Beauty Is in the Pie of the Beholder

close up of pie

Are you ready to celebrate pie season? With their rich smell and flaky crust, pies are a holiday essential! Baking can be a fun and interactive family activity to celebrate winter festivities.  Enjoy this season with a variety of healthy pies! The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommends limiting added sugars and saturated fats to no more than 10% of your total daily calories. Instead of restricting yourself from all baked goods, aim to achieve a healthy eating pattern by allowing yourself to eat them in moderation.   


When baking, simple recipe modifications can help reduce the amount of fat and sugar in your favorite holiday dessert and boost its nutritional content. Celebrate a new approach to homemade pie, one that still embraces holiday flavors and warmth, with these healthy swaps and tips: 

  • Crust:
    • Go nuts! Add a helping of nuts, like almonds, pecans, or peanuts, to your flour for more fiber and protein.
    • Substitute for phyllo dough. Phyllo dough provides a classic, airy crunch while also being lower in fat than traditional buttery crusts. 
    • Mix in Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream to your pie crust instead of butter, lard, or shortening. 
    • Forget the top layer of crust and make it a delicious tart! 
  • Filling:
    • Sweeten things up by adding fresh fruit instead of additional sugar. 
    • Spice things up with additional spices and citrus zest for more taste without added sugar. Spices and zest pair perfectly with your favorite fruit or nut filling – cinnamon with apples, ginger with peaches, or nutmeg with berries. 


This winter, create a healthier, more nutritious version of your family’s favorite holiday pie!  Start with small adjustments and changes to your traditional baking recipes for a dessert your whole family will love! For the perfect compromise for pie lovers, try this delicious sweet potato apple pie recipe from