Especially this time of year, when it seems like holiday tables are sagging under the weight of desserts!
If only there were such a thing as a healthy pie…
Well, guess what? There is!
Not only are there healthy pie recipes, but there are ways to make your favorite pie recipes a little healthier without making many changes at all.
Tips to Make Your Favorite Pies HEALTHY Pies
1. Don’t use store-bought pie crust. The truth is that many pies don’t even need crusts, but for those that do, make your own. Using real ingredients that you can pronounce won’t necessarily cut any calories, but it will make your crust healthier than the chemical and preservative-laden ones from the grocery store baking aisle.
2. Try new flours. Most cooks use white flour in their crusts. But for a healthier pie, mix the crust flour up a bit. Try swapping in whole grain flour, nut flour, or even ground nuts for at least some of your white flour.
3. Cut the sugar. You can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe by as much as 25% before it starts to interfere with baking times or texture. While it may make your pies taste a little different, when using naturally sweet ingredients like fruit, sweet potato, or chocolate, you probably won’t miss it much – or at all!
Healthy Pie Recipes
Use those tips on your favorite pies – or try one of these healthy pies for a new take on some old traditions.
No-Crust Pumpkin Pie – remember we mentioned that some pies don’t need crusts? Here’s a perfect example. Makes 8 servings
- ¾ c granulated sugar
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- ½ t salt
- ½ t ground ginger
- ¼ t ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl.
- Beat eggs in a large bowl.
- Stir pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture in with eggs in large bowl.
- Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
- Pour into glass or ceramic baking dish.
- Bake until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack, then refrigerate overnight, until ready to serve.
Peanut Butter Yogurt Pie – this is a harder crust to make from scratch, but the rest of the pie is healthy enough that using a store-bought pie this time is an acceptable indulgence. Makes 10 servings.
- 32 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 9-inch crust chocolate cookie crust
- In a large mixing bowl, stir the yogurt and peanut butter with a wire whisk until blended.
- Spread into the prepared pie shell.
- Chill the pie overnight (the pie will be thicker the longer it is chilled). Serve cold.
Apple Baked Apple Pie – If you think the best part of a pie is the filling, but aren’t ready to give up the crust completely, this one’s for you. Serves 4.
- ½ recipe of your favorite pie crust
- 6 medium Granny Smith Apples
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1 t flour
- ½ t pumpkin pie spice
- ½ t cinnamon
- ½ c sugar
- 1 T sugar
- ½ t cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare and roll out your pie crust on parchment paper and place into the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
- Wash apples and cut the tops of four of them (do not peel). Hollow out the core and some of the apple to make an apple bowl.
- Place in an 8x8 glass baking dish
- Peel, core and dice the other 2 apples and place in a small bowl.
- Add lemon juice, flour, pumpkin pie spice, ½ t cinnamon, and ½ c sugar to the apples. Mix.
- Spoon apple mixture into the apple bowls. Pack slightly and fill to the top.
- Remove pie crust from the refrigerator and cut strips about 4 inches by ½ inch.
- Place 4 strips of the pie crust onto each apple in a lattice pattern.
- Combine 1 T sugar and ½ t cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of the pie crust lattice pattern on each apple.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden and apple is soft.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before moving out of the dish ( they are soft and can break if you are not careful).
- Serve warm.
Spiced Quinoa Pie Crust – not sure you’re ready for a crustless pie, no matter how healthy? But can’t bring yourself to make a traditional crust? Then try this one. Bonus, it’s gluten free!
- 1 c quinoa flour
- 2 T coconut sugar
- ¼ t baking powder
- ¼ t salt
- ½ t each ginger and cinnamon
- ¼ c coconut oil, semi-firm
- 3 T cold water
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease the base and sides of a standard pie plate.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add coconut oil and mash through with a fork until well combined and crumbly.
- Stir in 2 T of water first then add the final T if needed – ‘crumbs’ should hold together when pressed but not be wet.
- Turn into prepared pan and press evenly across base and up sides, using a large spoon.
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden.
- Fill with any healthy pie filling you love best.
Pie is great. But healthy pie – well, that’s even better. Enjoy!