I’m baking pies for Thanksgiving this week (my only contribution to the meal) and I’m baking extra pumpkin pies for breakfast. Pie for breakfast might sound crazy, but it’s a family tradition that dates all the way back to when I started baking pies. Pumpkin pie has every food group: dairy, protein, vegetable, grains, even sugar and fat. It’s such a complete picture of the food pyramid that we slice pie into triangles in honor of the three sided symbol of a balanced diet.
I wanted to defend my love of pumpkin pie for breakfast by researching the number of food pyramid servings of vegetables, protein, and dairy per slice. The numbers looked impressive at first: pumpkin pie includes 3 servings of dairy, 1 serving of protein, and 4 servings of vegetables! Then I realized those numbers were per pie, not per slice. Those 3/8, 1/8, and 1/2 fractions aren’t very persuasive. I had to change my tactics.
Surely pumpkin pie, since its namesake is a vegetable, is better than (or at least equivalent to) other breakfast foods, I reasoned with myself. I made a chart comparing calories, protein, sugar, and sodium and returned to Google.
Pumpkin pie is the best breakfast ever! It has fewer calories than a bagel with cream cheese and more protein than a donut! (Of course, you can say the same about dryer lint.) Like any statistician worth her salt, I make the numbers say what I want them to say.
The truth is that pumpkin pie has less protein, more sugar, and more sodium than a bagel with cream cheese. Pie has twice the protein of a donut, but the two are pretty much equal when it comes to calories, sodium, and sugar. Pie’s saving grace is the pumpkin and the vitamins that vegetable brings with it.
If, however, you make yourself a crustless pumpkin pie, you cut your calories in half and the argument for Pie for Breakfast becomes much stronger, as well as statistically sound. Pie then becomes on par with a cup of Cheerios with 2% milk or an egg and buttered toast and it still counts as vegetables for breakfast.
It turns out that pumpkin pie is not an ideal breakfast. (Since a truly ideal breakfast is raw nuts and vegetables, that statement can be applied to most menu items.) But if you’re going to eat pumpkin pie, the morning is a great time to do it. Pie pairs well with coffee or tea and it provides a full food pyramid picture. Most importantly, pie for breakfast fills you with joy, which gets your day off to a great start!