In many cultures around the world, it’s customary to say words of gratitude before every meal. The Japanese use the phrase “Itadakimasu,” which means “I humbly receive,” and the French say “bon appetit,” which means “enjoy your meal.”

This time of year, as many of us prepare to sit down and share a meal, perhaps we can extend our thanks to those who helped. Like the farmers who grew the vegetables, the rancher who raised the turkey, and the trucker who delivered it all to a local store.

I consider myself a thoughtful person, but from now on I plan to think a lot more about what it is I’m really thankful for, like the pleasure of making good food for loved ones. I’m especially grateful for easy-to-prepare treats like this Pumpkin Custard, which is grain free, dairy-free, and free of refined sugar. You can make it up to two days ahead, which makes it the perfect end to any Thanksgiving celebration.



2 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) can of pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice blend
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut milk
4 cups boiling water

• Preheat oven to 350 F.

• Put kettle on to boil water.

• Add eggs to a large bowl and beat lightly.

• Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

• Fill four 4-ounce ramekins with custard.

• Place ramekins in 13 × 9 baking dish and set on middle rack of oven.

• Add boiling water to baking dish to 1-inch depth.

• Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

• Carefully remove from oven and set ramekins on wire rack to cool.

• Serve with whipped coconut cream.

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"You can make it up to two days ahead, which makes it the perfect end to any Thanksgiving celebration."