your nana will want this gluten, dairy, & soy free recipe
Maybe it was all the blueberry crumble pie I ate for breakfast. Maybe it was all those individually wrapped glazed cherry pies I begged my mom to buy me in the grocery store check-out line. Maybe it was all the farmer’s market pies I ate in high school before my 10 mile runs. Surely, that’s why I have blood sugar issues today. Too much pie.
Or maybe my body wanted me to stop eating pie, so she devised an intricate plan to get me to stop. This plan included an attack, in the form of a food intolerance, against the two best pie ingredients: wheat and butter.
Sometimes I drive myself crazy, trying to speculate all the things I did to myself that caused my current 1001 food intolerances and blood sugar problems… But I’m not crazy. I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch land, where pies are a very big deal. I also happened to have Pennsylvania Dutch grandparents who loved to make pie, and I would go to the Pennsylvania folk festivals every year (in costume) where I got to taste a lot of homemade pie. The Pennsylvania Dutch LOVE pie (so did I).
After reading the following excerpt, I felt a little more normal for my excessive pie consumption as a kid:
“The Pennsylvania Dutch eat pies for breakfast. They eat pies for lunch. They eat pies for dinner and they eat pies for midnight snacks. Pies are made with a great variety of ingredients from the apple pie we all know to the rivel pie which is made from flour, sugar, and butter. The Dutch housewife is as generous with her pies as she is with all her cooking, baking six or eight at a time not one and two.” 1
If you knew me as a kid, you probably could have read this excerpt with my name in it:
“Archer eats pies for breakfast. Archer eats pies for lunch. Archer eats pies for dinner and she eats pies for midnight snacks.”
(Maybe that’s why I was overweight in the fourth grade and could only fit in stretch pants because my tummy was so much bigger than my legs.)
My long pie history has taught me what a good pie crust should be like. Unfortunately, the lessons have come at the expense of my arteries. That’s why I eat my a-f pie now. The majority of the fat in the crust comes from ground flax seeds and your choice of nuts or seeds, making it a little friendlier on the arteries than all those pies I ate as a kid.
This is a vegan, allergy-friendly, whole foods based pie crust that holds together really well. Six dates lightly sweeten it, but you could add a few more if you promise me it won’t bug your blood sugar. The teff flour adds a rich sweetness that will swoon your Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother into using this Ethiopian grain in her German recipes.
Basic Pie Crust
Makes a thin 9-inch pie crust
- 3 Tablespoons freshly ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup pecans, almonds, or pumpkin seeds
- 6 dates, chopped in half (a few more dates can be used successfully if your blood sugar can tolerate it)
- 1/2 cup teff flour
- tiny pinch salt
- Generously grease a 9-inch pie plate with coconut oil. Alternatively, cut a circular piece of parchment paper to place on the bottom of the pie plate, while still ensuring to grease the sides of the plate with coconut oil.
- Mix the ground flax seeds with the filtered water and set aside.
- Place nuts or seeds in a food processor with the dates, teff flour, and salt.
- Blend mixture well.
- Add the flax and water to the food processor.
- Blend until the mixture starts to ball into a dough, making sure ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- Transfer dough into prepped 9-inch pie plate. Using your fingers, press the dough into the plate, making sure to evenly distribute throughout the plate.
- Add desired pie filling.
- Bake according to pie filling directions.
1. Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking. Author Unknown. Released September 9, 2008. E-book: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26558/26558-h/26558-h.htm.