recipe cover for mini strawberry pies

Mini Strawberry Pies with Microgreens : Gluten & Dairy Free

School is out, and strawberries are in full season!  And as a Dietitian Nutritionist, parents ask me “How can I get my kid to eat healthy in the summer months?”  My reply…

Well, this is loaded question, but for the brevity of this article my answer, “Make mini strawberry pies together!”

You may be thinking, what?!!?!  Pies?!?!!!  I thought I said I wanted my kid to eat healthier!  

Well, again, this is a complex question, and is best answered on an individual basis.  However, if you had to start somewhere, I suggest the 3-step plan below for making my mini strawberry pies!  This recipe will provide a delicious treat and an adventure along the way! 

Bake with & garnish Mini Strawberry Pies with Radish Microgreens for a boost in nutrition!

Step 1 : Shop Together!  

If you want your kid to eat healthier, I suggest shopping together. 

Strawberries can be purchased at the grocery most times of year, but fresh strawberries from the local farmer taste best!  Plus it’s fun to make a trip to the Farmers’ Market to pick up you own box!    

Better yet, try a farm where you can pick you own strawberries.  The memories of going berry picking will last for a lifetime!  Plus, eating too many strawberries while picking is the only danger you’re likely to experience!  Farm fresh strawberries are irresistible for you and your kid!

For this recipe, I purchased strawberries, radish microgreens, eggs, and the maple syrup from my local Farmers’ Market.  

Photo of a parent and child at the strawberry patch.  The mother is eating a strawberry served by her daughter.
I purchased the strawberries for my Mini Strawberry Pies at my local Farmers’ Market. However some of my most cherished memories are going to a farm to pick my own strawberries!

Step 2 : Cook Together!

If you want your kid to eat healthier, I suggest cooking together.  

Your kid doesn’t need to professional chef to eat better, they need you.  Besides, cooking doesn’t require perfection.  Cooking is play.  And the last I checked, playing along with your kid is a great way to connect! 

In addition, researchers have found that hands-on activities like cooking, as well as, availability to fresh foods can improve the eating habits of youngsters.  Again strawberry mini pies may not sound healthy, however, the role of the parent is the most important part for creating a healthy eater.   

Photo of a happy father, mother, and child cooking together.
Food tells the story of you. And food will be your legacy. You are the biggest part of your kid eating healthy.

Step 3 : Learn Together! 

Making mini strawberry pies are a great place to start when it come to cooking with your kids.  Because who doesn’t love fresh strawberries?  Plus who can resist a tiny treat?  However, you may be thinking, “I’ve never made anything from scratch!  Can I do this?!??!!!”

My response, “Absolutely!!!!!  You will learn a lot!!!  Plus it will be fun!!!!”

Besides, my mini strawberry pies don’t require fancy equipment!  That’s right!  All you’ll need are some kitchen basics, such as : mini muffin tin, cutting board, knife, skillet, fork, spoon, measuring spoons, and mixing bowls.  

Because this recipe doesn’t require expense kitchen gadgets, you’ll be baking with some old fashioned techniques.  Below I’ve listed 4 old time cooking methods that will teach you and your kid some cooking basics. 

Photo of Strawberry Mini Pies served with Radish Microgreen garnish, plus fresh strawberries
Serving Mini Strawberry Pies with fresh strawberries make a pretty looking plate!

Cooking Techniques #1 :  Cutting In

It’s great if you have a countertop mixer, but no worries if you don’t!  This recipe teaches you and your kid how to ‘cut in’ the fat into flour.  You can buy a pastry cutter for a few dollars, or simply use a fork to create the crusts for the mini strawberry pies.      

The ‘cut in’ technique is the traditional method to make biscuits and pastries.  Before electric appliances, bakers had to use a utensil to united the fat and flour.  Most baked goods, like pie crusts are delicious because they start with a 2 ingredients : fat and flour.  

Again, you may be thinking, what?!!?!  Fat?!?!!!  I thought I said I wanted my child to eat healthier! 

I’m hearing you, but rest assured, the reason why biscuits and pastry doughs are so irresistible is due to the fat.  Yep, the fat is adds flavor!  And when fat is ‘cut in’ or broken up into tiny pieces amongst the flour it creates a flavor pockets!   

For the mini strawberry pies recipe, I used a fork to blend slightly chilled ghee (or clarified butter) and coconut flour.  You can use real butter, however the recipe will no longer be dairy free.   

