I have for a long time had a strong belief in two statements; first, everything in moderation, easy enough to follow. Second, our bodies were simply not made to process foods that have been processed and or chemically changed. This is simple to understand as well; when we eat foods that have been changed by chemicals, additives and preservatives, not only are we eating foods that have been nearly stripped of all nutritional value but also trying to make our bodies use foods that our bodies do want want to nor know how to use. Simply said, when our bodies do not know what to do with a sugar or a fat that has been chemically changed, processed or preserved it will either dispel it or more likely store it away in a likely undesirable location on our body, the "problem areas".
So what am i getting at?! What was that about Pecan Pie? Well in honor of the holiday season and the season of gluttony, where moderation is furthest from our minds i purpose an idea. What if we took some of the high sugar over processed foods we gorge ourselves with this time of year and replace them with wholesome natural ingredients while making portions smaller and then allowing us to enjoy something even better tasting then our plastic wrapped or boxed treats.
I am going to share with you one of my very favorite recipes!
All of the following ingredients should be easy to find in any of local natural food Co-op and some of the ingredients can be found in the "natural"section of most Rainbow Foods, Cub Foods or your local grocery. A few local to the Twin Cities Co-ops are The Seward Co-op in the Seward neighborhood, Eastside Co-op in the North-East Neighborhood, The Wedge Co-op in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood, Valley Natural Foods in the South Metro area or Whole Foods Market located in Mpls & St. Paul.
I make a 10-Inch Two-Crust yield.
2 2/3 cups Organic Unbleached White Flour
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup Coconut Oil in the solid form *see below for tips on handling coconut oil
8 tablespoons filtered water.
8 tablespoons filtered water.
Measure flour and salt into bowl. Cut in solid Coconut Oil. Sprinkle in water 1 tablespoon at a time, 1 to 2 teaspoons water can be added if needed, mixing until flour is moistened and dough almost cleans the sides of the bowl.
Gather dough into ball; shape into two flattened rounds on slightly flour covered table. With a flour covered rolling pin roll both rounds into two separate 12-14 inch rounds. you will be making cut-outs so the rounds do not need to be perfect.
With a 1 cup measuring cup make round cut outs. Make as many as you are able with each round. You should be able to make 24 cut-outs with the two rounds by repeating steps with left-over dough. Set aside 24 rounds where they can remain room temperature.
Next we need some Pie Filing!This is also the correct recipe for one regular 9 inch pie, you have made enough pie dough for two pies.
2 Free ranged preferred Eggs (local is a plus), slightly beaten.
1/2 cup Honey
2/3 cup Maple Syrup.
**Buying in bulk as pictured not only will save you money and waste but the product will also mos likely be coming from a local farm such as Anderson's Maple Syrup or Ames Farm Honey. **
2 tablespoons Organic Unbleached White Flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 vanilla bean, scrapped
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 Cups Broken Pecan pieces.
Oil with Coconut oil two sets of miniature cupcake tins. (24)
Add honey, maple syrup, flour and salt into bowl with slightly beaten eggs and mix well with whisk. Scrape vanilla bean and add into mixture mixing well, leave bean shell in mixture for added flavor.
Lay out pie Crust rounds and add broken pecan to the center of each round. Then pinch sides of individual rounds to make small bowls holding the pecan bits.
The next step is very Important! You MUST stuff each little pie into a coconut oiled miniature cupcake tin, this holds the pie together as it bakes!
With table spoon, spoon in filing mixture over pecan bits evenly into each individual pie leaving a small amount of space at the top of each one.
|this pic also shows mini apple and mini blueberry pies.|
Beat One Free ranged preferred Egg in small bowl. Brush exposed sides and tops of each individual pie crust.
Bake at 375° for 15-20 Min (ovens vary). Pies are done when crust is golden brown and pie mixture is bubbling.
Let fully cool before attempting to remove from cupcake tins. You may put the trays into a cool window or refrigerator to speed cooling.
And that's it! Not only are the portions smaller but they are easy to serve and best of all easy to take with you so guests are always happy to bring some home!
*Working with Coconut Oil is easier than it looks. There are two easy ways to work with it in it's solid for. At room temp and below coconut oil is in a solid form. Once you start working with it it tends to start to melt since your body temp is warmer than room temp. To get around that, put large metal spoon and measuring cup into freezer and let them get very cold. Then when measuring oil do not touch the oil with hands, use cold spoon to scoop oil into frozen measuring cup, until cutting it into dough. OR setting jar of oil onto warm stove let oil melt into liquid, once melted pour oil into open bowl and put into refrigerator (freezer if you are in a hurry) once oil returns to solid state it is easy to portion inside of bowl to measure and cut into dough.
Please read about the great benefits of using coconut oil in your cooking, baking and as a cosmetic product. http://www.coconut-info.com/