Tuesday, March 15, 2016

No-Bake Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust Recipe [Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free]

Now here's a dessert you can feel good about eating and serving to people you love!

If you like chocolate dipped frozen bananas, you'll need to bookmark this page because it's that flavor, but easier to eat and far more nutritious with the added ingredients, no sugar, no dairy, and all raw ingredients. Plus - it's perfect when you want to whip up a yummy dessert without turning on the oven. Somehow when something I prepare doesn't go into the oven, it feels like less of a production and so much easier. That could just be me!

Yesterday was PI Day - you know 3.14 - and to celebrate the occasion, or any occasion really, I made food to go with the theme, which means yesterday was all about the pies! Chicken pot pie was for dinner  (delicious, but not quite where I want it to be for my blog) and for dessert this decadent, creamy, dreamy banana cream pie.

I seek to make my food be plant-based and as nutritious as possible. After hunting online for inspiration, I came up with the following lusciousness everyone in the family enjoyed. I hope you enjoy it, too! We will be adding it to our regular rotation of healthy desserts. Will you? Let me know in the comments below!

No-Bake Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust

Chocolate Crust Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/2 cup raw pecans (or walnuts would also be delicious)
1/2 cup unsweetened raw coconut
1/2 cup organic raisins (I've also done this with dates, but I always have raisins and it came out perfectly!)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Put all ingredients into food processor or high speed blender and blend until well combined and nuts are ground. I like the nuts a little bigger and chunkier for more texture, but you can grind yours as much or as little as you like.

Press into a glass pie plate using a spoon or your fingers. Freeze while you prepare the filling. 

Filling Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained (Most recipes tell you to soak these for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight, but with the Vitamix it's not necessary. Before doing anything else with the crust, I add the cashews to a Mason jar and cover with filtered water. I add all the other filling ingredients to the blender first and then drain the cashews just before adding to the blender. Works like a charm!)

3 heaping tablespoons coconut oil, melted (if it's a hot day, leave it out on the counter, it'll melt quickly!)
1/4 cup organic maple syrup (agave would also work)
1 medium *just ripe* banana (mostly yellow with a few tiny brown spots, equals about 1/2 cup mashed)
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (from the can, not carton)
1/2 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 small organic lemon)

Put all filling ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high for about 1-2 minutes until the filling is silky smooth and creamy. It should be thick, but not so think you need to use a tamper. If it is too think, add a tiny bit more coconut milk, coconut water, or filtered water to smooth it out and continue blending til very smooth.

Pour filling into prepared crust and freeze until serving, at least 2 hours, or more for a firmer pie.

Top with whipped coconut cream and enjoy!  

You may be tempted to leave out the lemon juice and salt, but both are needed. The tiny bit of salt enhances the flavors dramatically. The lemon juice is needed for the cashews. They neutralize the "cashew" flavor so you'll never know there are nuts in this filling. You don't want anything to compete with the tropical flavors from the banana and coconut. You will not be able to taste the lemon. I promise. :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Creamy Green Goddess Feel Better Soup [Gluten free, dairy-free, vegan]

Sick, sick, sick.

If I wasn't sick, the name of this soup might be different, but I've got a lingering case of bronchitis and wanted to make some soup from the leftover broccoli from the other night. I searched a bunch of recipes starting with vegan broccoli soup (because milk or cream or cheese when you're sick isn't smart and I limit dairy anyway) and came up with something that turned into deliciousness in my Vitamix. Give it a try, whether you're sick or feeling fabulous. I already feel a spring in my step less than an hour later!

Remember - use all organic ingredients when possible and rinse all produce before tossing it into your blender.

Creamy Green Goddess Feel Better Soup

2 cups filtered water
1 cup broccoli (mine was steamed for about a minute and leftover from the night before, but raw would be fine)
1 stalk of celery (with leaves)
1/4 yellow squash or zucchini (I had yellow squash on hand)
1 kale leaf (I used Tuscan kale)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup raw cashews
leaves from 3 springs of thyme
1 tablespoon brewer's yeast flakes
1 tsp sea salt
a few grinds freshly ground pepper

Add all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high for 5-6 minutes until hot. Check seasoning with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy!