Real Food Chocolate Pie Crust

Why make a regular pie crust when you can make a Chocolate Pie Crust?

chocolate pie crust

Well now. Sometimes we actually do need a regular ol’ pie crust. Though pie crusts around here are anything but regular. We use whole wheat flour and palm shortening in our pie crust so that it is actually nourishing. But other than that…normal. Regular. Absolutely average. Nothing to see here. Just a regular ol’ pie crust.

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Here I am calling pie crusts normal as if I make them all the time. No ma’am I do not. It’s rare that I actually take the time to make and roll out crusts these days. It must be a special occasion for me to “go to the trouble” to make a pie, because extra time I do not have.

But then suddenly, in between a History lesson with Malachi and taking time to proof-read a paper for Justus, I thought of the idea to turn a regular pie crust into a Chocolate Pie Crust. And would you believe? Tuesday afternoon became a special occasion, just like that. For no reason, I made a pie.

I mean, I do think one of the boys did exceptionally well on his math lesson that day. I did three loads of laundry like a boss. The mailman delivered some mail that wasn’t bills. The kitchen floor got swept. I answered several emails. For all these reasons and more, it seemed that a pie was in order. I can think of no other reason to celebrate, can you? Things like this call for pie with chocolate crust. Obviously.

Who says you can only make pie on special occasions?

Chocolate Pie Crust

Real Food Chocolate Pie Crust
 
Author:
Serves: 1 9"crust
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup Palm Shortening (or butter)
  • 4-5 Tablespoons cold water
Instructions
  1. Place flour, salt, cocoa, and brown sugar in a bowl or food processor.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Add palm shortening or butter.
  4. Blend until shortening is cut throughout the flour and the mixture resembles crumbs.
  5. Add cold water until a soft ball of dough has formed.
  6. Roll dough on a well-floured surface until it is slightly larger than your pie pan.
  7. Fold dough in half, then in half again.
  8. Place dough into pie pan and unfold to cover the pan.
  9. Shape edges as desired.
  10. Poke crust 4-5 times with a fork to prevent bubbles from forming while baking.
  11. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Allow crust to cool before adding cream filling of choice!

Real Food Chocolate Pie Crust

In a couple of days I will share a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie recipe with you that is simply perfect to fill this Chocolate Pie Crust. In the meantime, I also suggest filling your baked shell with:

And by the way, I get my palm shortening from Tropical Traditions. It’s fabulous and healthy. New customers at Healthy Traditions can get free shipping on their first order when you use the code FS10 at checkout!

Raise your hand if after seeing this recipe for Chocolate Pie Crust you just came up with a perfectly good (though random) reason to make a pie.

Delicious Candy You Can Make Yourself (with healthier ingredients)

As you all know, I don’t mind the occasional healthy food compromise, especially on special occasions. Christmas qualifies as one of the most special occasions of all, doncha think? But when I turn over a package and see that the yummy contents therein contain hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup – I just can’t do it. (I know, I know. It’s best not to even read the label. Wait. What?)

What I love is trying to re-create some our favorite treats so that we can have our Christmas candy and eat it too. These treats are best shared and in moderation though, because they are full of sugar! (I know, I know. It’s best not to even think about how much sugar is in them. Wait. What?)

Here are some goodies I make every once in a while for a very special treat:

Homemade Peppermint Patties

These call for none other than mashed potatoes. Weird, but true. And they also have tons of powdered sugar in them. Better than high fructose corn syrup, but wowza. You’ll be amazed at how much these taste like the “real thing.”

Peppermint Patties 2

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

This is my husband’s favorite. It’s super fun to make these for him every once in a while. We think they taste better than the packaged variety. It’s amazing how good peanut butter tastes when it’s only made with peanuts.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Caramel Cups

These are ooey-gooey messy. But having a drop of caramel resting on one’s chin never hurt anyone.

Chocolate Caramel Cups

Peanut Butter Truffles and Chocolate Caramel Truffles

Making these truffles is easier than you would think. And the result? Amazing.

Delicious Homemade Truffles

Peanut Butter Honey Fudge

This is the easiest fudge you’ll ever make. It contains only three ingredients – peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. So good!

Peanut Butter Honey Fudge

What’s your favorite Christmas candy? Ever tried making your own?

Chocolate Covered Vegetables: Staying Healthy and Balanced During the Christmas Season

chocolate covered vegetables

It’s the question everybody is asking this time of year: What is your favorite holiday vegetable? Well don’t everyone speak up at once. Celery? Broccoli? Ahhhh, I am simply overwhelmed with magical Christmas warm fuzzies every time I think about cauliflower.

Oh, for real. Who gets excited about Christmas vegetables?  Unless it’s a jalapeno stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. Now we’re talking.

I giggle a little bit when I read magazine articles with encouragement about how to eat healthy during the holiday season. “At holiday parties,” they say, “fill your plate with raw veggies and nuts.”  Spendid! Let’s party! Fill me a plate of festive Christmas cucumbers!

It’s not that I disagree with that advice. It’s a very good idea actually – to fill up on the good stuff so that you don’t over-indulge on the bad stuff. But when I think about my favorite Christmas-time foods, the relish tray isn’t at the top of my list. I eat those foods all the time, and praise God for vegetables. But at Christmas parties? Please pass the chocolate covered chocolate with a bowl full of chocolate for dipping purposes.

I kid. I mean, obviously there needs to be some cream cheese with that chocolate. And some chips. With dip. Okay then.

So what is reality, what can we do to stay healthy, and how do we maintain a good balance during this fun filled, food filled season? Here is my chocolate-covered advice:

Save the Treats for Parties

You’ll likely be at plenty of events during the next several weeks that will offer tables laden with sugar. Knowing this, avoid having lots of sugary foods in your own kitchen. Instead, focus on eating plenty of healthy foods at home – yes, I’m talking about vegetables here. Eat salads, eat good protein, blend spinach into your smoothies, eat all kinds of nourishing foods. Your body will thank you for it, and you’ll enjoy the party treats so much more.

Sugar is Made to Be Shared

But wait. What if you have goodies in your kitchen because you’re having fun making treats to share with others? Awesome, that’s part of the joy of this season! This gives you the opportunity to take a nibble or two of some of your favorite holiday treats, then package up the rest to give to others.

Make the Sugar Consumption Count

I say, if we’re going to have something sweet and a little bit naughty – for goodness sake we’d better swoon while we’re eating it. Pass over the crumbly boxed cookies, and go for the gooey, decadent, dish of amazingness. Why waste our indulgences on something that is just so-so?

Stop Eating When You’re Full

I think somehow many of us equate holiday time with over-eating. What? So we’re just planning on being gluttonous while throwing reason and self-control out the frosty window? That’s silly. Take small amounts of food, savor each bite, then when you are full, put down your plate.  Christmas is more merry when you don’t have indigestion. (<– Someone should totally turn that sentence into a Christmas carol.)

Drink Lots of Water

Do I really need to elaborate on this one? We always need to be sipping on water. Even at Christmas. Just do it.

May each of us enjoy a holiday season that is healthy, balanced, moderate, delicious, and topped with a caramel truffle. I mean artichoke. No, no. I mean truffle. It is Christmas, after all.

What is one of your biggest struggles with staying healthy during Christmas? What would you add to this list as an encouragement to stay healthy and balanced during the holiday season?