Chocolate Banana Almond Joy Cream Pie

Yields:  8-10 servings

This... might be my new favorite pie?

I don't know... I love pie.  I'll have to keep trying them to find out.

Dates are one of my favorite ways to sweeten desserts without adding refined sugars; they provide dietary fibers and antioxidants, and they also help to hold this sucker together.  (The storage protein "gluten" is what does a lot of the holding together in baking, so finding ways to keep your "cookies" from crumbling, if you will, in gluten free baking is one of the main challenges faced.)

I also love the use of avocados in a cream pie.  I never tell anyone what's in the pie until it's been eaten (because of the preconceived notions that come along with green foods), but I do enjoy playing "what's in this recipe" to see if anyone guesses avocados.  My hints are usually:  it's green and technically it's a fruit.

Hm... I guess the jig is up since I just told you.

So tasty.  Don't believe me?  Here's a little recipe to prove it.

Ingredients

Crust

1/2 cup walnuts (halves and pieces are cheaper)
1/2 cup raw almonds
8 medjool dates, skinned and pitted
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp raw, unsweetened cacao powder
1 tsp salt

3 tbsp unsalted almond butter (smooth or crunchy, whichever you prefer; I went smooth)

Filling

1 ripe avocado
6 medjool dates, skinned and pitted
Heaping 1/4 cup raw, unsweetened cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Banana Cream

1 cup cashews, soaked 5-8 hours*
1 tbsp raw unpasteurized honey (or 100% maple syrup, if you want this vegan/prefer the maple flavor)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup water
1/2 banana

*to soak your cashews, place them in a medium bowl and cover with water.  (You want about an inch of water above the cashews.  Leave them be for 5-8 hours--they'll soak up water, which will soften them as well as hydrate them nicely to make for a fluffy cream.)

Garnish:  extra cacao powder and 1/2 banana, sliced (I also topped my banana slices with a dot of additional almond butter and a chocolate chip, but garnish however your heart desires!)

Directions

Crust

1.  Preheat oven to 325.

2.  Skin and pit all medjool dates:  Place dates in a bowl and cover with water.  Allow to soak for about 5 minutes (while completing the next step).

3.  While dates are soaking, combine raw cacao, salt, cinnamon, almonds and walnuts in food processor and pulse until uniform in size, but not pureed.

4.  Peel skin from soaked dates and squeeze out the pit.

5.  Add dates to food processor and pulse until well blended.

6.  In a standard pie plate (I actually used a 9 1/2 inch deep dish Pyrex plate) rub a thin layer of coconut oil (to prevent sticking) and press dough evenly.

7.  Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes, or until hardened to the touch and slightly browned.

8.  Allow crust to cool.  This is the perfect time window to make your chocolate cream filling and banana cream topping.

Chocolate Cream Filling

1.  In your food processor, combine your avocado, cacao powder, vanilla, and dates.  Process until well blended.

Banana Cream

1.  Drain and rinse your pre-soaked cashews.  Add them to your food processor along with honey, salt, banana, and vanilla.  Pulse until smooth and creamy.  This may take about 8-10 minutes if you don't have a high powered machine, but fear not, it will happen.  Continue to scrape the sides of the bowl intermittently to make sure you get all the goods.

Put Your Pie Together

1.  Spread an even layer of almond butter on your cooled crust.

2.  Pour in your chocolate cream filling, allowing it to evenly fill your crust.

3.  Scoop your banana cream on top, spreading it around with a spatula.

4.  Slice up the remaining half of your banana to garnish the top of your pie, sprinkle a little cacao powder, and cover to store in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

xox

Brittany KrigerComment