Oct. 27, 2002 – This is all treat, no trick! A pumpkin pie recipe for Halloween and the holidays ahead that is a heart-healthy dessert that's also delicious.
Start with the crust. For fat, this recipe has just a tad of oil, along with almonds that contain healthful mono-unsaturated fats. The sugar content is low, and tummy pleasing fiber comes in the oats and whole-wheat flour. Put it all together, and you've got a yummy crunchy crust.
Then for the filling, start with fresh West Indian pumpkin or calabaza instead of canned pumpkin puree. To soften the pumpkin, bake it in the oven, rather than boiling it. Boiling leaves the bright orange vegetable's flesh too full of water, and you'll have a runny pie.
To bake pumpkin:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut the pumpkin into small, manageable pieces and cut off the pith and seeds.
3. Place cut pumpkin skin side up in a large roasting pan. Add 1/4 cup of water and bake uncovered for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. When cooled, cut away skin and mash or puree. Use in any recipe that calls for canned pureed pumpkin.
In the recipe here, other healthful advantages to the filling include the use of evaporated skimmed milk and only one egg.
The proof of this recipe comes in the eating. Just try making a pie for your holiday celebrations.
Healthful Pumpkin Pie
For the crust:
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 tablespoon water
For the filling:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
One egg, beaten
4 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 cup mashed pumpkin
2/3 cup evaporated skimmed milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
For the crust: Mix oats, flour, almonds, sugar and salt together in small mixing bowl. Blend oil and water together in measuring cup with fork or small wire whisk until emulsified. Add oil mixture to dry ingredients and mix well. If needed, add small amount of water to hold mixture together.
Press into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until light brown. Turn down oven to 350 degrees F.
For the filling: Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to blend ingredients. Add pumpkin and milk and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pie shell. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees F., or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
Serves 8. Per serving: 177 calories, 8 gms fat (30 percent fat calories), 24 mg cholesterol, 153 mg sodium.

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