Imagine that you’re one of Western Canada’s first pioneers, and you’ve just tasted your first pumpkin pie at a church potluck.

Your family is clamouring for more of it, and you would love to make them some, but you didn’t grow any pumpkins this year! Will everyone have to wait for next year before they can get that rich and warming autumn dessert again?

Perhaps for pumpkin, but there are plenty of carrots around just ready and waiting to be cooked up. I first found carrot pie decades ago in a pioneer womens’ cookbook and knew I had to try it. The sweetness of carrots, along with their deep orange shade make them a perfect and almost undetectable substitute for pumpkin.

The beta-carotene in orange pumpkins and carrots is not just visually cheerful. Warm orange veggies are good medicine against winter depression, too. So fill your menu up with orange to help combat the late-to-rise and early-to-set sun during the cooler months.

The traditional Christmas spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, are all a boost for your immune system. So add them to your food and drinks this season to warm your blood and beat the sniffles.

Recipe: Christmas Carrot Pie

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