Thanksgiving face-off: apple vs. pumpkin pie

Published on November 11 2010 - 4:23 PM
Thanksgiving face-off: apple vs. pumpkin pie
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There are always two kinds of pie at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner: pumpkin and apple. My husband, Dan, and I have totally different opinions about which is tastier and for each of us there’s no hesitation. He loves pumpkin pie—and if you asked him he’d say that it’s his favorite pie year-round. Me? I’m an apple pie lover. So it’s not tough for either one of us to choose what to enjoy for dessert when that time comes around.

Our debate got me wondering: is one a better choice nutritionally than the other? So I took a look at two EatingWell recipes: Deep-Dish Apple Pie and Holiday Pumpkin Pie. They both start with inherently healthy ingredients, and with EatingWell’s lighter touch they’re better for you than traditional recipes. Here are the recipes and how they stack up against one another.

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Deep-Dish Apple Pie
Why pick apple: Our deep-dish apple pie recipe is loaded with plenty of fresh apples, which may, literally, help keep the doctor away. Apples are rich in antioxidant flavonoid compounds which may help prevent "bad" LDL cholesterol from oxidizing—which leads to plaque build-up—and inhibit inflammation. Apples also contain pectin, a form of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Each slice of our pie also boasts 5 grams of fiber—not bad for dessert!

Related: Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp & More Delicious Apple Desserts

Holiday Pumpkin Pie
Why pick pumpkin: Pumpkin, like all orange foods (naturally orange, of course; this does not include Cheetos...), is a rich source of beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A plays an important role in bone growth, reproduction, immune function, hormone synthesis and regulation, and, perhaps most notably, vision. One slice of our pumpkin pie provides 137% of the daily value of vitamin A. (The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest eating 2 cups per week of orange vegetables.)

Related: Frozen Mousse Pumpkin Pie & More Delicious Pumpkin Desserts

Of course pie is a treat, but if you enjoy it in moderation, and even better with these healthier-for-you recipes, it can be guilt-free. Which pie should you choose? The nutritional stats between our two pie recipes are pretty comparable in terms of fat and calories (the higher number of calories in the deep-dish apple pie is likely attributable to its double crust). So pick the pie you like best and enjoy!

Related: Step-By-Step Photos to Make Deep Dish Apple Pie

Get the Recipes:
Holiday Pumpkin Pie
Deep-Dish Apple Pie

A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.