Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fresh Strawberry Pie Helps Celebrate Spring

For our Easter Sunday meal I wanted to create an impressive looking, but healthy dessert. With strawberries on sale for $2.00 per pound, I decided that I had to do something with them. I subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated magazine and enjoy reading the research and strategies they employ for each recipe. Their May/June issue featured a fresh strawberry pie. 
Well, I rarely follow any recipe exactly. I love to make a recipe my own. Sometimes I want to vary the recipe to make it healthier. In the case of the strawberry pie, I wanted to improve upon the crust instead of using a “traditional” pie crust. A traditional pie crust of flour, butter or vegetable shortening, and water may have 7 grams of total fat for 1/8 of the crust. If you use the already prepared pie crusts, watch out. They use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. The already prepared refrigerated pie crust where all you do is press it into a pie plate has 2.5 g of trans fat for 1/8 serving. Ouch!
I figured I could reduce the fat and especially the saturated fat by making a cookie crust. However, almost all of the boxes of graham crackers I looked at contained partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. I found that if I went to the organic/natural foods section of the store, I could find graham cracker bears and gingersnap cookies that had no partially hydrogenated fats. They cost a bit more, but I decided it was worth the added expense in this case.

So, I made my graham cracker crust on Saturday and froze it overnight.
I made the rest of the pie on Sunday. The recipe has you puree about 1/4 of the strawberries and cook it on the range top with pectin, sugar substitute, cornstarch and a little salt to thicken it.

Then you remove the gel and add gently fold in all of the remaining fresh strawberries. The pie turned out fabulous. It was impressive and healthy.

I suggest topping it with 1-1/2 tablespoons of nonfat honey vanilla yogurt.

One-eighth of the pie makes a serving and provides 214 calories, 5.5 g total fat, 0.4 g of saturated fat, and 4.5 g of dietary fiber. Because this pie is primarily strawberries, which are rich in vitamin C, you can meet 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin C with just 1 serving of this pie.
Here's the link to the full recipe.


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