Saint Agnes Medical Center

SPR 2018

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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14 14 H E A LT H Y S P I R I T S P R I N G 2 0 1 8 w w w . s a m c . c o m Healthy Eating PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHRISTINE PETKOV I t's amazing how a crust can transform even simple foods into festive dishes, especially when you prepare a sweet or savory pie using seasonal fresh produce. But pies can deliver much more than awesome flavor. These mouthwatering creations can also be wholesome additions to meals, whether as entrees or desserts. By increasing the proportion of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, low-fat cheese, poultry and seafood—and decreasing sugar and saturated fat—you can happily indulge in pie as part of a healthy diet. Choice crusts Start with the pie crust because that provides the majority of fat and calories, recommends Libby Mills, a Philadelphia registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To reduce fat, switch to a single- crust rather than a double-crust pie whenever possible, and use leftover scraps of dough for a lattice topping. "You decrease the amount of crust and still get a beautiful effect," says Mills. You can also choose more healthful ingredients for the crust, such as white whole-wheat flour, says Jennifer Stack, a chef, dietitian and diabetes educator for The Culinary Institute of America. Or, "play around with the type of fat in the crust," says Stack. Traditional crusts call for all butter, but Stack suggests a "50/50 split of butter and margarine" as an alternative. For a graham cracker crust, substitute crushed cereal or ground nuts, such as almonds, for part of the cookie crumbs, says Mills. Fill 'er up When upgrading pie filling, be sure to keep taste in mind: "If it's healthy but not delicious, people won't eat it," according to Stack. Still, you can make adjustments that satisfy both your taste buds and nutrition goals. For starters, don't assume you have to add all the sugar called for in a dessert pie recipe. "If you're using fruit in season, you may be able to cut back on sugar," Mills says. "Start with half the sugar and see how it tastes. You may have to let the fruit sit a little longer [before baking] for the juice to come out." Boost the amount of fruit in a pie By Bev Bennett Easy as pie: & Sweet spring treats savory filling beyond what you'd typically use, and you'll increase the nutrients, sweetness and eye appeal. You can also experiment with yogurt as a replacement when a recipe calls for whipped cream. "Instead of cream pie slathered with whipped cream on top, add a layer of yogurt," says Mills. Surprising ingredients can also enhance sweet or savory pie fillings. For example, stir a little apple cider vinegar into a filling and you may be able to reduce the sugar in an apple pie, according to chef Eric Stein, a registered dietitian and certified culinary educator in Greenville, S.C. You'll find a wide variety of fruit vinegars in supermarkets and specialty food stores. Stein says he adds pistachios and golden raisins to meat fillings, for example, for interesting texture and a touch of sweetness. To bind loose savory fillings, he sometimes uses pureed canned white beans.

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