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Maple Pumpkin Flan

By August 17, 2010December 3rd, 2020Dairy Free, Desserts, Holiday Recipes, Vegetarian


Hi Maria, I would like to toss my hat in the ring with your other success stories!

I am 46 and have never had known health issues or trouble with my weight- I was on the self-professed “all carb diet”. About a year ago, I began to gradually pick up a pound here and there and my husband did as well.  This time around, however, cutting back on calories did not help us lose the weight!

I started looking into different diet approaches and came across your blog…. Needless to say I was at first very hesitant- how in the world could I live without my morning bagel?  But I decided to give it a try, just for a week, I told myself.  I was completely unprepared for how amazing I would feel almost instantly.  I had so much energy I could literally not sit still and lost 5 pounds in the first week- AND I was eating more than ever (all those ‘forbidden’ foods like eggs! Haha)

My mother was type ll diabetic, but since I had no obvious symptoms I had not been concerned- my fasting BS was fine and my doc sent me on my way.

After researching Insulin and Glucose I went back to the doctor and asked to have and A1c done in addition to my other bloodwork.  Sure enough I was pre-diabetic!  Sooooooo, by the time your fasting blood sugar is high, you have already done THAT MUCH MORE damage to your body!  I am so glad I ordered that test! Now I am really serious about this change in diet/lifestyle- I purchased all your books and cleaned out my pantry.

In just 8 months I have reversed diabetics.  My fasting sugar is very low, A1c is also- but the really cool thing is when I do have something sweet (like strawberries) my sugar does NOT shoot up like it used to!  This tells me my insulin sensitivity is returning- I was terrified of becoming insulin dependent and this is so encouraging!

 Another bonus? My cholesterol is absolutely PERFECT.  Even my doctor is blown away and I am hoping she will begin counseling her patients differently.

My husband has had a different effect from junk foods- his hormones are completely out of whack and the weight is coming off very slowly- he feels so much better though, so is not having any trouble saying no to the junk- his blood work is also coming back perfect, telling us his body is healing also.

My son has suffered from seizures for several years- you guessed it, the seizures are almost non existent now!

It has been very interesting to see the effects of highly processed foods within our own family.

I have tried many low carb recipes and we really enjoy yours Maria- everything is very flavorful and I have had a great time experimenting!  I recommend your blog/books to everyone! Keep up the great work Maria!

Click HERE to start your journey to a keto-adapted diet!


For every molecule of sugar we ingest, our bodies use 54 molecules of magnesium to process it! No matter where the carbohydrates come from; 4 grams of carbohydrates equal one teaspoon of sugar in our body. Let me say that again…4 grams of carbohydrates equal 1 teaspoon of sugar in our body. So with that thought, a small Blizzard has 530 calories and 83 grams of carbohydrates; which equals 21 teaspoons of sugar. A nine-ounce bag of potato chips equals 32 teaspoons of sugar…add a soda, that’s another 16 teaspoons of sugar.

A high sugar and starch diet increases the production of cortisol. Cortisol also regulates urinary excretion on magnesium. Magnesium is a miracle mineral that is needed for over 300 reactions in your body. It is needed to make serotonin, a deficiency causes high blood pressure, frequent urination, muscle cramps, restless leg, headaches, it also can cause chocolate cravings!

flanAre your kids having a hard time falling asleep? Most people are deficient in magnesium, including children. A magnesium deficiency can have serious consequences, including low serotonin. Magnesium and serotonin don’t just help to regulate your mood, they also can affect your physiology in many ways. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that sends signals of satiety, satisfaction, and relaxation. It also regulates our appetite and influences sleep cycles; if serotonin is low, melatonin will be low. So low magnesium can lead to over-eating, depression, insomnia and other serious issues including migraine headaches. Find more fun facts like this in my kid’s color cookbook. Click HERE to find.



