National Pie Week – Guilt-Free!

It’s National Pie Week. But how can you guarantee a hearty and healthy pie – rather than a heavyweight?

Here is my healthy pie checklist….

What topping are you using?

Actually, before we start, does your pie have a topping and bottoming?! Pies fully encased in pastry, will add to your bottom too! Half the calorie hit by using a pie dish and just a topping.

And that topping doesn’t have to be high-fat pastry. Try mashed celeriac, sweet potato or carrot and swede. Or even a few thin sheets of scrunched up filo pastry or an oaty topping – there are plenty of good recipes online.

What’s the filling?

This is a great opportunity to add flavour, vitamins and meet your 5-a-day. Add lots of veg to bulk out your pie and add texture. Experiment with a whole variety of root veg – cooking them down a bit beforehand will soften them up, complementing whatever else you choose to add.

What’s the sauce?

Creamy sauces can add extra calories so think about lighter ways to moisten your pie. Using veg helps, and try cooking your pie fillings in a light stock with added lentils or similar. These will soak up the stock and give a hearty consistency to your pie…as well as lots of extra fibre (and another one of your 5-a-day!).

What’s the side?

With a hearty pie you don’t need much to accompany it. Don’t undo the good work by adding creamy mash or greasy chips. Instead add a pile of steamed greens, with a touch of butter, garlic and lemon for flavour. And, if you do want a bit extra, oven-roasted sweet potato chips add yet another of your 5-a-day too.

What’s the portion?

Don’t make a pie fit for four and then eat the lot! Be aware of how much you need – make individual pies in small dishes if you are a sucker for second helpings.

Follow my healthy pie checklist and make National Pie week a positive week for your health and weight!