Aside from being grateful for what we have, Thanksgiving is all about food: turkey, stuffing, sides and rolls.
More importantly, perhaps, you can’t have Thanksgiving without pie.
“Pies are the best part of dinner,” local resident Sharron Sanborn said.
It’s against Sanborn’s personal rule to buy a pie for the holiday, no matter what store it is from. She said all the pies at her house are homemade.
“We always have an apple pie; I prefer crumb topping but my hubs prefers double crust,” Sanborn said. “I’ve also often made a cranberry pie. And usually a spiced pumpkin pie.”
Sanborn bakes some of the most popular pies in America or the classic pies most people have tried at least once.
In a local Facebook group, other area residents chimed in with their favorite pies to end — or start — Thanksgiving dinner. Some locals shared how they bake a classic pie, which is far from a health-conscious dessert, and put a healthier twist on it.
“Pecan is my favorite,” Sarah Walker said. “I like to only eat it on Thanksgiving because, like the full Thanksgiving meal I only have once a year, it’s something else I can look forward to.”
When baking pumpkin pie, Gina Holland makes little changes to cut the calorie count.
“I buy a store-bought crust, but roll it out so it’s thinner,” Holland said. “It’s just a little change, but it makes it where I’m not eating as much crust. I also use fat-free milk when making the filling.”
Another area resident cuts down on the calories in pecan pie, which gets most of its unhealthiness from butter and corn syrup. Martha Tilney uses neither of those ingredients and instead finds alternatives like coconut oil.
“I let the natural sugar from the apples sweeten my apple pie,” Tilney said. “That way I don’t have to use any added sugar.”
Other ways to make a pie healthier is by switching a few ingredients, including using yogurt in place of butter while making a crust, using whole wheat flour over white flour or just using nut flours for crusts. Bakers also can choose fruits that are naturally sweet to combat the use of scoops of sugar.
Without having to change ingredients in the pies, one resident said she tends to just choose fruit pies. While she knows they are not necessarily healthy, she feels less guilty about eating a blueberry pie than anything with a load of whipped cream.
It’s hard to think healthy on a holiday that is all about food, food and more food, so one resident said she doesn’t even try. She said she doesn’t want to have to worry about making small changes to make a pie healthier when Thanksgiving day and the week leading up to it is busy enough.
“A part of the fun of eating on Thanksgiving is not caring about calories,” Sandy McCann said. “As for pie, I’ll usually eat a slice or two of my favorite, apple, with a scoop of ice cream.”