This simple custard is so easy-on-the-belly, plus ALL of the ingredients are considered digestive tonics in Chinese medicine. It’s pretty darn tasty too.

I highly recommend baked or steamed squash, rather than buying canned—but feel free to use whatever is easiest for you. If you prefer a more delicate custard, pumpkin and Hubbard squash are great options. For a denser custard, you might want to try buttercup, kabocha, or red curry squash. There are so many wonderful varieties out there. You can’t go wrong.

One thing that sets this custard apart from a typical pumpkin pie filling is the amount of sugar. Since the squash is naturally sweet, you don’t need much sweetener at all—and that’s important when you have digestive issues. 

According to Chinese medicine, a little bit of sweet can tonify to your digestion. Too much sweet can damage it.

This one (I think) is just right.

Pumpkin (or Squash) Custard

Makes about 5-6 cups
Prep time: ~10 minutes | Cook time: ~45 minutes

Helpful tools

Mixer or whisk and bowl
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Rubber spatula
Pie plate or small baking dish


2 large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon*
1/4 tsp ginger*
1/4 tsp nutmeg*
1/4 tsp cloves*
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1-3 tbs honey or maple syrup (see notes)
2 heaping cups of cooked winter squash
1 cup coconut milk or cream (see notes)

*All spices are optional and flexible. Trust your gut.


1. Preheat oven to 375º F.

2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs.

3. Add in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, vanilla, honey or maple syrup, and squash or pumpkin. Beat some more.

4. Stir in coconut milk. If lumpy, beat until smooth.

5. Pour mixture into pie plate or baking dish.

6. Bake 50-60 minutes or until the tip of a knife comes out somewhat clean.

7. Let sit for at least 30 minutes (ideally, longer). Refrigerate leftovers. I think it tastes even better the next day!


Coconut cream makes for a slightly thicker custard than coconut milk. Sometimes, I skim off the thick part of regular coconut milk, rather than stirring or shaking the can. It usually works out to be about a cup. Use the leftover coconut milk in oatmeal, curry, etc.

Honey tends to be much sweeter than maple syrup. I sometimes only use a heaping tablespoon and believe it or not, that’s plenty! If I use maple syrup, I might up it to 2 tbs, depending on what kind of squash I use. But don’t take my word for it. Play around and find your preferred (and tolerated) level of sweetness.

However you choose to make it, I hope you like it and it makes you feel good.