Make your Holiday Healthy and use Gluten-Free Pie Crust
Delicious Gluten-Free Holiday Pie Crust Alternatives
We all hear the phrase "gluten-free" being thrown around more and more as more people are identified as having celiac disease, Crohn's disease, gluten intolerance or even gluten sensitivities. The good news is that the increasing awareness has led to an increasing demand and need for more gluten-free alternatives in the kitchen. It is also increasing the demand for gluten-free pie recipes around the holidays, as well as gluten-free breads, tortillas, baked good and much more.
During the winter season, holiday pies are especially popular. People are baking apple pies, cherry pies, and many other types of holiday pies but the two most common are pumpkin pies and pecan pies. With most pies, the ingredient that typically contains gluten is the crust; however, there are many different types of gluten-free pie crusts you can make over the holiday season. Moreover, with most gluten-free pie recipes, you can also use them for savory dishes like gluten free pot pies and quiche.
When it comes to gluten-free pie crusts, there are several approaches you can take to different recipes. The main thing to keep in mind is that gluten acts as a binder, meaning it adds elasticity to dough and helps it rise while having the shape and texture we associate with many baked goods. Gluten is a protein and acts like a glue to help keep food together so that the cookie doesn't crumble in your hand. The bad news is that gluten can have the same "glue" effect when it makes its way through your digestive system, as it can glue and bind to the digestive tract and, for many people, cause all kinds of havoc to their bodies. Luckily, there are many gluten-free alternatives for baking that will provide you with the familiar texture of your favorite baked treats without the adverse digestive effects of gluten.
There are two main approaches to creating gluten-free pie crusts, and the one that works best for you may vary depending on the dish you are baking. Each recipe uses an ingredient designed to help hold the bind and shape of your crust. One way to make gluten-free pie crusts is to incorporate gluten-free flour, like an Eatnuts.com Almond Flour. Or you can use a blend of different gluten-free flours like Eatnuts.com Almond Flour, rice flour, coconut flour, or most any gluten-free flour substitute. This sort of gluten-free pie crust resembles more of a light and flaky crust that you may find on an apple, cherry or pot pie. It is also the gluten free crust option you would use for savory dish substitutes like quiche and pot pie. Typically, this type of gluten-free recipe will include eggs and coconut oil as the ingredients to help keep the crust bound together.
The second type of gluten-free pie crust you may use is a crust made out of nuts like Eatnuts.com Chopped Pecans, Eatnuts.com Natural Almonds, Eatnuts.com Chopped Walnuts and will typically call for sticky-textured ingredients likes dates (or other dried fruits) to help bind the crust together. This gluten-free pie crust option lends itself especially well to raw and vegan recipes in addition to sweet dishes. It is the perfect option to use for healthy holiday pumpkin pie recipes, whether you make a large pie or small tarts with a tart/muffin tray. This type of gluten-free pie crust would not be best showcased in a savory dishes since the binder typically brings a sweetness element into the crust and because the texture of this crust is not flaky and smooth but rather more coarse and sticky.
Below you will find two basic gluten-free pie crust variations. You are welcome to experiment and use your imagination to substitute ingredients as needed. Getting a little creative and resourceful with recipes can help us discover new favorite flavors and adds to the fun of baking. When spending time in the kitchen and making recipes, we should maintain a fun, light and loving energy as we put that vibration into the food we are making and later consuming.
Simple Nut Pie Crust Ingredients:
2 cups Eatnuts.com Pecan Pieces or Eatnuts.com Walnut Pieces
3 pitted Eatnuts.com Medjool Dates
2 tablespoons one of the following melted: coconut oil or butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and either use cooking spray or coconut oil to line a 8 or 9" pie pan to avoid sticking.
- In a food processor, pulse together the pecans and dates until finely chopped.
- Add the coconut oil or butter (melted) and cinnamon and continue to process until it becomes doughy.
- Press the dough into a prepared pan, covering the bottom and side surfaces evenly.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until it becomes lightly golden brown.
- Allow the crust to cool completely before filling.
Simple Gluten-Free Pie Crust Ingredients:
2 cups Eatnuts.com Almond Flour, coconut flour or another gluten free flour substitute
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter 1 large egg
Optional (sweet dishes):
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Use cooking spray or coconut oil to line an 8" or 9" pie dish to avoid sticking.
- In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt.
- Add coconut oil or butter and egg and continue to pulse until it begins to form a ball.
- Press dough into pie dish.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow crust to cool before filling the pie.
Now that you have your crust options, the next thing to do is to figure out is what you want to fill your pie with. The holidays are such a fun time of year because there are so many holiday pie options to make. You can stick to healthy holiday recipes and find different fillings that will leave you feeling good and full of energy after your holiday feasting rather than guilty and weighed down. By using alternatives to gluten, dairy and even sugar, we can still enjoy a little sweet indulgence without all the discomfort and other physical side effects we may typically incur during the holiday feasting season.
About the Author
Lisa Saremi is health and wellness coach for Limitless-U and blogger for eatnuts.com. Lisa received training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program on dietary theories, practical lifestyle management and innovative coaching methods with top health and wellness experts.