Photo: Justin Walker

Whole grains and naturally sweet dates give this traditional holiday dessert a more virtuous profile. Our 100 percent whole-grain pecan pie shaves more than one-third of the sugar and calories off the classic, and it cuts saturated fat in half.

Jamie Vespa, MS, RD
October 11, 2017

Our rendition of pecan pie features everything you love about the Southern classic: the deep flavor of roasted pecans, a gooey filling, and just enough sticky sweetness enveloped in a buttery, flaky crust. We use oat flour for its mild flavor, so the classic pie flavors shine while delivering healthy whole grains. Chopped dates give the filling a smooth sweetness while reducing added sugar by almost 60 percent (that's 24g less per slice). Browning the butter amplifies the butter's inherent richness, allowing us to use less while still adding deep, buttery flavor. Toasting the pecans before adding them to the filling intensifies their flavor, lending notes of caramel. A combination of butter and shortening in the crust is ideal—butter for its richness and shortening to create a flaky texture.

View Recipe: Pecan-Date Pie

Of all tree nuts, pecans are the top source of antioxidants and contain the largest variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and E, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. A slice of traditional pecan pie may deliver as much as 10g sat fat (half the daily recommended limit) and 40g added sugar (10 teaspoons and 80 percent of the USDA's recommended daily limit for a 2,000-calorie diet). Our healthier version dials back on the heft while keeping all the flavor and soul of the original.