today’s post is a bit of a change of pace. rather than bake, i “unbaked.” raw food seems to be incredibly hip and trendy as of late. and seeing as how i like to pretend that i am also hip and trendy, i decided it was high time i jumped on the bandwagon. j’s mom is pretty much the raw master (mistress?) and agreed to help me out with this little project. so j and i hopped in the car and took a ride to marblehead (seriously adorable town on the mass coast), to meet up with her mom and simba (seriously adorable pooch on the mass coast).
for those of you not in the know, the raw food movement basically involves the consumption of uncooked, unprocessed foods. apparently by leaving your food “raw” it keeps a lot of important enzymes around, which would otherwise be killed off. assuming you can kill an enzyme, which, for the purpose of this post, you can. some raw foodists say that eating this way helps with weight loss and healing/preventing different sicknesses/chronic diseases. (more info…)
so for today’s raw treat, the j fam and i made a cacao nib pecan pie with a cashew, coconut crust. serious yum folks. it was a lot of fun and really easy to make. it was a little touch and go as j and i fought over the proper way to pronounce pecan. i still maintain that it is pee-con, not pee-can. crazy new englanders and their pee-cans. not to be confused with a toilet, which just popped into my brain, and i felt compelled to relay to the blogging community. despite the fact that toilets are totally inappropriate talk for food blogs. (sheesh kell, we are reading about food here!) alright just look back at the pretty pic and forget this written detour ever happened…
Cacao Nib Pecan Pie w/ Cashew, Coconut Crust
the crust: from “pecan chai pie on cashew crust” in ani’s raw food kitchen by ani phyo
what you’ll need: 1 cup cashew (dry), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (we used pure tahitan vanilla extract), 1 tsp sea salt, 1 1/2 cups pitted dates (medjool), 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1. pulse cashews, vanilla, salt, and coconut in a food processor.
2. slowly add dates and process into a dough-like consistency.
(in case you don’t have pitted dates, have no fear… it is so simple to pit them yourself, these photos are pretty much pointless to post. but i took them, so regard and pretend to learn…)
break in half, pull out pit, and…
wabam! one pitless date…
so back to the dough making.
add dates… and make dough…
stir it around a bit… then process some more…
the dough wasn’t quite coming together. so we added a bit of water to make it stickier.
that is how your dough should look when done…
3. “flour” the bottom of a pie pan with coconut.
4. press cashew crust mix masterpiece into “floured” pan.
(you may recognize my hands, which are at the moment artfully smooshing dough into a pie pan. its rough taking photos when both hands are smooshing/covered in date juice… so thanks j for your master photog skills.)
the filling: we first tried out ani’s recipe that accompanied this crust, but decided it tasted umm…not so good. so… we scrapped that and came up with this concoction. i wish i could take credit, but j’s mom is the genius behind the filling. (coming soon to a computer near you, a food blog by j’s mom herself.)
what you’ll need: 1 orange (zested, peeled, and seeded), 1 cup dates, 1/3 cup raisins, pinch of nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla, 1 tblsp maple syrup, 2 tblsp water, 4 cups pecans (unpictured due to mysterious circumstances. just wonder on that one.), handful of cacao nibs
1. in a blender, blend (ah duh) orange pulp, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, and raisins.
now side note… how does one get this orange pulp with minimal wear and tear? first before we begin this, zest the orange and set aside. then to get the pulp, we will “supreme” the orange, which let me just say, is “supremely” cool (har har).
slice off the top and bottom of the orange. then slice off the sides.
then you slice the pulp out of the little orange skin thingamajiggers. and ta da! orange pulp!
2. once the syrup is blended, you will add it to the pecans, cacao nibs, and 1 tblsp of orange zest. mix it together well.
and then spoon into the pie crust.
3. chill in fridge for about 30 minutes. and then you will have a lovely raw pie to eat and enjoy! store in fridge.
the verdict: very yummy. after our photo shoot and sampling, we decided it might be good to also process the pecans in the filling, rather than keeping them whole. then keep some unchopped to decorate the top. but regardless, this tastes very good. other fun bonuses: this is vegan! enzyme-packed! nutty! orangey! coconutty! and, not to mention, hip and trendy!