There is nothing quite like the creamy, cool, sweet, custard-y taste and texture of a banana cream pie to transport you to summertime picnics of yesteryear and call to mind long summer nights spent over simple suppers (likely a grill was involved) with friends. And there most certainly is a time for those self-same recipes, packed as they are with egg yolks and refined sugar (see how I bemoan the Banana Cream Pie in my Banana-Coconut Cream Pie Bowl recipe). But NOW is the time for a HIGH-PROTEIN Banana Cream Pie (but of course!). And it’s also gluten-free, low-fat and has no added sugar. Let’s get baking!
WOOEEEE! HOT ENOUGH FER ‘YA?!? (Strong Southern accent intended and implied!) I don’t know about you, but we are in the middle of a HEAT WAVE here in the Republic of Korea. The current temperature is 33 degrees Celsius, with a “feels like” 36 degrees (my apologies, American friends, I don’t even know how hot that is in Fahrenheit, other than DANG HOT – I guess it’s getting up into the nineties?). And the old saying, “It ain’t the heat that gets ya, it’s the humidity?” Well, we’ve got that in spades too, with humidity ranging from 70-90+ percent in the 7-day forecast, and no single daytime temperature dipping below 33 C on the mercury.
So, really, who in his or her right mind would be turning on the oven in the middle of this heat wave? Well, the same person who starts a blog post with phrases like “yesteryear” and “self-same.” Yup, I was so
obsessed with intent on perfecting this recipe that it went through no fewer than FIVE versions before I felt brave enough to bring it along to a brunch with friends (Mr. Golden Graham gallantly and graciously taste-tested each round and offered valuable feedback). I truly did want to make a “no-bake” version but I did NOT want to use store-bought pudding mix to set it (since none of the stores in Ulsan, South Korea actually stock instant pudding mix). I also did not want to use gelatin, because I was going for custard, not Jell-o. My versions with agar powder and xanthan gum, respectively, while delicious, were just a bit too “goopy.”
Enter the egg white. Dubbed in some circles as the “perfect protein,” egg protein is perfectly balanced and very bioavailable (ready for use by the human body). It is also an excellent ingredient for its binding purposes in baking (which is why vegans and those with egg allergies are forever trying to find appropriate substitutes such as flax eggs or chia eggs in their baking) and is the key to fluffy meringues and macarons (no, I don’t mean macaroons). I managed to add a few more grams of protein to an already high-protein recipe and I finally got it to take on an acceptable texture!
When our brunch companions not only ate Banana Cream Protein Pie Version 5.0 but also ASKED ME FOR THE RECIPE, I knew I had hit on success. Elena, this one’s for you!
Healthy Banana Cream Pie (Gluten-free, High-protein, Low-fat, No added sugar)
Creamy, cool, sweet and custard-y in its taste and texture, you’d never guess that this lightened-up banana cream pie is high in protein, low in fat and free of gluten and refined sugar!
Author: The Golden Graham Girl
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups (150g) oat flour (pro tip: you can grind regular rolled oats in a coffee grinder to achieve a “flour”)
2 scoops (42g) vanilla or natural (unflavoured) brown rice protein powder – I used Sunwarrior* brand OR an additional 1/2 cup (60g) of oat flour
3 tbsp (42g) coconut oil, melted – I used Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil*, but any brand should do
1 tsp (5mL or 4g) pure vanilla extract OR almond extract OR butter extract
Optional 3 packets powdered stevia – I used NuNaturals NuStevia White Stevia Powder Packets* (please consult a stevia/sweetener conversion chart if using a different sweetener or liquid stevia)
1/4 – 1/2 cup (40 – 80g) unsweetened almond milk
For the banana cream filling:
1 large egg white (33g)
Optional 1 packet powdered stevia – I used NuNaturals NuStevia White Stevia Powder Packets* (please consult a stevia/sweetener conversion chart if using a different sweetener or liquid stevia)
2 cups (454g) plain non-fat Greek yogurt – I used Kirkland Signature Plain Non-fat Greek Yogurt
2 scoops (67g) banana cream pie protein powder – I used Muscle Pharm Combat Powder Banana Cream* or you could try the NEW! Quest Nutrition Banana Cream Protein Powder
1 tbsp (15g) cornstarch, organic preferred (I recommend Edward & Sons Organic Cornstarch*)
To make the crust:
1. Preheat a conventional oven to 350F (185C) or a convection oven to 325F (165C).
2. Stir all ingredients except almond milk in a medium mixing bowl. Add almond milk 1 tablespoon at a time as required until mixture starts to come together. The texture should be crumbly like a conventional pie crust.
3. Press mixture firmly into the base of an 8” pie pan (pro tip: use a spatula/rubber scraper or the back side of a large spoon to flatten and firmly press the mixture for an even crust).
4. Bake for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while preparing the filling. Leave oven pre-heated for baking pie.
To make the banana cream filling:
1. With an electric whisk, beat the egg white with one packet of stevia (this is optional but helps to make the egg white fluffy faster and sweetens it a little bit). Once fluffy, set side.
2. In a large bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and protein powder.
3. Using an electric hand mixer, mix in the cornstarch.
4. Fold in the egg white and stir until well combined – mixture will be thick and should have some air bubbles.
5. Pour mixture on top of prepared crust (if omitting crust, be sure to grease the pan with oil or non-stick cooking spray).
6. Bake at 165C in a convection oven for 15-20 minutes until top just starts to turn golden brown. Mixture should be set but still slightly “jiggly” in the center – it will continue baking in the pan after it’s removed from the oven. It’s better to under-bake this recipe than to over-bake!
7. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
8. Transfer to fridge and refrigerate 4+ hours before serving.
NUTRITION INFORMATION (1/8th of recipe)
Calories: 187 Fat: 6.1g Carbohydrates: 14.9g Sugar: 3.0g Fiber: 2.0g Protein: 17.8g
NUTRITION INFORMATION (baked filling ONLY – great on its own as a “mousse” or custard!)
Calories: 74 Fat: 0.4g Carbohydrates: 4.8 Sugar: 2.4g Fiber: 0.2g Protein: 12.7g
Have it for dessert; have it for breakfast; have it whenever your heart desires! Be warned, if you serve this to guests 1) they won’t believe it’s healthy and 2) you won’t have any leftovers!
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*Please note that I am currently NOT sponsored by or affiliated with any particular brand, company or product. Any ideas, comments or opinions are my own, as mentioned in my Product Review page. However, if you choose to purchase new-to-you products I recommend using the link(s) I provide, I can earn a small credit. More information on that is available here.
Some process shots:
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