Pumpkin pie is one of the best deserts because it is made with a healthy and tasty vegetable. In our house we have a joke as we eat our pumpkin pie that we are getting our daily serving of vegetables. Not completely healthy, I agree, but true nevertheless.
Pumpkin is Healthy!
Pumpkin is loaded with the important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Also found in carrots, this rich orange substance is great for our eyes and converts to vitamin A in the body. Pumpkin has Zinc, Vitamin C, Niacin, Folate, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Potassium. Pumpkin pie has lots of calcium and dietary fiber, all packed in a low calorie treat.
The only problem with pumpkin pie is the sugar and fat we add to it to make it a desert. Make a difference and try this altered recipe to decrease the harm so you can increase the enjoyment of holiday pumpkin pie.
The following recipe is adapted from the recipe found on the back of most pumpkin cans by substituting a healthy crust, reducing the sugar, increasing the ginger and cinnamon, and changing high calorie evaporated milk with low fat milk.
First the Crust
The first thing to change is the crust. Don’t ever use a store bought crust which will be high in calories, saturated fat, and high-glycemic white flour. Instead of butter, lard or hydrogenated vegetable oil use olive oil in your crust. Olive oil gives a crunchy taste, and is full of monounsaturated fatty acids which control cholesterol. It’s the perfect addition to our healthy pumpkin.
Crust For Two Pumpkin Pies
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Approx. ½ cup water
Mix the flour with the salt, and then add the olive oil. Stir until mixture is lumpy (no need to be well blended)
Add a half cup of water and then stir, adding more water a little at a time until you have a moist, but not sticky dough. Do not over mix.
Split the dough into two sections, roll out into pie crust, and flute into two 9” pie pans.
The Pumpkin Mix
- 1 large can pumpkin
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar (or less for an extra un-sweet pie)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 ½ cup low fat milk (2% or 1%)
Mix it all up with a whisk and pour into the two pie crusts.
Bake 15 minutes at 425, then reduce over to 350 and cook 45-50 minutes or until crust is brown and knife inserted in side of filling comes out clean.
Cool and eat… without whipped cream.