Sunday, December 21, 2014

Two Sugar-free and Low-Gluten or Gluten-free Pecan Pies

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, we had several yummy, healing pecan pies.  I thought I'd share the recipes with you today just in case you might like to serve a pecan pie for Christmas dinner.  

Pecan Pie Number 1 --  The first was a paleo pecan pie that our guest, Amanda, brought.  We did not tell anyone that they were eating a paleo pie.  The pie got lots of compliments and everyone really loved it. No one had any idea whatsoever that it was made without sugar, flour, dairy or soy.  And the crust was quite good, unlike many wheat-free crusts.

This pecan pie is sweetened with honey, as are many paleo desserts.  Personally, I prefer to use Coconut Nectar over honey because of its lower glycemic index.  As a pre-diabetic, I feel it when I eat sugar, agave, honey and maple syrup.  However, I find that I can eat Coconut Nectar and not feel my blood sugar spike at all, so I prefer it over all other non-sugar sweeteners. Honey is a 55 on the glycemic index while coconut nectar is a 35. 

Remember, too, that if your blood sugar is spiking, you're creating inflammation in your body. Inflammation is tied to many serious diseases (see blue box below.)  Plus, when your blood sugar increases, your body creates more insulin, and that is not a good thing.  High blood insulin provokes visceral fat accumulation.  I don't know about you, but I'd definitely like to avoid adding any visceral fat! 

For more information about honey, see here.   

I think I would adapt this recipe by replacing the honey with 2/3 c Coconut Nectar.  I'll probably make it for Christmas Day and that's what I'll do with it.  I'll let you know how that goes.

The recipe came from Nature's Knockout.

3/4 c tapioca starch
3/4 c almond flour
2 T coconut sugar
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 c coconut oil
4-5 T filtered water

3 eggs, grass-fed, organic
1/2 c raw honey
3/4 c coconut sugar
3 T coconut oil
pinch sea salt
2 c pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crust:  Stir together crust ingredients except the oil and water.  Add oil using a pastry blender.  Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough forms into a ball.  Roll out on a well (GF) floured surface.  Place in a pie pan and shape it real cute.  Refrigerate.

Sauce:  Stir together all of the sauce ingredients with a spoon.  Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and place the sauce into it.  For safety, place a large cookie sheet under the pan as it cooks, in case of spill-over. Bake for 25-30 minutes.  This pie needs to be cooled and refrigerated 2 hours prior to serving.  That kinda thickens it and makes it so authentically amazing.  Store in the refrigerator.    

Pecan Pie Number 2 --  The following day we had a second sugar-free pecan pie made by my sister. She used our recipe for low-gluten pie crust made from ancient grain einkorn flour.  This makes a tasty crust that seems much like real pie crust made from regular flour.  Her pie was sweetened with dates and Coconut Nectar.

Pecan Pie Filling
3/4 stick unsalted grass-fed butter, melted
6 pitted dates
3/4 cup Coconut Nectar
2 t pure vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
3 large eggs pasture-raised
2 c pecan halves (1/2 pound)

Combine all of the ingredients into a blender or vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy.  Place pecans in bottom of unbaked pie crust.  Pour filling over pecans.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

For the einkorn crust (double crust):
4-1/2 c Einkorn flour
2 t sea salt
12 oz unsalted grass-fed butter, chilled, cut in small pieces
1/2 c ice water
2 T vodka

Hand Method--Whisk flour and salt.  Rub or cut bits of butter into flour until it looks like sand. Sprinkle vodka and water over.  Combine into a thick ball barely holding together, adding water as needed.  Shape into a flat circle and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill 30 minutes before rolling out.

Food Processor Method-- Put 2 1/2 cups of flour, salt and butter into the bowl of a food processor and pulse ten times.  Add remaining 2 cups of flour and pulse 5 times.  Add the liquid 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing for 1 second between each tablespoon.  Combine into two balls barely holding together, adding water if needed.  Shape into flat circles and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill 30 minutes before rolling out.

Roll dough into 10 inch rounds, 1/4 inch thick, and place in a 9 inch pie plate lined with parchment paper and pie weights.  Crimp edges.  Chill 20 minutes.  Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Remove parchment and weights.  Bake 10 more minutes until pie dough is just cooked but not browned.    

By the way, our recipe for pumpkin pie is here.    It's sugar-free, low gluten and extremely tasty!

Happy pie making and Merry Christmas, everyone.

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