Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Banana Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut is a sacred fruit in the vegan and raw food world.  Coconuts so regularly appear in my diet that I find myself in the produce aisle, a coconut in each hand, comparing weights to find the heaviest and most prize specimens in the bunch!  A good coconut will have a nice bit of heft for the size, this way you know that your coconut will have solid, thick and hearty meat inside.  Coconuts are a magical food (well, seed actually) and I am a firm believer in the power of the coconut to heal, provide nourishment, and soothe the soul.  They offer high doses of fiber, are low on the glycemic index scale, and can help speed up your metabolism!  These glorious nutrient powerhouses offer high health benefits but they also nourish the soul!  Coconut water nourishes mind body and soul by hydrating our bodies, beautifying our skin, and bring us closer in connection with our food.  Drinking the vital life fluid of a giant seed offers us grounding, centering, and appreciation with every sip.  So go ahead, crack open a big beautiful coconut and enjoy! 
Bananas and coconuts are a raw foodists dream!  I'm only about 70% raw and I love these fruits!  I had wild coconuts and bananas for my first time in the Whitsunday Islands (pics above) and it was a life changing experience.  Going to the Earth, to the tree, to the soil, to the source and plucking the food that we put in our bodies is an affirmation of health and gratitude that forever changes our relationship with food.  If you have ever tilled the soil and planted your own garden then you know what this feeling is; the powerful connection which binds us to our food and through our food, to our planet and our very experience.  Taking time to appreciate the practice of planting, growing and harvesting will forever connect the cycle of life to your present and to your digestion!  If you don't have a garden, I highly suggest seeking out foraging classes or gathering wild foods if possible.  If these aren't possible, then take time in your food preparation and work with whole foods, in their unaltered state, and appreciate what bounty the Earth has given for you to enjoy. 
This recipe works with many delicious and whole foods ~ coconut, dates, cashews, bananas, vanilla beans ~ these gorgeous ingredients provide a strong visual connection to our food while we prepare it.  Take note of where your food comes from, how it smells as you work with your ingredients, and appreciate all that these flavor combinations have to offer.  If you haven't given up dairy, this pie might just change your habits forever.  Let's get started!

For the crust:
2 cups raw nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans or a combination
1 cup shredded coconut
9 large medjool dates, pitted, chopped
For the Filling:
1 1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup coconut milk
7 dates
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
5 bananas (1 for blending, 4 sliced)
1 pinch vanilla bean, scraped OR 2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 batch of coconut whipped cream
Method for the crust:
Using a food processor fitted with the "S" type blade, add the nuts and pulse until the nuts are chopped into small pieces.  Add the coconut and the dates and pulse again until the mixture forms a dough ball.  This shouldn't take very long.  If your dough isn't sticking together, add an extra date or two.  Take a pie pan and line with plastic wrap.  Press your crust into the pie pan.  Cover and refrigerate while making the filling.
Method for the filling:
In a food processor fitted with the "S" type blade or a Vitamix blender, blend all ingredients expect the 4 bananas for slicing.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Take your four bananas and slice them.  Pull the pie crust from the refrigerator.  Lay one layer of sliced bananas on the base of your crust.  Add a layer of filling and then top with more banana slices. Top with a thin layer of the filling.  Make sure to cover all the banana slices since the lemon juice in the filling will keep the banana slices from oxidizing.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Coconut Whipped Cream Method:
Flesh of one to two young coconuts (how to open a coconut)
3 dates, pitted, chopped OR 1/4 cup raw coconut nectar OR 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup raw cashews, ground into flour (use a coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut water

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until whipped cream forms!

To serve:
Top with an ample layer of coconut whipped cream and more shredded coconut.  Slice and enjoy!



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    This means that you actually get rid of fat by consuming coconut fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from major medical magazines are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world around!

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