Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kids In the Kitchen: Perfect Pie

Pie is a wonderful thing. It can be savory, like a quiche. Or it can be sweet like pumpkin pie. Unfortunately we tend to save pumpkin pie for fall and winter but it is almost the perfect food for young eaters. It is creamy, full of vitamin A and protein. Pumpkin pie is forgiving, add a little of this and a little of that and it is still good. This is a basic recipe, play around with it until you make it your own.
Add more flour to make it a bit sturdier for finger feeding, use a crust or not. Sweeten with regular sugar or use agave syrup. Blend up those peaches hanging from the tree or open a can of pumpkin. Make one low calorie and make one high calorie and keep the whole family healthy and happy.
Perfect for Me Pie
1/2 cup granulated sugar (see "customize" for sweetener ideas)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can of Pumpkin or Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato OR 2 cups pureed peaches
Dairy or alternative (see below for amounts)
2 Tablespoons wheat or tapioca flour

Bake in preheated 425° F. oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F.; bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until pies test done. This will make two shallow pies or one deep dish. You can also make in custard cups for individual pies.

Full of Dairy
High calorie: use 12 ounces of evaporated whole milk or 2 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese.
Low Calorie: use 12 ounces of evaporated NONFAT milk or 2 8 ounces of neufchatel cheese

No Dairy (Casein/milk free)
Use ¾ cup coconut milk instead of milk. Let the can of coconut milk settle a bit and just scoop out that nice thick milk. Don't add the water at the bottom of the can.

Sweeten it up
If you want to use honey, maple syrup or agave syrup, you will need to add a bit more of flour or tapioca flour to thicken your pie. Remember that agave is sweeter then sugar and you will need a bit less. Start with 1/4 to 1/3 cup and work your way up to 1/2 cup if needed.

Crust or Crustless
Crusts add crunch and some whole grain. You can use a graham cracker crust. Make one from graham crackers or a combination of graham crackers and breakfast cereal. If you are looking to go gluten free with the crust, you can use ground gluten free cookies or cereal for the crust. Add some ground almonds, pecans or walnuts to the crust to bump up the vitamins, minerals and protein.

Most importantly, sit down with your child, eat and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, my son has been requesting a pumpkin pie and he is allergic to dairy--finally something I can do!!! Coconut milk sounds good! I just found on one of the food allergy websites that manufacturers are putting out a new dairy free ice cream using coconut milk. I just bought some and am looking forward to seeing how my son likes them. Thank goodness he is NOT allergic to nuts!