Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
Pecan pie is one of those traditional holiday favorites that everyone is familiar with. I have always loved it, along with all of the other familiar pies, like pumpkin, chocolate, and sweet potato. However, after making it the very first time, and realizing that it's nothing but solid high fructose corn syrup with some pecans mixed in, I knew there had to be a better way.
We have been a clean eating household since I was pregnant with my first son and started having complications because of all of the processed foods we were eating. I would have said I was extremely healthy—eating lots of oatmeal, granola, yogurt, fruits and veggies, and even low-fat milk. I didn't drink caffeine and didn't eat a lot of sweets or fast food. Unfortunately, it turns out that all of those "healthy" choices I was making were still loaded with sugar and harmful chemicals.
So now we eat all-natural foods like fresh fruits and veggies, raw nuts and seeds, and organic meat and (full-fat) dairy products. I make all of our bread, chips, crackers, and tortillas from scratch, make all of our own canned items, and have even started making homemade yogurt. I stay far away from processed foods and refined ingredients like white sugar and flour. I use pink Himalayan salt, natural baking soda, coconut sugar and oil, and raw local honey.
This doesn't mean that our family has to avoid sweets, though. On the contrary, I just find new, clean ways to make them, which means we can feel free about eating sweets in a way that most people don't, because ours are all-natural. And this amazing pecan pie is one of my clean eating dessert recipes! Instead of using gross high fructose corn syrup, it's mostly honey.
I promise that with this recipe you won't miss any of the flavor you're used to—just the refined sugar and chemicals. Let me show you!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 pie with 6-8 servings
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup real butter
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- about 1/2 cup ice water
- 1 1/2 cups raw honey
- 3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups pecans
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, homemade preferred
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 1/2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- Start by making your pie crust. Spread your coconut oil out on a plate into a thin layer and pop it into the freezer to chill while you're making everything else.
- Next, pour your flour, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Cut up your cold butter into small pieces. Then dump about 2 cups or so of your flour into the food processor and process with your butter. Then mix it all back into the main bowl.
- Then break your frozen coconut oil into small pieces and repeat the process with a smaller amount of flour and your coconut oil in the food processor. Obviously, this all could have been done in the mixing bowl with a fork, but I really hate to mix cold butter and oil with my hands. The processor makes it so much easier.
- Mix everything together well in your mixing bowl and then start adding ice water. I don't measure it out. I just dump at little in at a time and mix until the dough will stick together when squeezed.
- Cover it with saran wrap and pop it into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and grease a large pie dish with some coconut oil.
- Now that your dough is cold, dump it out onto a clean surface and squeeze and knead it with your hands until the dough comes together. You may need a bit more cold water.
- Split it in half and wrap one half back into your saran wrap and put it back in the refrigerator.
- Roll the other half out to just bigger than your pie dish and transfer it over. I fold mine in half so it's easier to transfer.
- Press it down into your dish and cut off the excess around the outside.
- Now fold the little bit of extra under all the way around and crimp it with your fingers. (See video.)
- Slide the pie crust back into the refrigerator to keep it cold until you're ready for it.
- Now for the filling! Start by melting your honey and coconut oil together in a large bowl.
- Mix your 3 eggs in a smaller bowl and then dump them into your honey and oil mixture.
- Now add your pecans, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix well.
- Pour this mixture into your pie crust and slide it into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F and then turn the heat down to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for another 20 minutes until the pie is no longer jiggly and is slightly cracked. Let cool on the stove before eating. You may even want to slide the cooled pie into the refrigerator to fully set until you are ready to eat it.
So I have to tell you that my husband hasn't fully committed to this clean-eating thing. He has been slightly harder to convince and still loves his Dr. Pepper, Oreos, and Doritos. I even find random Taco Bell receipts every so often. So trying to win my husband over on any "healthy" recipe is pretty difficult. But this one got the thumbs up. He even had me buy more pecans today at the grocery store (at $10.99/lb) just so he could have another pecan pie.
I usually buy them when they are on sale at $4.99/lb and stock up. But he said he loved my pecan pies, so we bought them. If that doesn't say something about this recipe, nothing will. You certainly won't be disappointed. And if you like my pecan pie recipe, you will most definitely want to be on the lookout for my Chewy Pecan Pralines! Oh man, they are good!
Sincerely, many people are scared to try the healthier versions of recipes, like my husband, because they worry that they'll taste like the gross sugar-free diet foods at the store. But what I need to express, is that the big difference is that I'm not trying to take anything away from you with my recipes. Quite the contrary in fact. I'm trying to give you real food and flavors back. It's the prepackaged store-bought foods that are gross. I'm using whole, natural, nutritious ingredients with the full flavors, that will also give you the full nutrition you're looking for. Don't be scared. Give them a try, and I know you'll be pleasantly surprised!
© 2018 Victoria Van Ness
Victoria Van Ness (author) from Fountain, CO on December 28, 2018:
lol Hopefully that's a good thing. It was really delicious. We still have a few pieces of the second one in the fridge, or we did before my husband took some to work this morning.
Rockney Briskey from Yakima on December 27, 2018:
Looks so healthy