Mmmm…apple pie! That good ol’ American dessert evokes images of summer picnics and Thanksgiving feasts. But sometimes, diving into a slice of homemade apple pie may leave you with a nagging sense of guilt as you wonder if it’s a healthy choice.
While there is no denying that it’s good for the senses, you can’t help but wonder if it’s also good for your overall health and figure. Should you turn your back on this well-loved all-American dish simply because you want to stay healthy and in great shape, too?
Apple pie is high in sugar and calories. A modest slice packs 20 grams of sugar and 300 to 400 calories. The main ingredients, which are apples, offer nutrients. In order to enjoy apple pie, which is one of the most favorite pies in the US, without ruining the health, consume it in moderation.
Read on if you are planning on buying apple pie from a bakeshop you just discovered or thinking about trying an apple pie recipe online that promises to change the way you see homemade desserts.
In this post, we will discuss everything about apple pie.
Especially if you are a health- and figure-conscious individual, this is something you wouldn’t want to miss checking out. And to get the ball rolling, let’s get to know America’s favorite pie a little more.
Fun Facts About Apple Pie
Here are some things about apple pie you may have not heard about before that may change the way you look at this treat that’s especially popular during Thanksgiving and Christmas:
- Despite the fact that nothing is more American as apple pie than apple pie itself, apple pie originated in England — its first recipe was printed back in 1381.
- In the past, apple pie recipes did not require sugar, which was very expensive during the time. This is the reason why pies included naturally sweet ingredients such as fruits.
- Around 186 million apple pies are sold annually in American groceries alone — it’s no wonder why the apple pie economy amounts to about $700 million each year.
- Mock apple pie first came into being when the American West settlers had to use crackers and all sorts of spices to make apple pie since they had no access to apples back then.
- The apple is the official fruit of the state of Vermont. Naturally, the Green Mountain State considers apple pie its official state pie, which was made formal back in 1999.
Is Apple Pie Healthy?
While apples are some of the healthiest fruits on the face of the planet, apple-containing apple pie is not the healthiest dessert around. That’s because added ingredients such as sugar and flour are packed with both calories and carbohydrates and both milk and butter are high in saturated fat.
Although it’s true that apple pie is a hearty dish, it’s not particularly healthy.
If you are watching not only your weight but waistline, too, check out what you will be putting in your body every single time you put a serving (a 1/8 slice of a 9-inch diameter) of apple pie in your mouth:
- Calories: 296
- Saturated fat: 4.7 grams
- Carbohydrates: 42.5 grams
- Sugar: 19.6 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 2.4 grams
- Sodium: 251.3 milligrams
So, is apple pie junk food? Considering that the filling is high in sugar and calories and the crust has very little to no nutritional value except for carbohydrates and saturated fat, you can consider apple pie junk food. It’s due to this reason why apple pie should be enjoyed moderately and healthier alternatives or recipes should be considered.
Is Apple Pie Good for You?
When consumed in moderation, apple pie is actually healthy. Apples are loaded with nutrients. Unlike other pies, apple pie does not have any meat, which is why a serving of it has zero cholesterol. In order to keep the health and figure out of harm’s way, one may consider going for healthier apple pie recipes.
Everyone knows that an apple a day can keep the doctor away. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said if an apple is already in the form of apple pie.
But in moderation, you get to enjoy the following nutrients per recommended daily value:
- Calcium: 2%
- Choline 2%
- Copper: 3%
- Folate: 9%
- Iron: 8%
- Magnesium: 3%
- Manganese: 12%
- Niacin: 2%
- Phosphorus: 3%
- Riboflavin: 2%
- Selenium: 2%
- Thiamine: 3%
- Vitamin A: 5%
- Vitamin B6: 4%
- Vitamin B12: 1%
- Vitamin C: 7%
- Vitamin E: 10%
- Vitamin K: 4%
- Zinc: 2%
Please take note that the above are the nutrients in a 1/8 slice of a 9-inch diameter apple pie.
Now that you already know the nutritional value of apple pie you can enjoy each time, let’s quickly discuss some apple pie health benefits you should know about:
Apples are packed with dietary fiber that helps get things moving along. But make sure that you also get enough physical activity and drink plenty of water a day.
Dietary fiber also helps remove bad cholesterol from the body before they clog up your arteries. Unfortunately, some of the ingredients of apple pie contain bad cholesterol.
Apples in apple pie are loaded with antioxidants. These free radical-zapping molecules offer an assortment of perks, and one of them is that they help lower inflammation within.
An assortment of nutrients in apple pie can help the body defend itself against invading disease-causing microbes. They include vitamin C, zinc, selenium and iron.
