March 13, 2014 1 Comment
When normal high schoolers play hooky, they go hide under bridges or eat greasy pizza or whatever.
Not this girl. I made chocolate peanut butter pie, inspired by Rawsome Vegan Baking, a cookbook I have been eyeing for months. And, technically, I wasn’t playing hooky. I just didn’t feel like spending a majority of my day being bored.
As we all know, I am not a raw vegan, nor am I a vegan, nor am I even a vegetarian. I am a girl that likes to eat, and likes to eat a wide variety of things, including meat, dairy, seafood, and other animal products. That said, I do love raw vegan desserts, particularly for their creativity. I mean, it’s pretty amazing that you can use infinite combinations of nuts, fruit, coconut oil, and raw chocolate to create everything from cakes to cookies to ice cream. They’re also almost idiot-proof: you throw a bunch of ingredients in the food processor, squish them into a pan, and refrigerate or freeze. Easy-peasy!
In this recipe, I have used gluten-free oats and peanut butter, two ingredients that aren’t featured on Yes to Yummy very often. These were matters of personal preference: I felt that oats provided a lighter, crunchier texture for the crust, and peanut butter is just awesome. Sorry, sunflower seed butter, but peanut butter takes the cake (or pie, shall I say). While I prefer to soak and sprout my grains and legumes, I’ve found that I digest oats and peanuts pretty easily, regardless of preparation method. Also, soaked and sprouted peanut butter is…uh…not tasty. Like at all. (Trust me, I’ve tried. Just no.)
If you’d rather use a grain-free alternative, I’d suggest substituting blanched almonds, walnuts, or buckwheat groats (buckwheat is a grass, FYI) for the oats. If you don’t want to venture into legume land (though paleo people have recently shifted a bit) or are allergic to peanuts, use sunflower seed butter instead of the peanut butter. Really, this recipe is very easily adaptable for any eating style, which makes it perfect for feeding a crowd of picky eaters–or just eaters, for that matter.
Ready to make this delicious 9-inch circle of heaven? Good. Let’s go.
Soak 2 cups of whole raw cashews with enough warm water to cover them completely for at least 3 hours and up to 6. If you soak the cashews for too long, they’ll be slimy and gross; if you don’t soak them for long enough, your blender or food processor will make so much noise your cats will run for cover. Moral of the story: soak wisely.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 1 1/2 cups of oats (or preferred substitute, see above), 1 1/2 cups of dates, 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt until the texture of coarse sand. The ingredients should hold together very easily when touched, and no crumbs should flake off; when in doubt, add another date or two or another tablespoon of peanut butter.
Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and refrigerate for an hour.
Drain the cashews and discard the soaking water. Give them a gentle rinse over, and throw into the blender or food processor with 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 of a large avocado, 2 cups of soft pitted dates, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and 1/3 cup of water. Process or blend until smooth.
It will look disgusting. Do not be afraid. You shall soon be saved by the power of…chocolate.
Pour in 1/2 cup of good-quality cacao powder and process or blend until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor bowl if necessary.
Now, it’s time to examine the texture. If it’s like a thick pudding, you’re good to go. If it’s more like raw cookie dough, keep adding water–a little bit at a time–to get it smoother and creamier. If it’s too liquid-y, add more peanut butter or dates.
Once your desired texture has been reached, take the crust out of the fridge and pour the filling on top, taking care to scrape the bowl’s sides. Put back in the fridge overnight, or freeze for at least four hours.
When ready to serve, combine 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, and stir to combine. Using the stirring spoon, drizzle the peanut butter-and-oil mixture all over the top of the pie. Because the pie will be cold, the drizzle will solidify almost immediately, creating a cool pattern.
To enhance the prettiness factor, sprinkle the top with cacao nibs or dark chocolate curls, if you’re feeling fancy. Serve cold.
What is your favorite kind of nut (or legume) butter? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!