Last December I entered my pumpkin pie recipe into a contest on the Today Show. The competition, titled "Too Good to be Healthy" was held by Joy Bauer, NBC's go-to Registered Dietitian (aka my idol). Sure enough, my pie got picked as a top three finalist and I was flown out to NYC to be on the Today Show segment where Willie Geist and Al Roker picked a winner live. Drumroll please... OK, I didn't win. BUT, my pie was far and away the healthiest and has been the requested dessert at all holiday gatherings so far this season. All in all it was such an incredible experience! I am always excited to share my passion for healthy living and was so thankful for the opportunity to continue spreading the word about fueling our bodies properly. Scroll down for the recipe and to see what makes this pie such a healthy alternative!
My stipulations when creating this pie were no oil and no added sugar. The ingredients I use to make this possible are primarily dates and pecans!
- Dates: One of nature's many gifts, dates are one of the best natural sweeteners. Not only are they sweet, but they contain high amounts of fiber, promoting good digestion and intestinal health.
- Pecans: These nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats which help decrease total cholesterol and increase HDL or "good" cholesterol. They are also full of antioxidants, minerals and protein.
Pumpkin Pie Nutrition Facts (for 1 slice when cut into 8 servings):
260 calories, 11 g protein, 12 g fat, 38 g carbs, 7 g fiber
Let's compare this to a Clif Bar (seasonal pumpkin flavor):
240 calories, 8 g protein, 4.5 g fat, 45 g carbs, 4 g fiber
The calories in each are comparable. Although the pie is higher in fat, these are healthy fats coming almost entirely from flax and pecans. There is actually more protein and fiber in the pumpkin pie!
So go ahead... enjoy a festive treat and feel good about it. Might I suggest you eat this pie for breakfast which will curb your sweet tooth later in the day, preventing the cookie tray binge :)
PUMPKIN PIE RECIPE
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 can pumpkin
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Soak dates for both crust and filling for ~10 minutes. (I boil my water first to help soften them).
- Drain dates for the crust and pulse in the food processor with remaining crust ingredients until combined. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan.
- Drain dates for the filling and add to the food processor with remaining filling ingredients. Blend until smooth and pour into crust.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving. (This will allow it to set up).