Sometimes our favorite desserts are cherished because of the story behind them, in addition to their flavor. Our friend Lauren from @healthyhomebakes has shared her Tropical Melon Salsa with Pie Chips recipe with us that is both fresh and healthy. This recipe is an update to her father-in-law’s pie crust recipe that she has transformed into pie chips to pair with a refreshing Solara® Mini Melon salsa.
FAMILY TIME IS THE BEST TIME –
This time of year reminds me of all the things I love the most. It has, in my opinion, the best weather and the freshest fruits & veggies. This means you can easily make some of the best meals and desserts. It’s also a great time to make special memories by spending loads of time with my family. One of the best ways to connect, across all generations, has been to spend time together to make traditional recipes for our family dinners every weekend. To keep dishes exciting, I like to experiment by adding special twists to what has been passed down across generations. One of the most popular desserts in my family has always been pie. Hands down, it is always the number one dessert request for any family get-together or holiday celebration. Luckily for me, my father-in-law taught me how to make his much-loved family pie crust recipe many years ago & I have been deemed the family pie maker ever since.
My family really enjoys their desserts, and as a nutritionist, I love to find ways to make traditional desserts healthier. So, a couple of years ago, when I was making pie for the family and created what we now refer to as “pie chips”, I thought to myself that these would go great served with fresh fruit salsa! Trust me when I tell you they are the best little buttery and flaky treats! Fast forward to this summer when Pure Flavor® launched the Solara® Mini Melon and I knew that it would make the perfect addition to our family’s favorite treat! This is how my Tropical Melon Salsa with Pie Chips recipe was born! Since the melons are greenhouse grown, it means that they will be available year-round, ensuring that this snack can be enjoyed no matter the season!
When I created this recipe, I also added strawberries, nectarines, and golden kiwis since they are my family’s favorites. I simply tossed them all together in a honey lime sauce. You can easily adapt this salsa based on what you and your family like the most.
COOL AND SWEET –
The star of this whole dish is the super fresh Tropical Melon Salsa which consists of one of my new favorites- the first of its kind, Solara® Mini Melon. They are so juicy and the flavor profile is sweet, yet mellow. Since they are personal-sized, my kids are obsessed because they get to have a little bowl of paradise in the palm of their hands. One of my favorite things to do with them is to scoop out the inside of the melon, chop up the flesh for the fruit salsa, and then serve the salsa in the melon bowl surrounded by the pie chips for a unique, healthy dessert board. Not only does this look reduce the number of dishes needed, but makes this dish Instagram-worthy!
MAKING PIE CHIPS –
When my father-in-law first taught me to make his pie recipe, he was very clear that first and foremost, high-quality, fresh ingredients are very important. I make my pie crust with a mixture of pastry and whole wheat flour, coconut oil, and vegan butter. To ensure that you have a flaky and buttery crust, it’s important to keep these two things in mind:
1. Use a pastry cutter to combine ingredients. You can use a fork if you don’t have one, but it’s an important step you cannot skip if you want to achieve the correct texture.
2. Make sure your coconut oil, vegan butter, and water are VERY cold. The cold ingredients make for an easier-to-handle pie crust. It’s easier to roll out and move from the countertop to the sheet pan as well.
For sweetness, I added a mixture of stevia and cinnamon on top of the chips to replace refined sugar. Fun fact: stevia is a bushy shrub that is part of the sunflower family. It is said to be 200x sweeter than can sugar, so you don’t need a lot. Stevia is a great natural sugar alternative, especially for people who are glucose intolerant or diabetic.
DESSERT CAN BE HEALTHY –
I am a huge melon lover! There are so many wonderful, naturally-occurring nutritional benefits in Solara® Mini Melons. They are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, dietary fiber, and potassium, making them the perfect addition to a balanced diet.
As much as our family loves pie, this adaptation is a good way for us to enjoy any time of the year. And just because recipes change, it doesn’t mean traditions have to! Cooking together and creating healthy alternatives to my family’s favorite desserts is a fun reason to get my entire family in the kitchen. It may be extra work to bake for every family get-together, but I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn how to make my father-in-law’s traditional pie crust. It always puts a smile on my face to see how excited he is whenever I bring out one of his recipes, even if I’ve modified it a bit. And as much as they love our traditional family fare, my family always loves to see what I am going to come up with next! Experimenting with flavors is a great way to keep your family excited for dinner time together. Hopefully, the next time you’re looking for a refreshing treat, you will give this Tropical Melon Salsa with Pie Chips recipe a try! I know you guys will enjoy this as much as my family and I do!