Healthy, Clean Low-Sugar Blueberry Pie
Mmmm, warm blueberry pie a-la-mode topped with vanilla ice cream and extra fixin’s? Yes, please! I just HAD to try a slice this way, with a little added crunch, plus chocolate because, well, chocolate. Especially since I originally planned to make this a healthy blueberry crumb pie with a crunchy oat struesel topping – similar to a healthy blueberry crisp or crumble recipe, but somehow, mombrain happened and I completely forgot! Oops, I’ll add that next time I whip up this pie for a special treat. Oh yeah, and special thanks to my friend Kelli who is an amazing photographer for some of her tips and tricks… my food photography skills are gradually starting to suck less and less – Yay!
Who says blueberry pie has to be all about the fruit? The slice above I topped with vanilla ice cream, a great new muesli I found recently at the grocery store from the brand Delba called Farmers & Sunny Muesli (granola would’ve tasted great too!) nuts, chocolate chips, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce to finish it off. (Spoiler alert: if you didn’t already know – chocolate and blueberry flavors go together even better than PB&J.) And this healthy blueberry pie is low in carbs, fat, sugar AND overall calories, so enjoy it as-is or go ahead and dress it up however you like, guilt-free!
I love blueberries, and so does my toddler! So it’s only natural we just had to make this healthy, low-sugar blueberry pie recipe! We had some frozen ones to use up, as well as fresh cranberries, and frozen strawberries I bought a huge box of and prepped for the freezer over the summer. I’ve made this recipe as blueberry pie and also as a triple berry pie (or use whatever berries are your favorites, or are in season at the time.) This flavor of this healthy blueberry pie is so fabulous, it’s hard to believe the entire pie contains NO added sugar, no artificial sugars or sweeteners whatsoever, and is made with only clean, wholesome ingredients. The pie is even better on the 2nd and 3rd day… if it lasts that long!
My birthday fell on a Saturday this year, and with most places closed due to Covid, it was different to not be able to go do much to celebrate. I’d had a sweet tooth, and the cold, Michigan winter weather creeping ever closer gave me the “Baking bug.” I started thinking a few days ahead of time about a special treat I could make instead. I’m not a cake person, but I do love to bake, and I love getting creative to concoct healthy new treats, so of course its only natural that store-bought baked goods aren’t usually my top preference. Especially not for a holiday or a birthday. As a child, we couldn’t afford to buy the expensive store or bakery cakes with the neon frostings, the big tufts of buttercream designed to look like animals and the fancy candy decorations. I just realized, maybe that’s why I’m not big on frosting to this day. Hmm. Anyway, I’m glad we didn’t get the store bought bakery cakes because instead, my mom always made me one. It was always something creative and original, and not something a bakery could duplicate. For this reason, to me, it’s special (and a very sweet gesture) when someone takes the time and effort to make a homemade cake or treat for you. So this year, I figured I would make myself something special!
Only cake didn’t sound great, I’m more of a pie girl… yes, blueberry pie! Blueberry pie is one of those things. I’d actually NEVER had it. Don’t ask me why. But I knew I loved it. And so I had to find the perfect healthy blueberry pie recipe and bake one for my birthday! Making this pie was really two birthday treats to myself in one. The first treat of course, was setting aside some self-care time to do some baking. Baking and cooking, but especially baking, are an artform to me. It’s my way to be creative and artistic, and it’s so fun to see what magic will result. Even the chemistry behind baking interests me… ok, spoiler alert, I’m such a nerd! But y’all this pie!!! It’s amazing.
Okay so I planned to make the pie Friday so I could have it for my birthday on Saturday… I turned 30… something. Whoa. On Friday my crazy little toddler who I sometimes call my blueberry bandit because he steals them all and loves them as much as his mama, was a handful and I just wasn’t able to find a few minutes to spare making this pie. Saturday came, and Saturday went. I chased him around for half an hour getting him all bundled up to go outside, and brought him out to play in the fresh snow, he hated it. Ahhhh. By Sunday I was feeling hopeless that this pie would ever come to fruition, and Monday didn’t fare much better.
But Tuesday! Finally, on Tuesday, I carved out some time in my day to make this amazing, delicious blueberry pie. It was SO QUICK and easy to make! This pie takes less than half the prep time it takes to make my healthier dutch apple pie recipe, and that’s regardless of whether your berries are fresh or frozen. It took me less than 20 minutes to have this healthy, low-sugar blueberry pie in the oven. So I waited. With anticipation. After 20 minutes, I checked it every 5 or so, determined not to burn it. Finally! It was done. After I got the baby to sleep, I cut a small piece and had a chance to try it. Instantly, my only regret was that I had made this cute, pint-sized little blueberry pie, instead of a big, juicy deep dish behemoth of a blueberry pie. My friends, it’s not a mistake I will make twice and this I can promise!
Recently I bought a new half-size glass pie dish – since a large pie only stays fresh a week at most, and it’s just the 3 of us I thought a smaller pie pan would be perfect to try. I think it’s a 6 inch – and I thought it would be perfect for a personal sized pie. Ya know, almost like a personal sized pizza. Except I didn’t think I’d want to eat the entire pie in one sitting like a personal pizza This gives me another idea… what about making a personal size deep dish pizza pie in a pie pan. Hmm. That’s happening!! In another post.
