Who doesn’t like pie? Pumpkin pie is the little something extra after a holiday meal that can satisfy your sweet tooth and mark the end to a special meal. But, if you’re health conscious you know the palate-pleasing sweetness and smooth texture doesn’t always come from the healthiest ingredients. The yummy news is that there are easy changes you can make to a classic pumpkin pie to bring it into the modern world so it reflects what we know today about health.
Three swaps in this pumpkin pie recipe decrease the glycemic index and amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol typically found in the classic concoction. Unrefined coconut sugar replaces refined white sugar. You’ll use unsweetened almond milk in place of dairy to keep calorie, cholesterol and saturated fat amounts down. And the easy to make pie crust includes heart-friendly olive oil, instead of shortening or butter.
Roll up your sleeves. Place your oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Tie on your apron. You’ve got some serious, but simple baking to do!
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Try this Healthier Take on the Traditional Dessert
Olive Oil Pie Crust
– 2 cups flour
– ½ tsp. salt
– ½ tsp. baking powder
In a separate small bowl whisk together:
– 7 tbsp. olive oil
– 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. cold water
Add oil/water mixture to flour, using a rubber spatula to combine. The dough should hold together. If it is too crumbly, add a bit more water. Shape it into a disc and place between two sheets of wax paper.
Roll out dough into a circle large enough to fit your pie plate. Remove dough from wax paper by folding it in half and unpeeling it into pie plate. Shape the edges.
Cover the edges with a rim protector or aluminum foil to avoid burning.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
Combine in a mixing bowl:
– 1 cup pureed pumpkin
– ½ cup unrefined coconut sugar
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– ½ tsp. nutmeg
– ½ tsp. Ginger
– ¾ cups unsweetened almond milk
– 2 eggs (or choose the VEGAN OPTION presented below.)
Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared crust.
Bake in 375-degree oven for 45 min. or until a fork poked in the center comes out clean.
Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
*VEGAN OPTION: Instead of eggs, use ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce and increase baking time to 55 minutes. Thoroughly chill pie before serving to increase firmness. The pie will not set as firmly or be as velvety as the egg version. But, it will retain its shape if baked and thoroughly chilled.
Top Your Pie with Pizazz
When you’re ready to dig in, you have three options. You can forgo a whipped topping and enjoy the flavor. Or add a dollop of coconut sugar whipped cream, which has a lower glycemic index than traditional whipped cream or coconut whipped topping, which is dairy-free.