After successfully making one raw dessert, you’ll feel almost invincible and you’ll resist going back to baking desserts. For those with the quizzical facial expressions right now, a ‘raw’ dessert is what it sounds like: a dessert whipped up from purely raw, or unheated, ingredients, and served, well, raw! There are many purported benefits to eating raw foods, though I don’t subscribe to an all-raw diet because there are some foods that can only be enjoyed (and benefited from) while cooked (and I would never want to deprive myself of that pleasure).
Who can wait for half an hour or more for something sweet and yummy to be baked in the oven? Not me, with my impatience in the kitchen! Though I am yet to find my (hidden) baking talent, I do revel in my ability to cook. In my opinion, cooking is simple: all you gotta do is mix stuff in proper proportions and watch to make sure the food doesn’t burn. With raw desserts, it’s even easier. In fact, the elimination of ‘cooking with heat’ makes raw desserts almost fool-proof. Since the ingredients you’re dealing with can be consumed raw, you can go a step further to ensure that the proportions are indeed proper, and that’s by taste-testing your dessert creation every step of the way (if you wish). Yes, I just gave you permission to dip a spoon into your half-baked (not literally, of course) raw dessert to test it out!
Today I’d like to share a delicious and super-simple recipe that I recently made: raw pumpkin pie, made with all natural, organic ingredients, and inspired by the Raw Foods Witch.
You may be thinking: ‘I don’t want a hippie version of pumpkin pie – I want the real deal’. But I assure you that this pie is even better than the ‘real deal’. The pumpkin puree, fragrant with homey spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, melts in your mouth. The ‘crust’ adds the perfect crunch to every bite – oh the crust is another story entirely. You won’t even believe your taste buds when you find out that it’s made of just – brace yourself – TWO ingredients, and neither one of them involving gluten or anything related to grains.
Even though your eyes can’t believe that you’re making a legit crust out of just walnuts and dates (with a pinch of mineral sea salt), your taste buds nod in approval when you try a mini-bite as you’re taste-testing.
I made this pie to take as dessert for one of our couple friends who kindly invited us over for a seafood dinner this week. You see, as Orthodox Christians, we fast for Advent for forty days from all animal products with the exception of seafood (so we’re basically vegan with a seafood allowance for 40 days before we celebrate Christmas on January 7th). So, you’ll find me actively experimenting with vegan recipes such as vegan ‘cheese’ (made with raw cashews), homemade almond milk, and vegetarian chilli (to name a few) several times a year. Although I personally don’t believe that abstainance from animal products is ideal for health (at least that’s my own personal experience), I do enjoy making nutritious vegan meals because of the culinary challenge they present!
So, if you’re in the mood for a healthy pumpkin pie that you can whip up in half an hour with access to a blender, give this one a try. It’ll appease even the finickiest of eaters, so you can consider making it this holiday season if you’re having a few people over, or attending a potluck!
Raw and Vegan Pumpkin Pie (Grain-Free and Sugar-Free)
Prep Time: 30 mins+ 30 mins to chill
Keywords: raw snack dessert gluten-free low-carb low-sodium soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian pie fall
Ingredients ( Serves 8 )
For the Raw Pumpkin Pie Crust:
- 2 cups raw walnuts or pecans (I used walnuts – delicious!), soaked overnight in warm water with a little bit of sea salt, then rinsed and dried in the morning
- 1/2 cup dried dates, soaked for a few hours to soften
- Dash of unrefined mineral salt (I used Himalayan)
For the Raw Pumpkin Pie Filling:
- 2 cups organic shredded pumpkin, butternut squash, or sweet potato ﬂesh (I had baked the whole pumpkin in the oven because I used one half of it for soup, but you can definitely go completely raw)
- 1/4 cup homemade almond milk OR filtered water to help blend
- 1 cup dates, soaked for a few hours to soften
- 2 teaspoons organic cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fresh diced ginger (or 1 teaspoon organic ginger powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(1) Make the ‘crust’: Blend the soaked walnuts and dates in a food processor, then distribute the mixture evenly on the bottom of an 8-10-inch pie plate. Make sure to cover all areas of the pie plate evenly and compactly so it can hold together well (the stickiness of the dates does a good job of keeping the crust together anyway).
(2) Blend raw pumpkin: I baked the pumpkin halfway because my food processer isn’t strong enough to handle completely raw pumpkin. If you own a Vita-Mix, add shredded raw pumpkin and blend well.
(3) Add other ingredients and blend: Add almond milk (or water), soaked dates, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and blend well. Taste-test to see if it needs any adjustments in spices.
(4) Add filling to crust: Scoop the filling out of the processor and into the packed down pie crust. Even out with the back of a spoon, and refrigerate pie for 30 minutes to set. Enjoy!