So before I made this pie, I did what anyone would do. Or perhaps, just what I do. Even though I never really had any intention of making a blueberry pie recipe according to a pie recipe that was already in existence (…where’s the creativity in that, amiright?!) I browsed a few recipes on Google to get an idea of what other blueberry pie recipes contain. Some use fresh berries, some frozen. Some use blueberry pie filling in a can. Eww. I’m not a canned fruit girl. Nope. Unless it’s canned pumpkin – that would be the only exception around here for making pies using canned fruits. I knew I didn’t want a traditional blueberry pie recipe that would have an overpowering sugary flavor, or one that would leave me feeling bloated and icky after eating a slice. It’s a few days late, now, but this pie is still supposed to be my birthday treat to myself, after all, so I wanted it to be something I could feel good about eating and nourishing my body with rather than something that would give me dessert-guilt or gas. No thanks!
After looking at traditional blueberry pie recipes, I looked at healthy blueberry pie recipes. Some were keto blueberry pies, some were full of Splenda, others had lots of obscure specialty ingredients that I don’t have onhand. So after seeing some ideas and gathering my inspiration, I grabbed my notebook and started writing. Sometimes, oftentimes, I write a new recipe down, or at least my base recipe, before I’ve ever made it, then I follow what I’ve written, add my ingredients, and typically adjust and scribble along the way, making adjustments or additions as I go. This was no exception. Does anyone else do this? It’s fun! And somehow, I usually come out with a winning combination.
Many of the healthy blueberry pie recipes I saw included either a ton of stevia (which can still have an overpowering sweet flavor, or an aftertaste), agave, alot of maple syrup, or cinnamon. I actually LOVE cinnamon flavors, almost as much as I love berries, especially blueberries, but, I like cinnamon paired with bananas, pumpkin, apple and many fall dessert flavors, but I felt its sweet-spicyness might overpower the berries. I was right. So this recipe uses just a teensy smidge of cinnamon, but it’s just right. You only need a handful of common ingredients, and you can add in any type of berries you’d like. Like many of my recipes, it’s forgiving and very versatile.
The magic secret to holding the pie filling together – it’s not sugar! Just like many healthier fruit jam recipes, the secret ingredient in my healthy blueberry pie is chia seeds! They add lots of nutrition and fiber, but don’t have much of a flavor on their own, and I promise you won’t even notice (or be able to see!) them in your finished pie. For sweetener, we need just a tablespoon of maple syrup, and a tablespoon of stevia blend. No sugars whatsoever are needed and the filling is perfectly sweet and delicious!
How to Make Your Healthy Blueberry Pie Gluten-Free
You can easily make this healthy blueberry pie gluten-free by changing up the filling just a bit and subbing the flour for oats or another flour, like almond or cocononut flour, or if you’re watching carbs you can swap in a bit of protein powder in the filling too, and your tastebuds will be none the wiser! If you make any changes, please share what you did differently and let me know how it turns out in the comments!
Pie Crust for Your Healthy Blueberry Pie
Ok, some of us are all about the crusts. Alot of the times, when I’m making pie I’m also baking and cooking a smorgasboard of other foods at the same time and running around the kitchen doing way too many things at once – I burn the crusts a bit, and typically peel them away to get to the fruity pie goodness that lies within. So, you can use whatever crust is your personal favorite with this pie. A few weeks ago when I made my pumpkin apple pie recipe, (a hybrid of two fall favorites!) I did experiment a bit and come up with a pretty good low-carb homemade pie crust, which I’ll post in another entry and link to here. But since I have that toddler still running around demading most of my time, I wanted to keep things easy with this pie. No, I needed to keep things easy, and fast. So I used a store-bought refrigerated pie crust/dough. (Not a graham cracker crust.) I figure that, with the filling being so healthy compared to your average run-of-the-mill traditional fruit pie, I could afford a little splurge with an unhealthy crust, right. The blueberries cancel out the crust! And what’s better, the moistness of the berry filling helps to keep the pie crust moist from the bottom-up, and I didn’t even burn it. That store bought crust? It goes wonderfully with this homemade filling.
- 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen, chopped
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup fresh cranberries
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons King Arthur white wheat flour (all-purpose is fine too, use your favorite flour)
- ½ tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
- ⅛ tsp. ground Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seed
- 1 tablespoon Stevia Baking Blend (a granulated mixture of ethryitol and stevia)
- 2 tablespoons water
- To make a full-size (9 to 10" pie) - double these ingredients.
- Prepare a store-bought pie crust in a pie dish according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a saucepan with nonstick cooking spray, add chopped strawberries and remaining berries and simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until berries are breaking down; stirring often.
- Add water, chia seeds, maple syrup, and stevia blend. Simmer 5 more minutes, mash berries with a fork or potato masher if desired for a smoother consistency.
- Finally, stir in cornstarch, flour, and cinnamon and continue stirring, 1 minute, then remove from heat. Allow filling to cool and thicken for 5-10 minutes before pouring into pie crust. Serve open-faced or add lattice or a top-crust, or an oat streusel if desired.
- Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until filling is bubbly. Oven times may vary, check every 5 minutes after 15 minutes.
This recipe is just so simple and easy! If it were any easier, the pie would be store-bought. If you like your pie a little runnier for extra gooey goodness, add a touch more water to the filling mixture before filling your pie. If you want it even thicker, add less. Personally, I think the pie is best served warm… and topped with vanilla ice cream. Mmm. Even if you’re having a second slice a few days after it was baked – reheat it! SO GOOD. The flavors meld and develop and marinate so much more overnight. Wow. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have! Feel free to use any combination of blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, or even something similar like cherries, or wild boysenberries if you’re lucky enough to have them growing wild in your yard in the summers. The possibilities are endless. Actually, I planned to make this healthy blueberry pie with an oatmeal streusel / oatmeal crumb topping but somehow, in the midst of baking – I forgot! So that is is on the agenda for next time. It would be more like a berry crisp in pie form that way. What’s not to love about that! xoxo