5 eggs
1 cup pumpkin, canned
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp Redmonds Real Salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup Swerve (or erythritol and 1 tsp stevia glycerite)
1 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk

OPTIONAL: Nature’s Hollow Maple Syrup

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Boil water in a tea kettle and set aside. Grease a large muffin tin or cake pan generously with coconut oil.

In a large bowl add the eggs and sweetener and mix gently. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well but not frothy. Pour the egg mixture into the greased pan (or large muffin tin). Place the flan filled pan into the roasting pan (water bath). Put the two pans into the preheated oven and add boiling water an inch or two up the sides of the custard pan. Cooking the custard surrounded by the water is called a bain-marie. It distributes the heat more evenly. Cook the pumpkin flan for 45 minutes in a 325-degree oven. Check for doneness by inserting a sharp thin knife into the center of the flan. If it comes out clean it is done. If desired, top with Nature’s Hollow Syrup. Makes 8 servings.

Traditional Pumpkin Flan = 188 calories, 10g fat, 5g protein, 22 carbs, 0.9g fiber (21.1 effective carbs)
“Healthified” Flan (cream and almond milk) = 106 calories, 8.8g fat, 4.2g protein, 3.4 carbs, 1g fiber (2.4 effective carbs)
“Healthified” Pumpkin Flan (coconut milk) = 124 calories, 10g fat, 4.6g protein, 4.6g carbs, 1.7g fiber (2.9 effective carbs)

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • This looks beautiful! I’m going to try this recipe this week, with only coconut milk for the dairy and using only stevia to make it GAPS friendly. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Caroline says:

    Hey Maria,
    I love the addition of “Magnesium Miracle!” I love looking through your great recipes, but I also greatly value all the wonderful information you provide. Now I can look for great recipes and specific topics of health. Thanks for the addition in the title!

  • Super recipe! Here in the UK we don’t eat pumpkin all the that much, which I think is a real shame, as pumpkin and pumpkin seads are so tasty and also super good for you, and especially good for high blood pressure.

  • Amanda Neppl says:

    Hi Maria, thank you for the work you do! I recently purchased ‘Eating Healthy for Kids’ and have made a couple of the recipes with great success.
    My question is regarding the sweetener- for someone like me who has lived as a sugar addict, do I need to go ‘cold turkey’ for awhile before using artificial sweeteners to help kick the cravings in the first place? Also, does the artificial sweetener increase insulin production just because my brain recognizes something sweet?
    Thank you so much for your time and helping get my family on the path to health!

  • Dr. Mark says:

    Awesome testimonial on reversing type 2 diabetes. So many people think this is a genetic disease and that there is nothing they can do. Congrats to her for doing the research, then the work, and getting herself well again. We are the cause of our own suffering most of the time, and this woman will live well now that she has discovered the truth. Excellent!

  • Catherine says:

    Sending this recipe to my Mom, she’ll make it for me . I LOVE pumpkin and flan and I just know baby will be pleased with this treat as well!

  • Margarita says:

    How do I measure Swerve as a replacement for Stevia? I know this recipe calls or Swerve, I am trying to make some of your other recipes and they have directions to use Swerve and then (for example) add 1/2 teaspoon of Stevia. My son seems to be getting tummy aches from the Stevia, it seems what does not bother me, bothers him! Also would there be a reason that coconut four would be an issue, is it possible that my son just can not digest it properly? And what would be a good sub for coconut flour? Sorry for all the questions I have been following your advice an recipes, I just want my son to feel good, thanks in advance!

    • I haven’t heard of anyone having an issue with Stevia before. It could be coconut flour as it is very high in fiber. If he isn’t used to getting a lot of fiber in his diet it will take a little while for his system to get used to it (which is good because fiber is important for our diets and most of us don’t get enough). 🙂

  • chrysta says:

    Hey Maria! I had a question about Swerve. I usually use stevia only and I was curious about Swerve. How is it different? Also I know some ‘0’ calorie sweeteners arent actually 0 calorie. Is this true for swerve as well? LOVE your website by the way. What a wealth of amazing info! Have a wonderful day!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Maria,
    I really can’t wait to try this, it looks delicious! Can you specify the size can of pumpkin you use? Here in Canada it comes in two sizes: 398 ml (14 oz) or 28 oz.
    Thank you!