Photo of a someone using his/her hands to blend fat and flour for a baked good.
Once the fat and flour are ‘cut in’, it is fun to mix remaining ingredients by using clean hands!

Cooking Techniques #2 :  Mincing

Because ‘pies’ and ‘fat’ usually don’t go with healthy, I decided to add radish microgreens to the mini strawberry pie crust.  Microgreens are exceptionally high in nutrition, and they add a dimension of flavor.  The radish microgreens may have you feeling better about eating mini pies! 

Mincing the radish microgreens on top a cutting board and with sharp chef knife will be another cooking technique you and your kid can learn together!  A food processor would also do the job, but again there is no need for expensive equipment!  

Mincing requires you to continually slice the radish microgreens into tiny, tiny pieces.  The radish microgreens will add additional flavor but also moisture to the almost cookie-like pie crust.  In addition, radish microgreens pair well with cinnamon in any baked good. 

Photo of a person using a knife to cut herbs into tiny pieces, or mincing.
Mincing is a technique that’s great for baking sweets and cooking savory foods.

Cooking Techniques #3 :  Flavor Combinations

For this mini strawberry pie recipe, I choose radish microgreens, cinnamon and cocoa for my flavor combination.  All three ingredients have complementing flavors.  

However if radish mircogreens are unavailable in your area, you may opt for fresh herbs.  Fresh peppermint, thyme, or rosemary can personalized and jazz up your mini strawberry pies.  In addition these nutrition packed herbs help you feel better about eating mini strawberry pies!

Another flavor combination to consider, especially if strawberries are out of season in your area, would be another type of berry.  For instance, blueberries are in season in my area after strawberries.  Blueberries pies taste great with a cinnamon, ginger, and fresh peppermint crust.  

When it comes to combining fruits, spices and herbs the possibilities are endless!  Enjoy the delicious process of cooking and taste testing together!  This mini strawberry pies recipe may be the catalyst to keep you and your kid shopping, cooking, and learning together!  

Photo of a blog quote : "Foods grown locally don't need lipstick to look good!"
If you would like to learn more about why fresh farm food locally grown is best, click here.

Cooking Techniques #4 : Blind Baking 

Blind baking is specifically helpful when baking mini strawberry pies that are have a gluten free and dairy free crust.  This method bakes the crust half way so to avoid a raw or soggy crust when adding the fruit filling.    

Also using a fork to pierce the raw dough before blind baking will allow you to avoid air pockets or bubbles to form while the crust is in the oven.  If the dough puffs up when baking, simply apply a spoon to compress the crust down.  The spoon will allow any air to release.   

Photo of a pastry crust being prepped for a blind bake.  Using a fork to pierce the raw dough helps the crust to avoid air bubbles.
No expensive equipment need for this Mini Strawberry Pie recipe!

Strawberry Mini Pies are Healthy & Fun! 

These mini strawberry pies are made with a few fresh farm foods.  Plus the recipe teaches basic cooking skills.  Planning meals, picking up ingredients, and preparing can be a chore but it can also be significant in your kid’s life.  

Food tells the story of you.  And food will be your legacy.  So when you decide you want your kid to eat healthier, remember it’s not about the mini strawberry pies.  It’s you and your kid cooking, or playing in the kitchen to create delicious memories!    

photo of mini strawberry pies

Mini Strawberry Pies with Microgreens : Gluten Free, Diary Free

These mini strawberry pies are made with a few fresh farm foods.  Plus the recipe doesn't require expensive equipment. This recipe is perfect for helping you and your kid bond during summer vacation.
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 24 mini pies
Calories 125 kcal

Equipment

  • mini muffin tin
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Skillet
  • fork
  • spoon
  • measuring spoons
  • mixing bowls

