Raw Pina Colada Pie

 

Raw Pina Colada Pie

 

Today is one of those days.  Sleep deprived from my crazy work schedule.  My body not allowing me to sleep for at least 2 hours arriving home from a closing shift and its insane need to make me wake up at the same time every morning that I don’t work an opening shift whether I get 8 hours of sleep or not.  Today, it allowed me 15 more minutes only to find there were 2 men outside talking rather loudly which prevented me from going back to sleep.

Now, before you start doling out helpful sleep advice.  I’ve tried it all.  Melatonin.  Passion Flower.  Valerian.  Everything short of prescription medication.  My doctor is thinks that once my body’s systems are back in balance that I’ll be able to sleep better.

So, here I am, wanting to write a blog post, needing to get dinner made before my closing shift tonight, and desperately wanting more sleep which will not come (every attempt to take a nap lately ends in frustration).

I wanted to share the balsamic kale I made yesterday, but as tired as I am, pulling out the camera to upload the pictures would take too much time.  I figured I’d share one of my raw recipes that I was working on for April In The Raw since people were asking for the recipe as soon as I posted the picture on Facebook.

The idea for this pie was conceived when I made this pie last year.  I came up with the crust because I knew a nut crust would throw Chaz off even if it would go well with the berries.  Chaz doesn’t like nuts in his food.  He’ll eat nuts alone, but he’s not really fond of them in food.  My next thought was coconut.  He loves coconut.  And I knew I could use coconut cream to give it the firmness to stick together.  He liked the crust so much he started thinking about a pina colada pie.  He wanted it thickened with agar agar, which he uses when he makes yokan.  Made from seaweed, it would boost the nutritional content of the pie.  However, when I was reading up on it to make this pie, I discovered I’d have to cook the pineapple in order for the enzymes to not mess up the thickening properties of the agar agar.

I was mulling over what to use to thicken the pie so it would set.  Chia seeds?  I have black ones and it would change the look of the pie.  Flax seeds?  I have golden flax so it could have worked.  I just wanted it easy and not have to let seeds sit in water to get gelatinous.  Coconut cream.

Bingo!

Easy.  Less ingredients.  No fuss.  With the difficulty of having the raw berry pie set, I let this one set overnight just to be sure.  Beautiful results in firmness, texture, and taste.  For me, at least.  Chaz didn’t think it was sweet enough.  I didn’t add anything in it to sweeten it more.

Raw Pina Colada Pie

1 coconut pie crust

5 cups diced fresh ripe pineapple, not overripe – if there isn’t a lot of green on the skin and you can smell it before you pick it up, it’s too ripe.

1 – 1 1/2 cups coconut cream concentrate (I used Tropical Traditions)

Splash of water

Process pineapple, coconut cream, and water in a food processor until the texture is creamy.  Pour into prepared crust and refrigerate until set.  I like to let it sit for at least 24 hours.  Serve with fresh sliced pineapple.

The pineapple garnish will enhance the pineapple flavor.  Test the filling before pouring into the crust.  Since I did not add any type of sweetener, you might not find it sweet enough and decide to add a little sugar, honey, stevia, etc.  If you do decide to sweeten it, I highly recommend being conservative with it so you can maintain a good pineapple coconut balance.

 

Raw Pina Colada Mac Nut Cream Cake

 

The raw cake attempt I made would also work as a good pie filling.  My problem with the cake was the macadamia nut cream was too runny and I didn’t strain the excess water out of it so it was more pudding-like than cake-like.  I have no doubt that is all that needs to happen for this to set, so if if you want to try it, be my guest!  It had really great flavor though. The added macadamia nut cream gave a slight hint of sweetness to enhance the pineapple.

Macadamia Nut Cream

2 cups macadamia nuts covered in water

6 dates covered in 2 cups of water

Soak the nuts and dates in separate bowls for 20 minutes.  Drain water from the nuts and place in a blender.  Add dates with the water to the blender.  Blend on high until smooth, thick, and creamy.  If it is a little runny, let it strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.  This should yield about 3 cups of macadamia nut cream.

Raw Pina Colada Mac Nut Cream filling

4 cups pineapple

2 cups macadamia nut cream

1 cup coconut cream concentrate

Place ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.  Pour into a coconut pie crust for a raw pie or into an 8 x 8 baking dish for cake and sprinkle with shredded coconut.  Chill overnight.  Serve with fresh pineapple and a dollop of macadamia nut cream.

Raw Experimenting

This isn’t quite the post I was planning on for today.  What I planned was sharing about was being a stand-in parent.  One of the boys I used to work with was supposed to come up with his girlfriend to visit me to today. Of course he’s not really a boy anymore.  He’s almost 25 and since I don’t work with him anymore, he tends to call me Mom.  So, I’ll save that for another day.

The last month or so, I’ve been messing around with raw recipes in preparation for next month’s blog event, April In The Raw, hosted by Brittany of Real Sustenance.

I started off by working on a vision Chaz had after I made a raw pie last year and created a raw coconut crust to go with the filling recipe by Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl.  He wanted a pineapple filling using agar agar to thicken the filling.  Well, I did some research and high acidic fruits like pineapple need to be cooked when using agar agar.  So that was out of the question.  Instead I used coconut cream concentrate.  I liked it, but it wasn’t sweet enough for Chaz and he felt the crust was missing something, even though it was the same crust I made before.

Then, Iris (The Daily Dietribe) and Brittany got raw cake into my head after discussing with them on Facebook that I haven’t had cake in over a year.  Gluten-free cake is not new to me at all.  In fact, I found a recipe for a Chocolate Chinchilla years ago that I’ve made a few times for a friend with Celiac.  He loves it.  I turned the raw cake idea  over and over and over again in the noggin before trying it.   My macadamia nut cream turned out a little runny so the cake didn’t set well, but it had a great flavor.  I will have to get more pineapple and macadamia nuts to try it again.

I attempted a mango coconut ice cream the other day.  I loved the flavor of it before I put it in the freezer.  I didn’t add anything to sweeten it, so of course it wasn’t sweet enough for Chaz, again.  While it was in the freezer, I had ideas of cutting into the other mango I had for garnish and soaking it in mango rum or spiced rum and then topping the ice cream with it.  By the time I got home from work the next day, the ice cream was rock solid.  If I had popsicle molds they would have been perfect.  Almost.  From what I could chip off to get a taste, some of the natural sweetness was gone.

Today, I went round two with the ice cream and cake.  The ice cream is still mango coconut, just changed it up a little.  The cake is a Peppermint Mocha Truffle.  Truffle might be stretching it a bit, but that was my initial inspiration.  The batter for the cake was amazingly like real cake batter and I figure if it doesn’t set right, I can always bake it and give you a flourless cake recipe!

That’s not all though.  I still have other things running amok in my head.  Like gluten-free poke, marinated raw fish, a favorite back home.   I can’t find the seaweed I need either in town or online to ship so I’ll be winging it  and hoping for the best.

*looks at the fridge wistfully, waiting for the raw desserts to be ready*  Best thing about the desserts?  I used raw local honey in the ice cream and pure maple syrup in the cake.