A Healthy Lemon Pie Dessert

15 April, 2021
Did you know that you don't have to give up desserts even if you want to take care of yourself? While we should avoid sugar-laden recipes, there are healthy alternatives that we can eat in moderate portions.

To begin, let’s talk about the delicious variety of desserts that exist today. Lemon pie, for example, is such a popular dessert that it has made us think about the need to modify its recipe a bit. But why? To make it healthier to fit the lifestyle we’re looking for.

Talking about health and nutrition isn’t synonymous with rejecting, but rather about being aware. If we look into the ingredients, they tend to be simple, but there’s one that’s problematic: sugar. Sugar ends up increasing the caloric density of this delicious dessert.

For this reason, we’re going to show you a healthy lemon pie recipe, without sugar and with nutritious ingredients. Undoubtedly a good option to pamper your palate while taking care of yourself. Take note!

Healthy lemon pie dessert: is it possible?

A slice of lemon pie.
A delicious pie is perfect for any time of the day.

When we talk about desserts, two ingredients come to mind and make us feel guilty: sugar and fat. We know that this delicious combination ends up being dangerous for health.

Regular intake of simple carbohydrates leads to the release of insulin and an increase in body fat. Of course, it’s important to mention that sporadically eating foods or desserts containing these two ingredients doesn’t imply a health risk.

Fortunately, there are alternative recipes that are nutritious without sacrificing flavor. This is the case with the healthy lemon pie dessert.

Highly palatable foods

There’s enough scientific evidence to affirm that highly palatable foods have an impact on the reward or hedonic system in the brain.

Food, like drugs, stimulates fibers located in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (Nac), brain areas that are responsible for the release of a well-known neutrotransmitter: dopamine.

Consuming drugs and certain foods increases the production of dopamine, which generates a feeling of well-being and the perception of the achievement of homeostasis in the body. This is stated in an article published in Neuropharmacology.

The brain associates these sensations to certain stimuli (such as food), so it activates positive feedback systems to continue promoting such behavior.

For this reason, it’s important to control the consumption of these substances in both quantity and frequency. Similarly, it’s important to look for alternatives to desserts or products that have high amounts of these two nutrients, in order to keep track of what we eat and the impact they have on our health.

Also read: Are the Sugars in Fruit Really Harmful?

How to avoid food addiction

Let’s talk about changes in the amount and type of sugar. It’s important to put refined sugar aside and replace it with natural versions or sweeteners.

It’s also important to reduce the amount of fat and improve the quality. We can do this by minimizing the amount of saturated fat and increasing unsaturated fats that are beneficial for our heart.

So, stay tuned and discover how to prepare a healthy lemon pie!

Healthy lemon pie recipe

The key to enjoying a healthy lemon pie dessert is to make good food choices when purchasing ingredients.

As mentioned above, try to avoid refined sugar and saturated fat sources. The recipe below is for 8 individual pie servings.

Ingredients

  • 17 oz (500 grams) of cashew nuts, soaked in water overnight or for at least 4 hours
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of plain unsweetened yogurt (375 milliliters)
  • 4 tablespoons of agave nectar (0.5 oz or 15 grams)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 7 oz (200 grams) of walnuts
  • 3.5 oz (100 grams) of grated coconut
  • 7 oz (200 grams) of pitted dates
  • Small paper cups

You may also like: Healthy Recipes to Satisfy Sweet Cravings

Preparing a healthy lemon pie dessert

A family cooking together.
Making these recipes as a family can be a good excuse to spend time together.
  • To begin, place the dates, coconut, and walnuts in a food processor. This will be the base for several cold desserts, including this healthy lemon pie. Make sure the ingredients are well blended.
  • Spoon the mixture into small molds. With the help of a spoon, press until the mixture is compact.
  • Place the walnuts, lemon, zest, agave nectar, yogurt, salt, and vanilla in the food processor.
  • You’ll know the mixture is ready when it has a smooth, creamy consistency.
  • Spoon into chilled dessert molds.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours and take out of the molds. Garnish with lemon zest.
  • Now you’re ready to enjoy this healthy and delicious recipe!

You can eat this healthy lemon pie dessert without feeling guilty

We can vary the dessert recipes to pamper the palate without remorse. In general, we should try to avoid the use of added sugar and saturated fats and use healthy and nutritious ingredients.

  • Alonso Alonso M., Woods SC., Pelchat M., Grigson PS., Stice E., et al., Food reward system: current perspective and future research needs. Nutr Rev, 2015. 73 (5): 296-307.
  • Massadi OA., Nogueiras R., Dieguez C., Girault JA., Ghrelin and food reward. Neuropharmacology, 2019. 148: 131-138.