  • Martha says:

    I am pre-diabetic and starting to think I have to get more magnesium. I think the lack of energy is a deficiency. I am going to pick up a supplement and start eating more the right foods. I have been getting leg cramps at night, too.

  • Val says:

    I was wondering if the coconut milk substitute is canned, full fat milk or a drinking coconut milk like So Delicious? This looks delicious:-)


  • Anonymous says:

    When you say coconut cream as a dairy alternative in all your recipes, do you mean skimming the coconut cream from the top of the can, or do you mean the very thick, pureed coconut called “coconut cream”?
    thank you

  • Marisol says:

    Thank you, Thank you! I’ve been needing a low carb flan recipe.

  • Kathryn Arnold says:

    Sigh…no Pin It button for us mobiles.

  • Susan says:

    I made this today, it was amazing! Ohhhhhhh my!!

  • anita says:

    In the oven now. 🙂 Do I let this cool or do I go ahead and invert immediately? I’ve heard that Swerve will stick to the bottom…. Thanks!

  • Madeleine says:

    In New Zealand, where I am, we do not have canned pumpkin. Could I substitute steamed, pureed, pumpkin? Would it need to be a particular type of pumpkin?
    We also do not have Swerve. I have Stevia drops and Stevia powder that is supposed to measure spoon for spoon. Can I use that? How much?
    Thanks 🙂

  • Maritza says:

    Delicious, thanks a lot!!

  • Natasha says:

    Hi! I went to the health food store to buy the magnesium you recommend. They had something called Magnesium Bisglycinate. Is it OK?

  • Nando says:

    Would this work without the canned pumpkin? In the mood some classic flan… thanks in advance!

    • cemmerich says:

      I think that would work. Just make sure it is just pumpkin, not pie filling. That has a lot of added sugar. 😉

  • Lyn says:

    Hello, and I am not sure you will still respond to this post because it is older, but here goes:
    I ordered a case of the Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Maple Syrup. I was very
    disappointed by two things when it arrived.

    The first is that there are 19 grams of carbs in a 1/4 cup serving. How can this be good?
    It does say that it has 17 grams of sugar alcohol in it. Does that cancel out the carbs in some way?

    Second, that it has caramel coloring in it, which I thought is supposed to be a bad thing to consume.
    Do you have other options for syrup? I have all you cookbooks, so I will start to investigate the latter

    Thanks for all you do, Lyn

  • Lyn says:

    Thank you SO much for your response. Just to clarify: The 17 sugar alcohols cancel out the 19 carbs? So, net 2 carbs? Thank you~

  • Lyn says:

    And also, while we are on the topic of sugars. I am surprised to see how many carbs are in Swerve. Is there anything that cancels out those carbs? I made the Crème brûlée a few days ago and went up in weight about a 1/2 pound.
    I really want to make so many of your desserts, but all those carbs cause me to hesitate. Thank you!

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Yes, the carbs in Swerve are from sugar alcohols and don’t count either (that is why there is 0 calories). 🙂

  • Lyn says:

    You have made my day!! Thank you! Need to get reading my books to get all this great info!

  • Kira says:

    I just made this one, and it’s delicious. However, I think the nutrition info you’ve posted for the version with heavy cream is off. My Fitness Pal has just over 160 calories for me when I entered it. (I almost doubled the portions given how light on calories it showed… Glad now that I didn’t!)

  • R says:

    I’m egg free, is there something to sub the eggs with so I can try this? Thanks

  • Liz says:

    What can I substitute for the pumpkin to make a plain or caramel flan? I’m not a fan of pumpkin.

  • ML says:

    My very picky 5 year old girl loved this and requested this for breakfast too! Awesome recipe…I loved this just as much:)

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