Today the healthy blogger is me.
Wait a second….
Yes, you heard that right. I decided that I didn’t want to ask anyone to do a post over the holiday and I also wanted to have a chance to put in my two cents on a healthy issue. Oh, and I plan to give you an amazing pie recipe….
….but more about that later.
I thought long and hard about what I would write if I would write a healthy blogger post. Should I write about P90x and P90x2? Triathlon training? Hot yoga? All of these are possible future topics, but the most important part of our healthy lifestyle comes down to one thing: balance.
Even though we define ourselves by clean eating, this is not, nor will it ever be a clean eating blog. Why? Because we do not expect ourselves to eat 100% clean, 100% perfect, 100% of the time. This will also not be a vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free blog, though we have tendencies for all of these in our diet and way of life.
These are not fad diets for us, it’s how we live. But it’s important to remember, that we do live and therefore have no desire to trap ourselves into a diet we cannot maintain.
We don’t want to be ‘those people’. People who are so strict that they do not enjoy life and take themselves so seriously that they never eat another restaurant-made french fry, imitation crab salad (my guilty pleasure), store-bought popsicle (Manatee’s guilty pleasure), or piece of cake.
So, how do we walk the line between healthy eating and real life?
We don’t believe in cheat meals, nights, or days. If we indulge, we indulge in a snack, a dessert, a taste. It’s one thing to have a scoop of crab salad, it’s another to binge on junk food for an entire meal.
If we really crave something, we eat it. The funniest thing about this: most of the times it’s not as good as we thought or the way we feel afterwards is not worth the taste. The best thing about this is that we no longer crave the food.
We stay attuned to our bodies. After eliminating dairy, wheat, and processed foods, it’s amazing how sensitive you become to these foods. I no longer even want to eat pizza (shocking, I know!), because I know I won’t feel good afterwards. The same goes for sugar. There are so many things now that are just too sweet for me. To be honest, it’s a little scary how your bodies adjust to what you put (and don’t put) into your mouth.
If we drink too much or eat too much, we don’t beat ourselves up. Tomorrow is always a new day. It’s never the end of the world. When you eat clean 95% of the time, a little junk won’t kill you.
Coming to Peace with Pie Crusts
You may be wondering how the amazing pie fits into this post. Here’s the thing: I know that a from-scratch pie crust is the way to go. But the night before Father’s Day, I was in a lurch. I was not feeling well due to a mix of allergies and what became a very bad cold, but I had promised my father-in-law a rhubarb pie. I had all the ingredients but the thought of making the dough made me want to hide under the kitchen table, not to mention I would have had to stay up half the night to get it done.
Enter: the pre-made pie crust.
Yes, I did it. I made that pie with the pre-made crust and it was amazing. It tasted great and it was so unbelievably easy.
So unbelievably easy that I made the pie again….and again…..and again. In three weeks, I made five pies for parties, book clubs, BBQs, you name it. Each time, the pie was gobbled up and each time I felt a little more guilty. Here the clean eater was totally relying on a pre-made product. The horror!
Then I finally had to tell myself to lighten up. Some day when I am not trying to jump start my own business, write a cookbook, maintain a blog, complete P90x2, coach a BeachBody team, and train for three triathlons, three aquathons, and two half marathons, then I will work on perfecting my own homemade pie crust. Until then, I still want to eat pie. Minus the crust, pies are pretty much the easiest dessert you can make. Life is too short to not eat pie.
You have every right to judge me. Boo, hiss, throw organic tomatoes, but at least try the pie. If you are too Martha Stewart for a pre-made crust, then make your own, I admire you.
Apple Rhubarb Pie
2 pre-made pie crusts
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons of rolled oats
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup Sucanat or 1/4 cup organic sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
5-6 apples, cored and diced
2-3 cups rhubarb
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk one egg in a large bowl. Add apples and rhubarb.
Add oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the fruit mixture. Toss to combine.
Place 1 pie crust in a pie pan. Add fruit mixture. Top with other pie crust.
In the large bowl you used for the mixture, whisk the second egg. Brush the egg mixture over the top crust.
Using a paring knife, cut slits into the top crust so steam can escape.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until crust is a deep golden color and you can easily slide a paring knife into the fruit.
Let cool completely before cutting.
I love how golden and crispy the crust gets from the egg wash.
And because you cook it low and slow, you don’t have to worry about burnt crust. It’s such a nice trick.
The other egg also does double duty for the filling. It keeps the filling from getting runny and makes a custard like base for all of the fruit. Unfortunately, it is a little beyond my food styling skills at this moment to take a stellar shot of a slice of pie, but I think you get the gist of it with this picture.
While I spent a lot of time defending my choice in crusts, the most important part of the pie is the fruit. I kept the apple skin on the apple chunks to help them maintain their shape. The rhubarb adds the hint of tang, but I have to admit, the apples steal the show.
I experimented a lot with the sugar level. After a few tries, I found that 1/2 cup was the perfect amount. It added enough sweet to offset the sourness of the rhubarb, but not enough to mask the flavor of the fruit.
Do you make your own crusts? What is your favorite kind of pie?