Food

Planning Pi(e) Day the Vegan Way

You don’t have to be a math genius to do Pi Day proud—just eat many, many vegan pies.

This weekend, high school math teachers and vegan pastry chefs will have at least one homonym in common, as March 14 is Pi Day. Don't worry; you don't have to be a math nerd to celebrate Pi Day cruelty-free style—that's what calculators are for, right? Here at VN, we'll jump at any excuse to plate a piece of dairy-free pie, so our strategy is simple: First, find the circumference of a pie using the mathematical constant pi, and second, eat said pie whole. It may sound silly, but eating pie on Pi Day is a tradition that has existed since the holiday was founded in 1988. With these must-have pie recipes at the ready, we won't be surprised if Pi Day quickly becomes one of your favorite holidays—especially since TI-83 graphing calculators aren't required.

Pastry Basics
If pie baking isn't your forte, start out simple by mastering the basics. Crafting the perfect pie crust may seem impossible, but don't despair. Roll up your sleeves and try your hand at a traditional Pie Crust or opt for a quick-and-easy Food Processor Pie Crust—yes, food processor. When time constraints don't allow for flaky, homemade crusts, there's always the reliable semi-homemade approach to pie making. For a variety of flavor options, check out vegan-friendly Keebler Ready Crusts, which include Graham, Shortbread, and Chocolate crusts. Now that the crust is out of the way, another important pie component is the perfect whipped cream topping. Go the no-fuss route and pick up a can of Soyatoo!'s fluffy Rice Whip, or prepare a delicious Cashew Whipped Cream from the comforts of your kitchen.

Comfort Classics
Think that grandma has the pumpkin-pie market cornered? Think again. After tasting Chef Eric Tucker's signature Pumpkin Pie, Grandma will be begging for the recipe! Paired with a piping-hot coffee or a spicy cup of tea, this warm, classic post-dinnertime dessert is the perfect end to any wintertime meal. Pecan Pie is another holiday-table and diner-booth standard sure to warm your insides, with some recipes calling for whiskey—use measuring cups at your own discretion. As winter fades and the likelihood of being snowed-in diminishes, baking all-American Apple Pie is a must for spring picnics and barbecues.

Fruity Fixins'
Just as apple pie serves as the perfect spring and summertime dessert, so does any fresh, fruity pie. Strawberry Pie is a popular, all-natural sugary treat, and is best made with ripe, sweet strawberries. Trying to incorporate other fruits into your diet? Is it okay if said fruit is balanced with a healthy dose of refined sugar? What Banana Cream Pie lacks in all-natural sweeteners, it makes up for in decadent deliciousness—and hey, there are healthful bananas in it, between all the sugar and soy margarine. Zesty, fluffy Lemon Coconut Pie is another great way to satisfy a pseudo-fruity fix.

Chocolate Cream
While classics like pumpkin pie are seasonal favorites, there is no time of year when fabulous chocolaty pies are out-of-season. Tantalizing, rich standards like Chocolate Cream Pie and Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie are easy to make-and easier to eat. Put Girl Scout cookies to shame by crafting a green-tinted Mint Carob Chip Cream Pie that combines two flavors that are tried-and-true after-dinner winners. Ready to go out all, chocolate-pie style? Impress friends, family, and your taste buds with a creative Chocolate Avocado Pie, or redefine perfection with Peanut Butter Cup Pie. Happy Pi Day, indeed.

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