It has always bothered me that statistics show Americans gain anywhere from 1-7 pounds over the holidays. This is a bummer as I love the holidays because I get to spend time with friends and family during a designated period. The atmosphere is warm and cozy, spirits are bright, and even the Grinch of the group is content. So why spoil one of the best times of the year by hurting your health? It is absolutely unnecessary to pack on the pounds during the cheeriest time of the year!
So how do you keep yourself from over eating or eating the unhealthy dishes? For one, don’t let yourself become so hungry that you binge eat. Eat healthy snacks throughout the day so when it is time to sit down for the big meal, you have control over your thoughts and can think about what you are putting on your plate. Two, allow yourself a little bit of everything you are craving. I am not one to cut out foods that I love, I either find a healthy alternative that is just as satisfying, or I allow myself a small portion of the craved food. Small portion is key here. Three, make healthy dishes in the first place. It is a lot easier to eat nourishing foods when the spread is pretty healthy in general. Even classic recipes can be made better for you by simply cutting back on butter or sugar. Most of the time you can’t even tell the difference!
This brings me to one of my favorite guilty pleasure holiday dishes – pumpkin pie. I find it is a love it or hate it dish, but I am quite the fan. However, I often feel guilty as I slice myself a piece and eat it with my morning coffee. I love to start the day off with a healthy breakfast, so pumpkin pie would not normally be my first choice. I decided I needed to change that fact. As I am writing to you now, I am sipping a cup of hot coffee and shoveling this new and improved pumpkin pie into my gaping mouth. It is pretty much guilt free, although it still has more sugar than is ideal, most of it is natural sugar instead of processed.
This pie is lighter and more fluffy than the traditional, more dense pumpkin pie. It is creamy with a soft graham cracker crust that perfectly compliments the fall spices and fiber rich pumpkin. The cashews add a little protein boost too! The beauty of this pie is that it is not only a sweet treat, but you are actually putting good foods into your body as well. It is so satisfying to curb a craving while nourishing my body! I hope you give this pie a shot and let me know what you think! Tag me @peppers_peaches and/or use my hashtag #peppersandpeaches on instagram or twitter!
Oh, I almost forgot! If you have a little extra pie filling you can mix it with some flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a scoop of almond butter. Mix it together and make muffins! I eye balled this part so I don’t have exact measurements. The muffins are pretty tasty though! I’ll make them again and get an actual recipe out! Waste not 🙂
- 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained
- 8 whole graham crackers
- 3 tbs coconut oil
- 1-2 tbs water
- Pie Filling:
- ½ can coconut milk (shake can before measuring)
- ½ block silken tofu (1/2 lb)
- 1 cup soaked cashews (should be 1 cup after soaking as they expand when soaked)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ can pumpkin
- 1 small really ripe banana
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbs corn starch
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp pumpkin spice
- ½ tsp ginger
- Dash nutmeg
- Dash allspice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add dates to food processor and pulse until starts to become creamy. Then add graham crackers and oil. Pulse until fully combined.
- If mixture is crumbly, add 1 tbs of water and pulse some more. Add the other tbs water if still crumbly. You want the mixture to stick to itself and become stick and moldable.
- Press crust mixture into an oiled pie dish. My dish is pretty shallow so if you have a deep dish you may need to make more of the crust.
- Next, combine all the pie ingredients into a high powered blender. Blend until completely smooth.
- Pour into pie pan on top of crust.
- Place in oven and allow to cook for 35 minutes or so. You want it to be slightly browned and cracking on top.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a counter top. Then palce in fridge and chill for at least 4 hours. Best served cold. Will keep for about a week.