Ingredients
  

Mini Strawberry Pie Filling

  • 8 cups 8 cups of capped and sliced strawberries capped and sliced
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Mini Strawberry Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 cups coconut flour
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup ghee chilled
  • 1/3 cup radish microgreens or 2 tbsp minced
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Scoop ghee into a measuring cup.  Place it into the refrigerator to chill.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark, non stick muffin tin).
  • Use thick strips of parchment paper (5-6 inches in length) to line a 24 cup muffin tin.  These strips of parchment paper act as ‘handle bars’ to easily remove baked mini strawberry pies, plus cutting the parchment paper is fun job for kids!   
  • Grab all other ingredients.  Organize ingredients into strawberry pie filling section and strawberry pie crust section.
  • Wash and throughly dry the strawberries.  Next, grab a cutting board and sharp chef’s knife.  Carefully remove the strawberry caps.  Then slice strawberries into fourths or eighths.  Place cut strawberries into a large measuring bowl.  Continue the process until you have 8 cups of sliced strawberries. Place strawberries to the side.    
  • Wash and throughly dry the radish microgreens.  Next, grab the cutting board and sharp chef’s knife.  Roll up the microgreens, carefully slice, and then mince.  Place minced microgreens to the side. TIP: A food processor is a great for slicing, dicing and mincing, however, you can also use a cutting board and sharp chef’s knife.    
  • Grab another large mixing bowl to start on the min strawberry pie crust.  Add coconut flour, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.  Mix together.
  • Next, fetch the chilled ghee from the refrigerator.  Add ghee to the min strawberry pie crust bowl.   ‘Cut in’, or work in the ghee with the dry ingredients.  TIP: A counter top mixer is a wonderful tool to ‘cut in’ the fat, however, you can also use a fork or pastry blending tool. 
  • Once the dry ingredients and fat are blended for the mini strawberry pie crust, add minced microgreens, coconut sugar, egg and vanilla extract.   With a fork, mix all the mini strawberry pie crust ingredients together.  TIP: It also fun to mix these ingredients by using clean hands!  
  • When the mini strawberry pie crust ingredients form a dough, grab small pieces of dough.  Roll the dough into small balls.  Place the dough balls into each muffin tin.  Continue to roll the dough balls until the muffin tin is full; go back to ensure all dough balls are equal in size.  
  • Next, using your hands push the dough balls down and around the sizes of the muffin tin to form mini pie crusts.  Once mini pie crusts are complete without holes, use a fork to gently pierce the crusts about 3-4 times.  Bake mini pie crusts for about 10 minutes.
  • While the mini strawberry pie crusts are ‘bling baking’ start on the mini strawberry pie filling.  Grab a medium-sized skillet and place it on a medium-low stove top.  Dump the mini strawberry pie filling ingredients into the skillet.  Mix until the tapioca flour thickens and is bubbly.  Remove the mini strawberry pie filling from heat, and set to the side. 
  • Once the mini strawberry pie crusts are finished ‘blind baking’ remove from the oven.  If the pie crusts have puffed up, use a spoon to gently mash down the bottom and sides while warm. 
  • Next, add mini strawberry pie filling to each pie crust.  Fill all muffin cups and ensure all pie crusts are filled equally.  Bake mini strawberry pies for 15 minutes. TIP : You may have some strawberry pie filling leftovers.  These leftovers are great on ice cream, pancakes, or even in a smoothie! Store any pie filling leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.  
  • When the mini strawberry pies are finished baking, remove from muffin tin using the parchment paper ‘handle bars.’  Peel off parchment paper from mini pies.  Transfer the pies to a cooling rack. 
  • Serve, and enjoy the mini strawberry pies with radish microgreen garnish.  TIP : These mini strawberry pies can be enjoyed the same day or can also be prepped one day ahead and refrigerated.  Either way, these mini strawberry pies are delicious!

Notes

RECIPE SWAPS :
If radish mircogreens are unavailable in your area, you may opt for fresh herbs.  Fresh peppermint, thyme, or rosemary can jazz up your mini strawberry pies.  
Another flavor combination to consider, especially if strawberries are out of season in your area, would be another type of berry. 
For instance, blueberries are in season in my area after strawberries.  Blueberries pies taste great with a cinnamon, ginger, and fresh peppermint crust.  
 
RECIPE COOKING TECHNIQUES : 
Because this recipe doesn’t require expense kitchen gadgets, you’ll be baking with some old-fashion techniques.  These techniques include : cutting in, mincing, flavor combinations, blind baking. 
 
HEALTHIER EATING : 
Are you wanting your kid to eat healthier over summer vacation?  Well, follow my 3-step method : 1) Shop together, 2) Cook together, 3) Learn together.
Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free

About the Author

Elizabeth Ray is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is on a mission to help you feel good about food! She believes food from the farm is best. And she is developing nutrition resources to help you discover the possibilities of real food that is grown/raised by the local farmer.

To more delicious, nutritious and adventurous recipes that are sourced straight from the farm, click here.

May food from the local farm help you flourish!

Elizabeth Ray, Farmers Market Nutritionist

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