You Are What You Eat
One of my favorite things in the world is baked goods. I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth and my love for carbs goes beyond my love for most humans. So naturally, baked goods are pretty heavenly for me. We all know that anything in high amounts is not the best for you, whether that’s carbs, sugars, fats, or whatever it may be: everything should be consumed in moderation. I’m not a big fan of being extremely strict with myself, especially when it comes to my diet. You'll never find me eating kale salads every day and I’m definitely not a 5’9” size 0 model, but most days I’m comfortable with my body type. Like I said, I’m not very strict with myself, and that’s because I don’t believe in suffering and withholding myself from things that make me happy for the superficial notion that I should be thinner. On the other hand, I do make conscious decisions about what I put in my body pretty much every time I eat. It’s all about balance, folks.
So you might be asking yourself, well Maria, how can you love baked goods in moderation and be conscious about what you’re eating? (Okay, I know you didn’t really ask yourself that, but just go with it.) Well, reader, I find that the best way to do this is to make your own food! That’s right, when you’re baking and cooking for yourself, you know exactly what’s going into the recipe. You know exactly how much sugar, butter, oil, and flour is going into your food. No mysterious ingredients you can’t pronounce either!\
I love cooking and baking, it’s like a fun little experiment every time. Taste it here and there, add a lil bit of this, a lil bit of that, it’s just so fun! What I tend to do is look up a base recipe, something that I can mostly vibe with, with the intention of changing it up a bit and substituting some ingredients. Eventually the recipe just turns into my own creation.
A few weeks back I made the BEST blueberry muffins, but I changed up most of the ingredients from the recipe I had. Almond milk, coconut oil, agave nectar, and whole-wheat flour substituted the more traditional ingredients. Now I’m not saying these muffins were a miracle health food, but they were definitely a tiny bit better than a Little Debbie treat.
Since today is Thanksgiving, I wanted to make a pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is so easy to make, you basically just whack some stuff together and presto, you’ve got pie. Since I do change things up quite bit, I made sure to write everything down. For me, cooking is just one big improvisation. But don’t worry I got you guys.
Here's what you’ll need:
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk 2 eggs 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground ginger 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. agave nectar (honey or maple syrup work too!) 1 frozen pie crust
If you want to make your own whipped cream like I did, you'll also need:
1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tbsp. agave nectar 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Alright, now I did tell you all you have to do is whack a couple ingredients together, but you also do have to do a couple of other things.
- Let your pie crust thaw according to the instructions on the packaging. Mine said it should thaw at room temperature for an hour and a half. Don't be like me and realize this halfway through the process! If you're making your whipped cream, also make sure your whipping cream has been moved from your pantry to your refrigerator. And lastly, preheat your oven to 425º F. Once all that prep stuff is out of the way, the easy part begins!
- Whisk your pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, and eggs together. It'll look a little soupy, but don't worry, it'll all set once it's baking.
- Next, add the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla extract, and agave nectar. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Lay out your pie crust over your pie tin and then pour in your mixture. Note that the pie filling doesn't rise too much, so your pie crust may be too big for your pie. If that's the case, what I did is just baked it that way, and then trimmed off the excess once it came out of the oven.
- Bake your pie at 425º F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, reduce your temperature to 350º F and bake for 35 more minutes.
While your pie is in the oven, you can make your own whipped cream. This part will take roughly 15 minutes by hand (it's a mini workout!) or about 2 minutes with an electric mixer.
- In a bowl, pour out your cold whipping cream, agave nectar, and vanilla extract.
- Whisk until stiff peaks form.
Making whipped cream was really difficult and time consuming, but it tasted so good! Especially because you can totally customize how sweet and flavorful you want it! Alternatively, you can definitely get the store-bought stuff, or just omit it.
I will definitely be trying out this recipe again over Christmas since I know my family are sure to love it as well. Let us know if you decide to try this recipe by mentioning us on any social media, and hope you enjoy it!