Posts made in November 12th, 2012

lighter pumpkin pie with cinnamon walnut streusel


Posted on Nov 12, 2012 in Food

Lighter Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Walnut Streusel

I’m a big fan of moderation in all areas of my life. But I especially like to practice moderation in my cooking and eating. I think life is too short to eat kale and flaxseed for every meal and, conversely, life is (hopefully) too long to eat deep-fried Twinkies everyday. So I try to make the majority of my recipes fall somewhere between the kale and the Twinkies. It means sometimes I eat crazy decadent pizzas like this and also that a lot of the times I take a “normal” recipe and clean it up a bit by maybe reducing the sugar, using whole grains or adding something to up the nutrition. But it doesn’t mean that I strip away all the less-than-ideal foods. As much as I may try at times, I just can’t get on the no butter, no sugar, all clean train. I admit, there is something romantic about being that disciplined. Even I’m guilty of looking at other people and their perfectly clean diets and thinking, “Gosh, my life would be all sunshine and rainbows if I could just be like them!” And that’s just…not true. And that’s totally confirmed with recipes like this pie. Maybe it’s a personal thing, but I’d much rather live a life where I’m completely comfortable eating a few tablespoons of real, natural butter than I am living in a world where I’ve sworn off butter (or, heaven forbid, allowed myself to only eat lab-created butter substitutes). Especially if those few tablespoons of butter get me a slice of this crazy delicious pie. So maybe this isn’t the cleanest pumpkin pie ever. Okay, it totally isn’t. There is still butter, there is still sugar and it still tastes like a totally decadent dessert. But it’s also not your run-of-the-mill pumpkin pie either. It’s made with a 100% whole wheat crust, egg whites and a heck of a lot less sugar than your normal store-bought pie. And that’s enough for me. Maybe that’s me being a cop-out. Maybe my willpower isn’t good enough. Maybe I should try harder to eat cleaner. Maybe I should keep tweaking this recipe to be sugar free. Maybe I shouldn’t want a pumpkin pie at all. Or maybe, life is too short to worry so much. Yeah, I’m gonna go with that last one. Enjoy!

Lighter Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Walnut Streusel

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Makes: 8 servings


For the Pie
  • 1 prepared pie crust
  • 1-15 ounce can of pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg whites
For the Streusel
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Roll out prepared pie crust into a 9″ pie plate, fluting the edges. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all remaining pie ingredients (through egg whites) until very smooth. Pour into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until pie is solidified.
  5. While the pie bakes, combine all streusel ingredients in a small bowl until well-mixed. With about 10 minutes remaining of the pie cooking time, sprinkle the streusel on top to bake as the pie finishes.
  6. Remove pie from oven and let cool completely before slicing into eight slices.


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Are you guilty of dreaming of a cleaner diet? What areas do you feel like need work?

monday motivation: optimism


Posted on Nov 12, 2012 in Motivation

I already posted this quote on my Facebook page last week, but I loved it so much I had to share it here, too. That Lincoln guy? Kinda awesome. And this quote? Totally amazing. There are so many powerful sentiments wrapped up in those 15 words—the pointlessness of negativity, the lesson of being thankful for what we have, the impressive power of flipping our mindset. Whenever I find myself plummeting into a negativity spiral, I always try to bring myself out of it by flipping the negativity on its head. Finding the silver lining may be a cliché, but for me, it’s an important method for keeping a positive perspective.

Worried about something? Or a lot of things? Write them down. Get all your fears out on paper. And then flip it on its head and write down right next to it the positives in the situation.

Do you try to see the sunny side of life? When’s the last time it was really hard for you to stay optimistic?