Is dessert your favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast? Do you look forward to enjoying the classic fall flavors of pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, and ginger baked into delectable sweet treats? On the other hand, do you worry about the calories that are lurking in your favorite Thanksgiving desserts? Help is on the way!
Keep reading to find out how you can trim excess calories from classic Thanksgiving pies without sacrificing any flavor or decadence.
- Replace full fat butter with light butter or margarine in your pie crust and fillings. Light butter is butter that has been mixed
with canola or olive oil. Canola oil based light butter is best for dessert recipes as it does not have a distinct flavor like those
made with olive oil.
- Swap vegetable oil such as canola oil, light olive oil or grape seeds oil for lard. Instead of using animal-fat to make your pie crust light and flaky, use vegetable oil or a combination of light butter and vegetable oil. The flavor will be less gamey, but the savings in calories and fat are totally worth it.
- Use fat free pudding for your creme pies. Replace the traditional chocolate, lemon, and coconut creme pie fillings with fat-free puddings of the same flavor. If you really need the texture of a traditional creme pie filling, go ahead and prepare your favorite recipe, but swap out the full fat items your recipe calls for with low-fat or fat-free items.
- Swap skim milk and lemon juice for buttermilk. If your filling or crust recipe calls for buttermilk, use a combination of skim milk and lemon juice instead. A good ratio is 1 cup of skim milk plus 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. Fat-free buttermilk are available in some areas and could be used instead of full-fat buttermilk as well.
- Serve light whipped cream instead of full-fat whipped cream. Whip up light cream instead of full-fat cream to top your favorite pies.
Non-dairy whipped topping can also be used in place of whipped cream.
- Serve frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. If you love to serve your apple pie a la mode, pair it with vanilla frozen yogurt instead of vanilla ice cream. You could also try serving your fruit pies with a light vanilla ice cream.
- Cut the amount of sugar in your pie filling. Most pie fillings can easily lose ? of the sugar called for in the recipe and still turn out
well. Replacing sugar with some of the new sugar alternatives like stevia or monk fruit based sweeteners can also yield a delicious pie.
Be sure to choose a substitute that is appropriate for baking.
- Use an oatmeal or granola topping instead of a two-crust pie. A scattering of low-fat granola or oatmeal topping on your favorite apple or
berry pie instead of a full crust can save you both fat and calories.
- For a healthier pumpkin pie, use fat-free evaporated milk to make the custard and a graham cracker crust.
Try these healthier versions of your favorite Thanksgiving pies: Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Apple Pie, French Silk Pie, and Sweet Potato Pie.