The old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is encouraging when you start thinking about apple pie.
With all that healthy fruit inside, how could apple pie possibly be bad for you to eat?
Surely Grandma wasn’t wrong about the apples!
In a nutshell (or a pie shell in this case), the benefits of the apple filling are overshadowed by the caloric fat of the pie crust. Eating an occasional slice of apple pie is okay, but a steady diet of its high fat crust is not good for you.
The issue with apple pie isn’t the fruit. It’s the stuff we add to turn the apples into a pie: processed sugar and, typically, a double crust, made from butter, shortening, or lard. That’s what takes the “good for you” out of an apple pie.
The Food Network says that an average-sized slice of apple pie usually contains about 400 calories and 20 grams of fat, and that’s without adding ice cream or whipped topping. That’s nearly a quarter of the recommended number of 2000 calories per day.
So, let’s talk about what goes into an apple pie and what you should know about these two main components.
Is Apple Pie Fattening?
Consuming apple pie in excessive amounts can be fattening. A slice of it can have anywhere from 300 to 400 calories. The bigger the slice and the more fattening the ingredients, the more it can wreak havoc on the figure. This is especially true if its consumption is paired with unhealthy eating and lifestyle.
Adding apples to the diet is actually recommended for people who wish to lose weight.
That’s because apples contain absolutely no saturated fat. In addition, apples are high in dietary fiber and water, both of which can help in fending off overeating.
Unfortunately, apples in the form of apple pie can be bad for the waistline — all the added ingredients such as sugar, flour, milk and butter can cause each serving to be teeming with calories, carbohydrates and saturated fat.
Limiting the consumption of apple pie as well as having a healthy diet and lifestyle can fend off unwanted weight gain.
How many calories each serving of apple pie packs depends on who made it.
The number of calories in homemade apple pie following a recipe can be easier to determine. All you have to do is take into account the amount of sugar and other calorie-rich ingredients used and do the math.
It’s a completely different story for store-bought apple pie, which may contain more calorie-rich and fattening ingredients to make them sell like hotcakes.
And that is why it’s a good idea for individuals who are mindful of their health and weight to stick to homemade apple pie — in a few, I will give you a low-calorie apple pie recipe, so keep reading!
Low-Calorie Apple Pie Recipe
Earlier, I mentioned that I have a low-calorie apple pie recipe. Well, it’s time for me to share it with you. Other than having fewer calories than usual, the recipe also yields vegetarian apple pie, which makes it perfect for vegetarians as well as individuals who are limiting their meat intake for reasons such as their health.
Without any further ado, here’s the easy-to-follow recipe:
- 1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of erythritol
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup of applesauce
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 4 cups of apples (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup of raisins
- 1/2 cup of walnuts (crushed)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
Crumble topping ingredients:
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of erythritol
- 1/4 cup of applesauce
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (177°C). Meanwhile, line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients for the crust. Stir in water and applesauce to make a dough. Transfer dough to the lined tart pan — press down hard. Bake for about 12 minutes.
While waiting for the crust to cook, combine the filling ingredients in one mixing bowl. Combine the crumble topping ingredients in another mixing bowl.
Carefully remove the crust from the oven.
Neatly and evenly spread filling over the baked apple pie crust. Afterward, sprinkle the crumble topping over the apples. Bake apple pie for about 60 minutes or until the apples are already soft and tender.
That’s it — you just made your very first homemade low-calorie and vegetarian apple pie that’s so much healthier than any other online recipe or store-bought apple pie! Just remember to allow apple pie to cool for about 20 minutes or longer before you remove the springform from the pan.
Here are some of the things you can eat with apple pie:
- Baked sweet potatoes
- Glazed salmon
- Green salad with lemon dressing
- Herbed baby potatoes
- Pumpkin soup
- Vanilla ice cream
- Whipped cream
Just Before You Have a Slice of Apple Pie
There are certain occasions that won’t seem complete without apple pie. For as long as you consume the well-loved dish in moderation, there’s no need to fear for your health and figure that much.
It’s also a wonderful idea to make apple pie from scratch using healthier ingredients.
Does apple pie need to be refrigerated?
If apple pie contains table sugar, which serves not only as a sweetener but also as a preservative, apple pie can be left at room temperature for up to 2 days.
What does bad apple pie look like?
Bad apple pie has an off smell and appearance. It’s not uncommon for apple pie to have discoloration or even mold if it’s no longer fit for consumption.
How do you warm apple pie?
To reheat apple pie, place it in a pan lined with parchment. Cover with foil and place in an oven preheated to 350°F (177°C) for 10 to 15 minutes. Sliced apple pie can be microwaved for 1 minute.
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