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Enjoy the Holidays: Preparing Healthy and Safe Meals!

Posted by Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety and Inspection Service and Dr. Janey Thornton, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services in Food and Nutrition Health and Safety
Nov 22, 2011

Special holiday series – Blog 5 of 5

Over the past week, Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, and I have provided low-cost recipes incorporating simple food safety tips to help you prepare healthy and safe holiday meals. So far, we’ve posted recipes for turkey, stuffing, baked apples and sweet potatoes, and green beans. For the final blog in this series, we’re focusing on pumpkin pie, one of the mainstays of holiday meals. Like other holiday treats containing eggs, pumpkin pie filling can be messy to prepare and may lead to foodborne illness if not done carefully. This pumpkin pie recipe incorporates food safety tips at every step from mixing to storing leftovers. If you have further concerns about cooking with eggs this holiday season, this fact sheet should be really helpful. Additionally, I invite you to call USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m EST, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST on Thanksgiving Day.

Enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Crunchy Pumpkin Pie


For Crust:

1 cup quick cooking oats
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup ground almonds
2 Tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp salt
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1Tbsp water

For Filling

¼ cup brown sugar, packed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup evaporated skim milk


  1. Preheat oven to 425 ˚F
  2. Keep your perishable ingredients chilled until you are ready to use them.
  3. To Prepare Crust:
  • Wash hands and clean your work area.
  • Mix oats, flour, almonds, sugar, and salt in small mixing bowl.
  • Blend oil and water in measuring cup with fork or small wire whisk until emulsified.
  • Add oil mixture to dry ingredients and mix well. If needed, add small amount of water to hold mixture together.
  • Press into 9-inch pie pan, and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until light brown.
  • Turn oven down to 350 ˚F.
  1. To prepare filling:
  • Clean hands and all kitchen surfaces and utensils with hot soapy water before preparing the filling.
  • Mix sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in bowl.
  • Add egg and vanilla, and mix to blend ingredients.
  • Add pumpkin and milk, and stir to combine.

Assembling the pie:

1-      Pour filling into prepared pie shell.
2-      Bake for 45 minutes at 350 °F or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
3-      Refrigerate the pie and any leftovers within 2 hours. Use leftovers within 3 to 4 days or freeze for 1 to 2 months.


Keep the Beat. Heart Healthy Recipes.

From the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Recipe taken from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Keep the Beat ™ Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Dinners. See the publication here.

For more low-cost recipes check out the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipe finder database and for more tips on how to protect your family against food poisoning  visit Food