Homemade apple pie recipes can be passed down for generations or found in the thousands with a simple internet search.  But with this tasty autumn treat comes the challenge of keeping our traditions and sticking to our healthy diet.

I want to share a few tips for making the classic homemade apple pie recipes that your family will love while maintaining the integrity of your food priorities.

This is not going to be a low-calorie or low-fat recipe.  But I would like to investigate other ways to improve the taste and ingredients for the recipes you already love.

Use Organic Ingredients

Conventionally grown apples top the list for produce with unacceptable levels of pesticide residue.  Thankfully organic apples are readily available in most markets across the nation.  Even in the smallest grocery store in my town we can also find organic spices, sugars, and butter.  Just these little changes can make a big difference in the quality of your final product.  Here’s some more information about using organic ingredients.

Grind Your Own Wheat

Homemade apple pie recipes can take on a whole new dimension of delicious tradition when you start with more whole ingredients.  Grinding your own wheat doesn’t have to be complicated and require expensive machinery.  You can grind small batches of quality wheat berries in a blender for excellent nutrition and texture.  Your pie crust will be appreciated all the more when you use the finest wheat and grind it yourself. Click here to find out more about grinding your own wheat.

Change the Sugar

I do not suggest that you reduce or replace your sugar with sugar substitutes.  Instead, choose a less processed cane sugar to enhance the flavor of your homemade apple pie recipes.  Sucanat will have a fuller, richer flavor because it maintains the molasses from the sugar cane juice.  Sucanat also brings with it loads of vitamins and minerals that are almost completely removed in refined sugars.  You might try substituting sucanat on a 1:1 ratio with your original recipe.  The sucanat has less sucrose per cup than refined, white sugar so this will be an immediate reduction in calories with a distinctive boost in flavor.

Another great way to increase the flavor and minerals in your pie is to sweeten it with maple syrup.  Always use Grade B for baking, as this has a richer and more pure maple flavor than Grade A.

Though I would not suggest replacing the sugar in your apple pie recipe with a chemical substitute, most recipes that call for 3/4 – 1 full cup of sugar could stand to have the sugar reduced by half.  This would make a minor difference in the flavor without changing the consistency of the pie filling.

Amp Up the Flavor with Spices

Most traditional apple pie recipes are flavored with cinnamon.  You might try spicing it up with a combination of nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, ginger, and cloves.  Here’s a good combination that could replace cinnamon by itself in your favorite recipe.

Warm Apple Pie Spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom OR ginger
  • 1 dash cloves
This will get you started toward creating your own signature apple pie spice blend.  Find the combination your family loves best.

Top It All Off

Instead of ice cream, try topping your apple pie with homemade whipped cream.  This will provide that same creamy texture without all the sugar and fat in ice cream.


Please leave a comment and share with us how you make your family’s health a priority in your own homemade apple pie recipes!

Check out more Apple Pie recipes here.