The spicy smell of sweet potato and pumpkin pies cooking is a reminder that the holidays are near. Eaten mainly on Christmas and Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie and sweet potato pies are both tasty and nutritious. Although pie normally has a high fat content, the ingredients in these pies can be manipulated to be healthier.
On the surface, it may be virtually impossible to tell pumpkin pie from sweet potato pie. Both pies are made from vegetables that are very versatile and are deep orange to reddish-orange in color. There are several variations of sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie, each containing their own nutrition status.
Vitamins and Nutrients
According to Whfoods, a single baked sweet potato contains 262 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, over 25 percent vitamin C, 25 percent manganese and more than 10 percent of copper, dietary fiber and vitamin B-6. A simple 9-inch sweet potato pie recipe using unbaked pie crust, one pound of sweet potatoes, butter, white sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla extract contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, magnesium, folate and 2 or more grams of dietary fiber. Pumpkin pie contains potassium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6 and B-12, magnesium, folate, phosphorous, niacin, calcium, zinc and iron. One slice of pumpkin pie contains over 249 percent of vitamin A.
Calories and Carbs
Depending on what extras are being added into the pie, the calories per slice can rise dramatically. For one slice of pumpkin pie, there are over 300 calories and in some versions of pumpkin pie, over half of these calories are from fat. Pumpkin pie by the slice contains 15 percent carbohydrates and 20 percent cholesterol. One slice of sweet potato pie can contain over 380 calories and contain as much as 49 percent saturated fat.
Sweet potatoes, according to Whfoods, contain antioxidants, which work to combat free radicals. Free radicals work to destroy the cells, which can cause colon cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease and colon cancer. Both pies can contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are both heart healthy and help to reduce bad cholesterol.
Some people opt to make the pies even healthier by using a granola crust instead of a flour crust. You can add pecans or walnuts on top to add additional nutrients or combine both sweet potatoes and pumpkins together to make a nutrient-packed powerhouse pie. You can also try incorporating flax seeds into the crust for the added omega fatty acids.