This week marks the beginning of a holiday season that lasts for about 6 weeks. We’ve been a little stressed thinking how to get through this season without completely abandoning our clean eating diets that we’ve worked so hard to follow. We decided that if we are going to indulge in a dessert, it should at least have fresh ingredients and be as healthy as possible. This recipe created by “natural girl modern world” is not only vegan and gluten free, but it is super rich, yummy, not too sweet and the perfect dessert that can be enjoyed by everyone! It’s not a simple recipe and does take some time to make it, but the effort is well worth it!
Raw Cacao Powder: The original recipe called for cocoa powder, but we exchanged this ingredient to a healthier raw cacao powder. Raw cacao powder is extremely high in antioxidants, which prevents premature aging. It is a great source of magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium. It also reduces blood pressure and insulin resistance, eases PMS issues and improves mood.
Hazelnuts: Aside from being a great source of fiber, they contain a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. They are full of antioxidants and brain boosting elements and contribute to healthy skin and hair due to high levels of Vitamin E.
Coconut: We’ve talked about the many health benefits of coconut before, but it’s always nice to revisit the amazing benefits of coconut. Coconut lowers cholesterol, improves digestion, wards off wrinkles, stabilizes glucose levels, fights viruses and infections, builds cells, regulates hormones, increases thyroid production, increases metabolism, and staves off memory loss.
We recommend that you read the instructions all the way through before you try to recreate this recipe. It takes a little bit of prep time; for example, the coconut cans need to be chilled in the refrigerator and the cashews need to be soaked ahead of time.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE COCONUT CREAM PIE
Chocolate hazelnut crust:
- 2/3 cup oats
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts, raw
- 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Chocolate cream filling:
- 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz / 400 ml can), divided
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup arrowroot powder (1.3oz / 35 g)*
- 2/3 cup cashews (soaked 4-12 hours, rinsed well)
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Coconut whipped cream:
- 1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz / 400 ml can), refrigerated overnight or ideally ~24 hours
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional – Toasted coconut flakes, for garnish**
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor, blend oats until the texture of coarse sand. Add hazelnuts and blend until the nuts are a crumb-like texture. Add coconut, cacao powder and salt. Pulse to mix. Pour in the melted coconut oil and maple syrup, then pulse until well incorporated.
- Prepare a 9″ pie dish (use a non-stick pan or line bottom with parchment). Pour the mixture into the pie shell and form the crust with your fingers. Press the crust together very firmly so it holds together. Gently prick the bottom of the crust ~15 times with a fork to allow air to escape when baking. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- While the crust cooks, prepare the filling. Pour 1 cup of canned coconut milk into a medium sized bowl. Add arrowroot powder and whisk thoroughly to remove all lumps. Set aside for later.
- Measure the remaining liquid in the coconut milk can (it should be ~1/2 cup – 3/4 cup). Use the non-dairy milk to top-up the balance to a total of 1 cup (meaning you would need to add 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup). Add the liquid to a blender with cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder, vanilla and salt. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Transfer the mixture to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, whisking as it heats. Once the mixture is simmering, reduce heat to low. Pour in the arrowroot and coconut milk slurry and whisk vigorously to combine. Continue whisking for 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens. Once it reaches a pudding-like texture, remove from heat. Add coconut oil and whisk it in until the mixture becomes glossy. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Refrigerate until firm (~4 hours).
- To make the coconut whipped cream, open the chilled can of coconut milk. The thick coconut flesh/fat should have separated from the liquid. Scoop out the coconut solids and add to a large mixing bowl. The remaining liquid can be stored in the fridge for another use. Using electric beaters, beat the coconut on medium-high speed. It should take ~1-2 minutes to fluff up. Add the vanilla and maple syrup, to taste. Beat for another ~30 seconds to incorporate.
- When ready to serve, spread whipped coconut cream over the prepared pie. Top with toasted coconut flakes (optional) and serve.
*Similar to measuring out flour, make sure you fluff out the arrowroot powder before scooping it into a measuring cup – then level it off with a knife. For most accurate measurements use a kitchen scale.
**Toasted coconut flakes add a nice touch but are completely optional. Bake 1/4 cup of large coconut flakes in the oven at 325°F for 5-10 minutes. Stir to encourage even browning.
Credits: Author: Jill Uechi // Recipe and Photography: Katelyn Guerrero