Pumpkin Chiffon – Migraine Friendly Food


Hello faithful readers!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a proper recipe. This is because I like to post recipes I’m pretty confident in. And recently I’ve had to get used to a very different kind of cooking.

Those of you readers who know us in real life probably know that Colin has been suffering from vestibular migraines constantly since mid-July. We are now at the point of trying to see if a change in diet will alleviate symptoms. This has been painful because a lot of my basic ingredients are (literally) off the table. Onions. Guys, no onions. I can’t even! (Fortunately for Colin, garlic is still allowed). Not only that, but a lot of lists are contradictory and incomplete.

So the big things on Colin’s list o’ possible trigger foods:

  • No gluten (I can cope with this. Every so often we go paleo/ gluten free)
  • No nitrites (lunchmeat, bacon, sausages – this was painful because sausages are one of our go-to dinners)
  • No tyramine (this is an amino acid found in some aged foods – most cheese, potatoes, fermented/ smoked/ preserved food, beans, stock and broth – This one is difficult.)
  • No eggs (I’m crying)
  • No tannins (various fruits, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves)
  • No onions (other alliums seem to be okay)
  • No alcohol
  • No chocolate
  • No nuts

Thanksgiving was a little challenging, but we pulled it off. (It really is a “we” effort. Colin is a very capable and necessary sous when I overcommit and get myself in the merde.) It is important to me, especially for the holidays, that food made with dietary requirements not feel like a sad excuse for a dish. Sometimes this means adjustments to a dish and sometimes it’s going off in a completely different direction.

And sometimes you discover something that’s even better than the standard version of what you’ve been making since forever.

On to the food!

So, let’s have some hard truth about pumpkin pie. It’s time for some dessert realness.

Does anybody actually like pumpkin pie?

Or do we just like the massive amounts of whipped cream that we heap on top that gets eaten with the filling?

Well, here is a recipe that makes what you really want after a massive thanksgiving meal. A fast, light dessert that has the best parts of pumpkin pie with whipped cream (the flavor of the pie and the texture of the cream) without the negatives (the heaviness of custard pie sitting on half a turkey and a panfull of stuffing I just ate).

Pumpkin Chiffon

Procs: About eight normal portions or six Thanksgiving sized ones.

Time: Whipping the cream takes the longest

Equipment: An electric beater or stand mixer will make whipping the cream easier, but you can certainly use a balloon whisk and mixing bowl.


  • 15 oz (1 small can) of Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)
  • 3 cups of cream (divided)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • Spices
    • You can use regular pumpkin pie spices
    • I used cardamom, pepper, and ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 rounded tbsp of Powdered sugar (optional, depending on how sweet you like your whipped cream/ desserts)
  • Few drops of vanilla (optional – not migraine safe)
  • Garnish:
    • Something crunchy would be nice here. Crushed graham crackers or gingersnaps, pulverized candied nuts, etc

Walkthrough: Whipped Cream

  1. Place bowl and whisk (or whisk attachment) and cream in the freezer for five minutes.
  2. Pour 2 cups of cream (or more if you need it for other desserts too) into bowl and add sugar and vanilla.
  3. Mix at medium high speed until the cream forms firm peaks (if you lift the beater out of the bowl the whipped cream forms a peak then the cream is whipped).
  4. Set aside.

Note: You can make more whipped cream at this stage if you need it for other desserts or you have a nephew and/or spouse who insist on filling their mouths full of whipped cream and yelling “mad dog!” as they run through the kitchen.

Walkthrough: Pumpkin Chiffon

  1. In a small saucepan combine 1 cup of cream with the pumpkin, sugar, spices, and pinch of salt
  2. Let simmer over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and correct seasoning.
  3. Pour pumpkin mixture into a mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. (This would be a great time to make the whipped cream)
  4. Once the pumpkin mixture has cooled, use a spatula to gently fold in the whipped cream.
  5. Top with optional garnish and serve

(Author’s note: Colin has eaten all of it before I had a chance to photograph it. So while it may keep longer than two days, it probably won’t last that long.)


One Comment

  1. Margret Speight says:

    Great post! I should have had my camera out to record the “mad dog” scene!


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