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February 19, 2012

Raw Banana Coconut Cream Pie. (Vegan)

Raw Banana Coconut Cream Pie (Vegan)

We had some dinner guests over the night before Valentine’s Day which motivated me to try a new dessert recipe! I wanted to make something without chocolate that was just non-Valentine’s Day themed in general. My husband, Dan, loves coconut and so I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a healthy, raw version of a coconut cream pie now for a while. As today is Dan’s 28th birthday, I am dedicating this deliciously nutty post to him. Happy Birthday, Danny!

I tend to get a lot of questions about coconut fat and expressed concern for if its high fat content. Talking fat can be a tricky subject to tackle, but in general know that not all fat is created equal. Ideally, we would consume a 1:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids. Polyunsaturated oils like canola, corn, safflower, soybean and sunflower can contain upwards of 80% Omega 6 fatty acids which have been proven to cause oxidation of healthy cells in the body. Oxidation might not sound so terrible, but it can lead to many other concerning conditions like inflammation, heart disease and even cancer.

Coconut oils is actually the only oil that will not oxidize when heated. Most other commonly used oils, like olive oil, produce free radicals when heated which cause premature aging, amongst other major health issues. The low saturated fat content in these common oils is what causes them to oxidize faster and conversely, the high saturated fat content in coconut oil is what prevents it from oxidizing…hold onto you hats, kids…this means that saturated fat is actually not bad for you!

Word is beginning to get out that saturated fats actually help to reduce the risk of heart disease by raising both the bad and good cholesterol in the body, keeping them in balance with each other. It’s those pesky polyunsaturated oils that actually contribute to plaque build up in the arteries and result in heart disease.

Raw, unrefined, organic coconut oil is one of the best fats you can provide your body with. Not only can it be heated to extremely high temperatures (upwards of 400 degrees) without oxidation, but it is composed of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) which are an important factor in lowering cholesterol, weight loss, reduced risk of heart disease and aiding in the stabilization of diabetes.  MCT’s are also an excellent source of energy and help to boost the immune system with their antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Coconut oil can also be used as a daily moisturizer for your skin as well as a natural lubricant for almost anything.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup shredded dry coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 TB agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
Filling
  • 2 cup young coconut meat
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 2 to 4 TB Agave Nectar (to taste)
  • coconut water (if needed)
  • 1 TBS lime juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean)
  • 2 bananas, sliced in 1/2″ slices

Directions:

Crust

  1. Blend all crust ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Add additional agave if needed
  3. Press into a springform pan, or pie pan lined with saran wrap
  4. Place in freezer while making the filling

Filling
  1. Blend all ingredients (except for the banana) in a blender
  2. Add coconut water if needed to fully get the mixture moving in the blender
  3. Slice banana and place one layer on top of the crust
  4. Pour filling mixture over the crust and banana
  5. Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours before serving
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Editor: Kate Bartolotta
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