Thanksgiving deserts served by the numbers


November 01, 1994|By Colleen Pierre | Colleen Pierre,Special to The Sun

It's hard to share a feast with a tableful of dietitians without discussing the nutritional quality and fat content of everything. Even when we keep quiet, inquiring guests get the ball rolling with all their favorite food questions, and from that point on, there's no stopping us.

A few weeks ago, I went to a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner held right here in Baltimore at Brenda's house.

By and large, things looked pretty traditional. Turkey with stuffing was the centerpiece, of course, surrounded by traditional foods to give thanks for. (The one obviously missing dish was the sauerkraut.)

Everybody took nice little portions, just enough to taste everything. Then came dessert. Three kinds of pie, with your choice of whipped cream or ice cream. And that's when the "calories/fat in pie" conversation got going.

My personal preference for dealing with pie is to relax and enjoy. If they serve three kinds, I want a sliver of each. I stop at a sliver because that's when I'm full, and I've finally grown enough in wisdom and maturity to realize I hate feeling stuffed.

But for all my friends around the table, and all who are making plans for a blowout American Thanksgiving, here are the stats on the three pies we enjoyed. Each serving is one-eighth of a 9-inch pie, with traditional crust, but before ice cream or whipped cream.

Pumpkin pie:

241 calories; 5 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrate; 13 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 244 milligrams sodium; 5 grams fiber; and half your vitamin A (mostly from beta carotene) for the day.

Apple pie:

282 calories; 2 grams protein; 43 grams carbohydrate; 12 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 181 milligrams sodium.

Sweet potato:

368 calories; 5 grams protein; 40 grams carbohydrate; 22 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 354 milligrams sodium; and 100 percent of your vitamin A (mostly from beta carotene) for the day.

Notice the big jump in fat and saturated fat when you get to sweet potato pie. It's really high in vitamin A, which could, presumably, be a selling point for eating it frequently. But look at the recipe. This really is a "once in a while in an otherwise low-fat day" kind of treat.

Mae's Sweet Potato Pie

2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mash sweet potatoes, then mix thoroughly with remaining ingredients. Pour into uncooked pie shell. Bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees until firm.

Lenny and Karen also expressed interest in bean pie, another FTC Southern favorite. With all the current interest in replacing high-fat meat with more beans, you might be tempted to think of this as good nutrition. But alas, it's the big daddy of them all, and should live forever in the treat category. In fact, you might want to have just half a serving.

Here's Lenny's bean pie recipe:

Bean Pie

Makes 16 servings.

2 cups cooked, mashed navy beans

4 cups sugar

1 cup butter

6 eggs

2 (13 ounce) cans evaporated milk

2 tablespoons vanilla

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Cook and strain beans. Add spices to sugar, then cream sugar, butter and eggs with beans. Mix well then add vanilla and milk. Mix until completely smooth, divide between two unbaked pie shells, then cook 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

521 calories; 9 grams protein; 71 grams carbohydrate; 24 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 124 milligrams cholesterol; 2.5 grams fiber.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant the the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center and Vanderhorst & Associates in Baltimore.

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