Primal Pumpkin Flan to Swoon Over

Primal pumpkin flans with a kick!

Thanksgiving time is not the same without pumpkin pie. I love love love pumpkin pie. In fact I love pumpkin anything. I made a pumpkin chili the other day that was eaten so fast that I didn’t get pictures of it. Darn, guess I’ll have to make it again. This year is not going to be different, even though I am not eating grains.  I will have a pumpkin dessert on the table.

Pumpkins are royalty of the nutrition world. They take the throne in their lively color which is the herald of their strong content of beta carotene. Beta carotene… pause for applause….is one of the most amazing nutrients we can consume for overall health. It is an antioxidant that destroys free radicals in our systems, supports eye health, reduces the aging process and is linked to prevention of cancer and heart disease.  Wow, how good does it get!

The crowning glory of pumpkins is that there are only 83 calories and a mega 7 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked pumpkin! They are also a good source of Vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron. Pumpkins were aptly represented as the gilded vehicle in Cinderella.

I have once again, sacrificed myself, my husband and my mother to experiment on primal/ gluten free pumpkin desserts. (Love this job!) It started with one of my old favorite recipes that I got from Weight Watchers so long ago that it calls for a 16 oz can of pumpkin puree. (When did they turn those cans into 15 oz?)

It is a pumpkin flan that I make every year before Thanksgiving, ya know, just to get us in the mood.  It is ridiculously easy to make and very delicious.  I took that recipe and tweaked it a bit here and there and got an incredible dessert that is guilt and gluten free.  You’re going to love it! The chili powder and orange makes a wonderful and uncommon combo. Happy Thanksgiving!

Primal Pumpkin Flan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you want an elegant dessert, you can pop these out of the ramekins to serve. Serve with whip cream or whipped coconut cream and an orange slice on top. Leave them in the ramekins for a more casual affair.
Serves: 4
  • 1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of chipotle chili powder
  • Or ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder
  • ½ cup of maple syrup
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup of orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder
  • 4 ramekins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get out your ramekins and lightly oil them. Add the can of pumpkin puree to a mixing bowl then sprinkle all the spices on the puree. Mix well with a blender or by hand. Next, stir in the maple syrup, coconut milk, eggs and the orange zest.
  2. Mix this combo together well. In a small cup, add the arrowroot powder and slowly pour the orange juice into the bowl while mixing with a fork. You want the arrowroot powder to dissolve nicely so you won’t have any chunks. Pour this into the pumpkin mixture and mix a till well acquainted.
  3. Use a measuring cup to fill your ramekins up with the pumpkin goodness. Set ramekins in a high rimed baking dish and set in the oven. Pour hot water around the ramekins to a depth of one inch. Bake until these little nuggets are firm around the edges and slightly puffed, about 20-25 mins.
  4. The best way to get them out of the oven with out getting hot water sloshed on you is to remove them from the pan, one at a time. Let the water filled pan cool down in there after you turn the oven off.
  5. After they have cooled, tuck them in the fridge to chill. Serve with whipped cream sweetened with maple syrup and orange zest. Sprinkle with just a touch of chili powder before serving, if you dare!


  1. Leslie says

    Hi Dana

    Since reading your article about going primal, I’ve gone primal! GRRRRR. It’s been about 4 weeks now, and I am amazed at how much more energy I have. Thank you, thankyou, thankyou!

    For thanksgiving I was going to make a pumpkin pie with an Almond flour crust. Do you think that I could substitute your flan recipe for the pumpkin custard that I was going to use?

    By the way, the primal nut bars are amazing. I made the second batch for everyone at work who thought I was a little crazy about giving up grains, refined sugar and dairy. Hah! They sure changed their tune.

    • ziabaki says

      Very cool! I am so glad you are enjoying the benefits of this great way of life. Yes, I love those nut bars too. They are so good. I made a bunch for my husband to take backpacking with and he said they saved him!
      I think you could easily use this recipe for the filling of a pie. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
      Happy Thanksgiving! ♥

  2. Caitlyn says

    Is it ok to do this in just one large container, instead of multiple ramekins? If so, is there anything that needs to be done differently? Do you recommend a size is using one container?

    • ziabaki says

      I’ve always done it in ramekins. I don’t see why not try it in a bigger pan. Just watch the cooking time. let me know how it goes.:D

      • says

        I made the it in a 6-inch diameter round pan. The eggs were a bit on the small side so added one more. Set the oven for 2 hours to be on the safe side, the surface started to gel around 1 hour, then I forgot to check 🙂 by the end it was perfectly cooked! But probably would work in a shorter time. Turned out a great success at dinner!

  3. Alan Klee says

    Could you use the low-fat canned coconut milk for this or even the Drinkable carton coconut milk? I know it wouldn’t be as rich but I was just wandering. Also, do you by chance still have the original Weight Watchers Recipe handy? Thanks!

    • ziabaki says

      no no no on the low fat coconut milk drinking milk. If anything use low fat condensed milk but low fat products are highly processed and are mostly sugar. High fat is higher in protein and better for you.


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