I’m a chocolate kind of girl, but one of Rob and my all time favorite desserts is key lime pie. The tart and tangy taste is somehow so refreshing in a dessert. It’s kind of like a little bit of tropical sunshine in every bite. Now that spring has finally arrived, my body is ready to ditch the warm, cooked vegetables, soups, and stews, and trade them in for all the raw, fresh goodness that is coming in season. And, I just happen to love the whole raw food thing. Even though I’m not strictly a raw foodist or a vegan (I still need a little bit of animal protein in my diet, but not much, and I choose good clean protein sources to eat), I love the creativity, taste, and the way my body feels when I eat at least 50% of my foods raw. 50% is an easily attainable amount of raw food. If I start out my day with a green smoothie and have a salad for either lunch or dinner, throw in some cut up raw veggies and a handful of nuts for snacks, and I’m already there.
Can’t think of a better way to kick off the raw food season, than with a little something sweet. I decided to make a raw key lime pie using soaked cashews, an avocado, and raw coconut oil to accomplish the creamy filling. To make this recipe (like most raw food recipes), I had to dust off my food processor (I had dropped it and bent the post), and try to repair it. In the past, I’ve used my Vitamix dry container to do the job, but for this recipe, I wanted the filling to be as smooth and creamy as possible. I was able to sand down the post enough, so the blade would fit over it – thank goodness!! I’ve missed you, hardworking Cuisinart!!
To make the crust, I used 2 cups walnuts and 1 ½ cups raisins. I processed them together in the food processor until a big clump of dough formed. One of my favorite things about raw food recipes is the simplicity. Who knew such a delicious crust could be made with only walnuts and raisins! Pecans can be substituted for the walnuts, and dates can be substituted for the raisins to make your crust. Or, a mixture of macadamia nuts and almonds would be another delicious choice.
I used a springform pan to hold my raw key lime pie. I have had this springform pan so long that I can’t even remember when or why I bought it! I noticed when taking this picture that it has Pampered Chef written on the base. I don’t think I’ve been to one of their parties since my babies were in cribs. I certainly wasn’t cooking or baking much back then, so who knows why I bought this pan. It sure has come in handy for the right recipes, so I’m glad I did! To form the crust, I pressed the ball of walnut-raisin dough into the bottom of the springform pan, and put it in the fridge to harden.
After rinsing out my food processor, I started on the filling. First, I used my Microplane zester to zest the limes. I used 8 organic limes instead of key limes. Key limes are so darn tiny and hard to zest and juice, so I substituted the plain jane variety, and the taste turned out just fine. I transferred the zest into the food processor and then juiced the limes in my juicer and added the lime juice to the food processor as well.
Next, I strained the raw cashews out of the soaking water and discarded the water. The longer the cashews have soaked in the water, the easier it will be to achieve a creamy texture for the filling. I added the soaked cashews, avocado, raw coconut oil, agave, and vanilla extract to the food processor and processed the ingredients until they were thick and creamy, which probably took at least a minute.
What I love about raw food recipes is that no cooking is involved (duh!), so I can taste the finished product before totally committing. While the filling is still in the Cuisinart, I made sure it was sweet and creamy enough for my liking. I like my key lime pie pretty tart, so make sure to taste yours and add more agave and/or vanilla if you like a sweeter version.
The last step – I poured the filling over the walnut-raisin crust in the springform pan and then refrigerated the pie for at least 2 hours.
Before cutting and serving the pie, I removed the side from the base of the springform pan. So the pie wouldn’t stick to the edge, I gently ran a knife around the edge between the side of the pan and the pie. Once the side is removed, I garnished the pie with a few slices of a lime. Ready to slice and serve. All kinds of taste bud satisfaction with under 25 minutes of actual time in the kitchen! Love, love, love it!
- 2 cups walnuts
- 1½ cups raisins
- zest of 8 limes
- juice of 8 limes
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in filtered water for at least 30 minutes and soaking water discarded
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup raw coconut oil, warmed to a liquid
- ½ cup agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the crust, process the walnuts and raisins together in a food processor until a ball of dough forms.
- Press the dough into the bottom of a springform pan.
- Rinse out the food processor.
- Zest 8 limes, and transfer the zest into the food processor.
- Juice 8 limes, and pour the juice into the food processor.
- Add the soaked cashews, avocado, coconut oil, agave, and vanilla to the food processor, and process until thick and creamy.
- Taste the filling, and add more agave and/or vanilla for a sweeter pie.
- Pour the filling into the springform pan on top of the walnut-raisin crust.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Slide a knife between the side of the springform pan and the pie to separate the edge of the pie from the pan.
- Remove the side of the springform pan from the base, slice, and serve.