D is for…Dates!
Boy have I got a treat in store for you today folks!
Today I’m sharing my recipe for a Little Raw Banoffee Pie
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with raw desserts after just one taste. Usually creamy and rich, as well as their taste, I love that they’re made with whole ingredients- nuts, fruits and seeds and that they’re so easy to prepare. Although I do enjoy baking too, raw food is often quicker since there’s no cooking time involved and it must be said that it generally leaves me feeling much better physically than baked goods too.
If you haven’t made a raw dessert yet I can’t urge you strongly enough to give them a chance. The first recipe I made, and one I still love, was Ricki’s Cocoa Nibbles. I’ve got a few raw dessert recipes on my blog so far- Raw Mango Coconut Tartlets, Mini Raw Cacao, Coconut + Raspberry Cupcakes, and my latest Raw Vegan Matcha Ice Cream… oh and my Chocolate-Coated Peanut Butter Banana Pops can be made raw too using raw nut butter and a raw chocolate coating.
Dates are a magic ingredient in raw desserts, contributing a caramel-like sweetness without the need for refined sweeteners, and a stickiness which helps to bind everything together.
Of course Banoffee Pie involves bananas. I’ve probably mentioned that until I was 13/14 I didn’t eat any fruit. Nope. Not apples, not oranges, not strawberries and definitely not bananas! I gradually forced myself to start trying fruits again after over a decade of deciding I didn’t like them and bananas were my final fruit-shaped stumbling block. It’s pretty obvious that I’ve well and truly got over my fruit fears and am now a veritable fruit bat! It’s now a sad day when I don’t have any ripe bananas on hand.
There are a few components to this recipe but it still comes together much quicker than a cooked version would.
A date-nut crust topped with sliced banana, a thick layer of raw caramel, more sliced bananas and finally a vanilla bean whipped coconut cream.
I’ve given a few pictures of putting it together but it’s pretty self-explanatory really.
Raw Banoffee Pie:
1/4C +2T Pitted dates, packed
Pinch of salt
1/4C Pitted Dates, packed
1/2T Almond Butter
1/4t Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Cream:
1 Can Coconut milk, refrigerated (full-fat)
1/2-1 Vanilla bean
2T Coconut sugar
1 Medium-sized Banana
For the crust, whizz the walnuts and salt in a food processor until you have a coarse crumb. Add dates and process until the mixture sticks together when pressed between 2 fingers. Press crust onto a plate, or into a little tin if you have one, and shape into a circle. Refrigerate while you prepare the other components
In a food processor (I used the mini insert bowl), you might need to double the mixture if you don’t have a small food processor bowl. Blend all the caramel ingredients together, stop and scrape down the mixture several times to ensure everything is incorporated. You should end up with a reasonably smooth thick caramel. Try not to eat it all now! Remove to a bowl and refigerate as well.
Finally, prepare the coconut whipped cream. Remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge and carefully remove the thick layer of cream from the top of the can. It should have separated out from the liquid underneath. Be careful not to get any liquid or your coconut cream will be on the runny side (like mine…). With an electric whisk whisk the coconut milk until fluffy and thick.
Using a spice grinder or blender whizz the coconut sugar until powdered (or use powdered sugar). Fold this through the coconut cream along with the seeds of a vanilla bean. Refrigerate while you assemble the pie.
Slice the banana and arrange 1/2 the slices over the crust. Spread a thick layer of caramel over the bananas (you won’t need all the caramel so you can keep the rest for later to eat with apple slices dipped in , or spread on another banana). Add a second layer of sliced banana.
Top with as much coconut cream as you like, any remaining banana slices, and a dusting of raw cacao powder.
There are so many raw desserts out there using dates so for now I’ll just point you to my favourite site for all things raw, This Rawesome Vegan Life.
I also love dates in savoury dishes though too. I really like to add little bites of sweetness with fruit in salads- I used prunes in this Moroccan Puy Lentil, Carrot + Mint Salad, but chopped dates would be great too. This Lentil, Date +Tomato Salad with Chili Tahini Dressing is another favourite .
Have you embraced raw desserts yet? Any interesting date recipes to share?
We’re heading back to savoury for the letter “E” tomorrow!