Pecan Pie Bites

The other week I had made a classic pecan pie. And when I say classic I mean the real deal – made with corn syrup, sugar, the works. 

I believe in enjoying all foods without guilt.

Of course, when I am enjoying something yummy the dietitian foodie combo in me kicks into gear and asks: I wonder if I can create a pecan pie recipe that’s still delicious but also delivers on more nutrients?!

I was so up for the challenge as this is literally one of my favorite things to do! After some experimenting I am more than happy with the results of these mini pecan pie bites! 

AND, I wanted to make sure my daughter can enjoy them with us so I made them vegan as she is allergic to eggs. Feeling deprived is the worst, especially for kids! I try my best to make food that we all can enjoy. 

Now I know that some of you may be reading this and thinking: but, if I want pecan pie isn’t it intuitive to just eat actual pecan pie than a healthier alternative? Isn’t that like a diet? 

Its a conversation I have with my clients often when we begin to explore gentle nutrition.

It all boils down to… intention + listening to your body. 

If you are truly craving the pecan pie with the butter, corn syrup, and all the goodies – there is nothing wrong with choosing that! You need to ask YOURSELF if its what you truly want and how it will make you feel/impact your body. 

The same goes for a “healthier” alternative. It’s asking – if I want pecan pie, will this option satisfy me? Am I okay with choosing this option over the other? And what are my intentions with that? Am I trying to “be good” (restricted thinking) or am I trying to FEEL GOOD (self care)? 

Do what will serve your body best. What you eat does not make you good or bad. Remember that its about choice and being the expert of YOUR body. 

If you feel the alternative will serve you best and you’ll also enjoy it – it is not a diet choice! Its just a choice, one that works best for you.

And if you choose the OG pecan pie – that’s a choice, too! One you should ENJOY guilt-free, because guilt is truly the most unhealthy thing you can have on your plate. 

Only you know which serves you best. 

As a dietitian, I love providing you with additional options – ones that deliver on a boost of nutrients but do not sacrifice taste and satisfaction (none of that sugar free, fat free, taste free stuff around here!). And then I leave YOU with the choice. 

There is no right or wrong, there is only what works best for you!

And if you need a place to start to healing your relationship with food and eating in ways that feels best to you – check out my 3 day video crash course: Secrets to Stop Overeating to get the step by step foundation of how to trust yourself with food and enjoy what you eat with trust!   ⁠

Mini Pecan Pie Bites

Ingredients: 

  • 11 medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup almond milk 
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup pecans (plus some more halves to top each pie)
  • 20 mini pie crusts (your favorite store bought, ready to bake, company from the freezer aisle)
  • Optional: ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: handful of mini chocolate chips

Directions:  

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Crust: Defrost mini pie crusts. Once defrosted and place in the oven for 5 minutes until it starts to partially bake and look flaky but is not is not golden brown (you don’t want it to bake too much as it will be going back in the oven soon). Remove from oven, set aside, and make filling.
  • Filling: Place medjool dates, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon (if using) in food processor. Blend until smooth (about 3 minutes).
  • Add the pecans and pulse a few times until its well incorporated and in smaller pieces (you don’t want to blend too much so that it doesn’t turn into a paste. You want some nice crunchy texture).
  • If using chocolate chips, add and stir with a spoon until well incorporated (don’t use a food processor to blend as it may melt the chocolate or turn into pieces that are too small).
  • Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling into each pie crust. Top each pie with a pecan half.
  • Return to oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes, and enjoy! 

Makes: 16 to 20 mini pecan pies. 

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