Our Healthy Pumpkin Pie Recipe elevates a loved classic to wonderfully healthy, and it keeps all the flavor you expect. But don't just add it to your healthy Thanksgiving recipes; treat your family and friends all year with this super pie.
I tried so many recipes that I didn't like. Alternative pie crusts - didn't cut it. Crustless pumpkin pie - messy and missing something. Non-bake pie made with gelatin - the worst! This recipe shined above them all and is loved by our whole family.
The "pumpkin" part of this pie is already so packed with nutrients that you hardly have to do anything to it. We used fat-free evaporated milk to lower the fat and calories. I don't use sugar substitutes, so the sugar stays.
The crust is what gets us, isn't it? We used a whole grain barley crust. It has a mild flavor, and my kids approved it to get on the website.
There are two secrets to a truly spectacular healthy pumpkin pie: using a spring form pan and making the dough into cookie shapes.
The actual pumpkin filling is cooked without a crust. How do you get it out of the pan without destroying your beautiful pie? Use a springform pan.
But it's not a pie without pie crust.
We made the crust into separate leaf cutouts sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. I love to make pies, and I want a crust to taste like a crust, not like a healthy substitute. I liked the taste of these adorable little leaves much better than using the dough as a regular crust. The leaf cutouts are a lot like cookies (my daughter actually thought they were cookies). And they look beautiful.
Also, because the pie dough cutouts are separate, each person can choose how many (or none) they eat with their pumpkin pie. Everyone will love this healthy pumpkin pie and think you're a genius!
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 2 eggs
• 1 can pumpkin* (15 oz.)
• 1 can fat-free evaporated milk (12 oz.)
*not "pumpkin pie filling"
• 3/4 cup barley flour
• 1/2 cup flour
• 1 Tablespoon sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1-2 T. water with a splash of vinegar
• 2 Tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Line the bottom of a spring form pan with parchment paper. Spray the pan with cooking spray.
I follow the directions on the pumpkin can. Mix together dry ingredients in small bowl; set aside. In large bowl with a spout, beat eggs. Add pumpkin then stir in sugar mixture. Stir in fat-free evaporated milk slowly. Pour into spring form pan.
Bake 15 minutes at 425° F. Turn down temperature to 350° F and bake 50 minutes more. Cool pie completely.
Tear out two large sheets of parchment paper; lay out rolling pin.
Measure out dry ingredients and shortening in mixing bowl. With the paddle attachment (or your hands), mix until you see some larger and some smaller bits of solid dough. While it's mixing, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough comes together. It should look like it's about half mixed - not a solid ball but not dry crumbs, either. If it's really sticky, add a bit more flour. If it's really dry and hardly holds together, add a bit more water.
Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Roll into a large circle. Keep changing directions as you roll. If you have large cracks on the outer edge, just break off a little dough and replace it in a better spot then keep rolling.
Tip: Take the top parchment paper off and dust the dough with flour. Put the paper back on; flip the whole thing over so the flour-dusted side is the bottom. This helps immensely in getting the leaf cutouts off the paper.
Using a small leaf cookie cutter, cut out leaves and place on a cookie sheet. I got 64 leaves out of this dough.
Mix cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle on dough cutouts. Bake in 350° oven for 10-12 minutes.
When pie is cooled, remove the sides of the spring form pan. Use a thin spatula to gently remove pie from the bottom part of the pan. Place on a serving platter. Cut and serve with your pie crust cutouts. Add some real whipped cream* if you desire.
*Optional: Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
optional - 1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat with a wire whisk attachment for several minutes until the cream is fluffy.
This is the barley flour I used. Barley is milder tasting than whole wheat, and it is a finely ground flour. Barley helps control your blood sugar and keeps it from spiking.
I've had these leaf cutters for a long time, and they still look as good as the day I bought them. I really like the storage tin - it keeps them from getting dented and the bottom graphic shows how to get the leaves back into the tin.
A spring form pan really is necessary for this recipe. I tried other methods to make a crustless pumpkin pie, and they just didn't work. The spring form pan is the key.
After years of rolling out pie dough, this is by far my favorite rolling pin. I have better control of the dough by pressing my hands directly on the rolling pin, rather than using handles.
Pumpkin is a superstar food! It's low in calories and packed with nutrition, such as protein, calcium, iron, all minerals and most vitamins. Its' potassium and vitamin C prevents you from aging. Pumpkin is full of beta-carotene (like carrots), so it's great for eye, tissue, and skin health, as well as preventing cancer. It's heart healthy, prevents stroke, and boosts immunity. Eat more pumpkin!
Barley reduces cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. It promotes bowel health and slows digestion which helps blood sugar levels remain steady.
Cinnamon has many benefits in controlling blood sugar levels and actually lowers cholesterol. It may prevent Alzheimer's disease and help control multiple sclerosis
Ginger has been used for centuries in fighting nausea. Studies have shown ginger to reduce colon inflammation, reduce sore muscles from exercise, reduce blood pressure, and ease menstrual pain.
Cloves are actually the spice highest in antioxidants.
Eggs are a health powerhouse. They are full of protein and vitamins. An egg's nutrition assists our body functions from immune system, metabolism, reproduction, nervous system, blood health, etc., etc., etc.
Salt is essential to our health. It aids our nervous system and regulates water in our bodies.
Sugar isn't all bad. It's a carbohydrate which is our body's main source of energy and pretty much our brain's only source of energy. Keep your intake of sugar moderate and you can enjoy desserts without gaining weight.
Most people I know won't make a pie anymore because they fear that dreaded, fragile pie dough. Our crust for your healthy pumpkin pie takes away the hardest parts of dealing with a pie crust.
Beat in a mixer or with your hands until you see small clumps of dough. It should still have a crumbly look and be partly dry. Then add liquid one tablespoon at a time. (I make this easier by having a half cup of water with a splash of vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. You'll only use part of it.)
You've added the liquid and mixed the dough until it's no longer dry. I don't like to mix until it's a cohesive ball - I think that overworks the flour.
One of the best kept secrets of making pie dough is rolling it between two pieces of parchment paper. It doesn't fall apart. Keep rolling in different directions and don't roll to the very edge of the dough.
The dough doesn't roll into a perfect circle - it gets cracks on the edges. No problem. Just fold over the dough or break some off and reposition it to a better place. Put the top parchment paper back and keep rolling. You'll look like a pro.
This is a great tip for getting the leaf cutouts off the paper without sticking. Take the top parchment carefully off. Sprinkle and rub a little flour around. Replace the parchment paper. Then turn the whole contraption over - now the flour is on the bottom.
Use these great leaf dough cutters (like cookie cutters) - they're the perfect size for pies. With the bottom of the rolled-out dough dusted with flour, these are a breeze to move to your cookie sheet for baking.
This is what the beautiful dough cutouts look like after you've sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar and baked them.
Warning! You may have to hide these from your kids! My daughter ate most of these way before the healthy pumpkin pie was done. We have a joke now that she needs her barley. :)
You'll look like a master chef taking this to Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any special occasion. Pumpkin pie is my daughter's favorite pie, so we eat it anytime of the year.
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