We hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving and were able to sample some TG specialties (yes, thyme, sage and rosemary, favorite TG herbs, are IC friendly) thanks to a little Prelief and choosing apples over cranberries!

Here are two holiday dips to use on Christmas or New Year’s Day. Thank you, Marcia!

In a food processor, combine a 4-oz. package (not tub) room temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (if tolerated) and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth. Place in serving bowl.
Serve with sliced Gala or Fuji apples, Ace brand whole wheat bread (no preservatives) or graham crackers (if tolerated). Makes 2 cups.

pumpkin maple dip

In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add 2 large thinly sliced sweet onions (cooking onions sometimes makes them more tolerable); sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned, about 40 minutes. If onions start to burn, add a little water and stir. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Set aside 1 tablespoon onions for garnish. Place remainder in a food processor with 1 14-oz. can drained and rinsed white beans, 1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Place into serving bowl and top with reserved onions.
Serve with potato chips (check ingredients: IC friendly chips contain potatoes, vegetable oil, no soybean oil and salt) sliced veggies like IC friendly carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and our favorite, red, orange and yellow sweet bell peppers (green if tolerated), or a preservative free whole wheat pita or flat bread. Makes about 2 cups.
If you don’t have a food processor, a blender or hand mixer works.

bean dip


Tired of turkey? Here is an IC friendly fall entree that can also be used as a decorative and edible centerpiece! Experience a trip back in time when pumpkins were more than jack-o-lanterns. Be aware, although any round winter squash can be used, those old carving pumpkins are a tad stringy and less flavorful than other varieties. AND the recipe can be easily modified to be meat free.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2 – 4 pound sugar pumpkins (the smaller ones typically used for pie)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (4 ounce) package of diced pancetta (if tolerated or substitute plain ham or preservative free bacon. Eliminate for a meat free, more IC friendly version but add plenty of basil for the missing flavor)
1/2 sweet onion, diced (if tolerated or 4 teaspoons of minced garlic or 2 diced garlic cloves)
3 1/2 cups cooked, drained elbow pasta cooked 2 minutes less than package directions (about 8 minutes)
1 10 ounce box frozen spinach squeezed dry
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese (if tolerated) or shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (if tolerated)
1/2 cup heavy cream (or substitute 1/2 cup lowfat evaporated milk to lower fat content)

Cut an opening in top of each pumpkin: remove and reserve tops: scrape out seeds and season inside with salt.
Cook Pancetta, ham or bacon in a skillet over medium high heat until cooked, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels if necessary. Add onion to skillet and cook 5 minutes.
Combine pancetta, onion, pasta, spinach, Parmesan and Gruyere in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Level pumpkin bottoms with a knife without cutting through so they stay up-right. Divide Pasta mixture between pumpkins, packing tightly. Pour 1/2 cup cream over pasta in each pumpkin. set tops in place.
Bake pumpkins in a rimmed baking dish until flesh is easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes. Serve as is or scoop onto serving dishes scraping some pumpkin in each serving.

Adapted by Elizabeth Braun, MS, RD from Dash Recipes October 2013

Makes 6 large servings


ravioli with pumpkin sauce

  • 1/3 cup diced green onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fennel or anise seeds
  • 1 cup evaporated skimmed milk
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 9-ounce packages cheese ravioli
  • mozzarella or Parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. In a hot nonstick sprayed pan, stir 1/3 cup diced green onion, 1 clove of minced garlic and ½ tsp fennel or anise seeds until tender about 3 minutes and remove from heat.
  2. Combine 1 cup evaporated skimmed milk, 1 Tbsp flour, ¼ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp of black pepper (if tolerated) until smooth Stir into pan of browned onions and garlic and return to heat.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil until thick stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in ½ cup canned pumpkin and reduce heat to low for a few minutes and remove from heat.
  5. Cover to keep warm.
  6. Cook two 9 ounce packages of cheese ravioli according to package and drain.
  7. Serve sauce over ravioli and sprinkle with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

To see more pumpkin ideas, check out this post. 

10 IC Friendly Pumpkin Ideas

November 19, 2012

Pumpkin is not only IC friendly, but a nutrition powerhouse with only 40 calories per half cup, 3 times the daily requirement for vitamin A, 4 grams of fiber and a reasonable source of vitamin C, calcium and iron. Be sure to use fresh or plain canned pumpkin – the pumpkin pie filling has spices and sugar added. One 15-ounce can contains about 2 cups and one 5 pound fresh pumpkin yields about 3 cups after baking.


10 Things to do with canned pumpkin if you have IC:
Stir a spoonful into plain (or vanilla) yogurt and a bit of honey (cinnamon if tolerated)

  1. Add a dollop to a morning yogurt smoothie
  2. Makes a flavorful and nutritious addition to cheesecake recipes many of which can be made low fat and without the potentially IC irritating graham cracker or ginger snap crust
  3. Add about 1/3 cup to pancake batter making 8-10 pancakes. Add chopped apples and top with a little pure maple syrup
  4. Makes a delectable IC friendly sauce for cheese ravioli (for those handy in the kitchen, making pumpkin-stuffed ravioli is another option)
  5. A unique addition to risotto recipes in place of butternut squash
  6. Delicious and smooth as a savory fall soup
  7. Just stir a tsp or two into low fat cream cheese and a bit of honey for a new twist on breakfast bagels or English muffins
  8. From a 1980’s copy of Country Living Magazine: Beef and Pumpkin Stew
  9. A spoonful of canned pumpkin is an ideal addition to pet food to help older dogs with sensitive stomachs or cats prone to hairballs by keeping them “regular”. Dogs love it, not sure about cats.

Crustless Pumpkin Cheesecake

Savory Ravioli Pumpkin Sauce

Country Living Pumpkin Stew