Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie – no bake, healthy, and vegan!

Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie

I’m a big fan of Chocolate Covered Katie’s healthy dessert blog. Last August, she published her version of a Canadian dessert called Nanaimo Bars. I tried making the recipe. My family and I liked it!  I liked it so much that I made it again and again, adapting it to my own way of cooking, and experimenting with variations.  In the summertime, I made Strawberry Nanaimo Bars and Blueberry Nanaimo Bars. I love chocolate, but it doesn’t always love me back, so I also invented an alternate chocolate-free topping, made with strawberries and cardamom.

Finally, autumn arrived, and gorgeous pumpkins. First I made Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. Then I made Chocolate Covered Katie’s truly wonderful no-bake chocolate pumpkin pie — another of Katie’s recipes that I completely adore.  But still I had more pumpkin to use. So I invented this recipe — a yummy collision betweenChocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie Katie’s Nanaimo Bars and a pumpkin pie.

Everybody who tried it said this pie was seriously delicious! Jan Wolter called it, “Brain-meltingly yummy!”Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

I used fresh pumpkin in this recipe, but it should work fine with canned, too. Here is how to cook fresh pumpkin.

If you would like, you can replace half of the cocoa powder with carob powder.

In case you were wondering, Nanaimo is a city in Canada.  :-)Chocolate Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie


Edited to add: I’ve had a request for a nut-free version.  You can make this pie nut-free by replacing the nuts in the crust with an equal amount of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (without shells).  In the filling, replace the cashews with cannellini beans or other cooked white beans, and add another 1-2 dates.

 

Nanaimo Pumpkin Pie -- gluten-free, vegan, no refined sugar, healthy, quick, no baking -- and awesomely yummy!
 
Prep time
15 mins
Total time
15 mins
 
Quick, delicious, vegan, no-bake pumpkin pie.
Author: Valerie Mates
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 pie
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 3/4 cup of nuts, such as a mix of almonds and walnuts
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup raisins
Filling:
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup cooked white beans (eg. cannellini beans) -- or more cashews
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7 dates with no pits
  • 2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
Topping:
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (or 1/4 cup cocoa powder plus 1/4 cup carob powder)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Place all crust ingredients in a food processor. Blend until everything is in small pieces, about the size of pin-heads, and maybe starting to stick together a tiny bit -- but don't blend it all the way to nut butter.
  2. Put the crust into a pie plate. Use your hands to press it down into the shape of a pie crust. Just put the crust on the bottom and sides of the pie plate -- don't put crust on top of the edges of the pie plate.
  3. Next, place all of the ingredients for the filling in the food processor. Blend it for several minutes, until the mixture is very creamy and smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Use a spatula to smooth it out as flat as you can. There should still be about 1/4 inch depth between the top of the filling and the walls of the pie plate to make room for the topping. If the filling is too tall, scoop some out, then smooth again.
  5. In a heatproof glass measuring cup or other microwaveable container, put the ingredients for the topping. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. If the coconut oil is not melted at this point, microwave again and stir again.
  6. Pour the topping over the pie. If the pie isn't covered evenly, tilt it gently or use the back of a spoon to gently spread it around to get the topping to cover everywhere.
  7. Refrigerate for several hours.
  8. This pie is very rich. I recommend serving it in wedges that are about an inch wide at the widest part.
3.2.2807

 

Banana Claw – Decadent Vegan Ice Cream

Banana Claw ice cream

Back before we had kids, their dad and I used to like to go to the ice cream store and get a type of ice cream called Bear Claw. Bear Claw ice cream is a very rich chocolatey ice cream, with ribbons of caramel, and chocolate covered cashews.

I’ve been making vegan ice cream from bananas. I can’t eat Bear Claw ice cream anymore, so this is my healthy vegan adaptation of it. My daughter Kendra says we should call it Banana Claw.

This whole recipe is easy achocolate and cashewsnd quick. Once your bananas are frozen, the entire recipe takes about 15 minutes to make.

To freeze bananas: Choose bananas that are ripe, with freckles, but not totally brown. Bananas that are overripe and would work great in banana bread will make this recipe taste too banana-y. So pick bananas that are freckled, so that they are sweet enough, but not overripe. To freeze, break the bananas into chunks and put them in a container in the freezer.

cashews going into the bagMaking chocolate covered cashews is easy: Melt chocolate chips, stir together with cashews, and put them in the freezer for a few minutes. Ziplock bags are very non-stick, so they work great for freezing the cashews. The chocolate ends up on the cashews, not on the bag. Tip: To make it easier to spoon the mixture into the ziplock bag, you can put the bag into a glass or mug and fold its sides down over the rim. Then the glass will hold the bag open for you.

bananas avocado food processorThe caramel layer is my version of the caramel in Vegan Richa’s Salted Date Caramel Chocolate Pie with Almond Coconut Crust — a very decadent and wonderful vegan recipe.

just the ice creamI don’t normally use much salt, but it tastes really good in this caramel, and it’s only a small amount. If you happen to have fancy salt available, such as Himalayan Sea Salt, this is a good recipe to use it in.

cashews after freezingBanana ice cream is very easy to make: Blend three frozen bananas with whatever flavoring you like: fruit, or cocoa powder. An optional avocado adds extra richness.

And voila! Healthy fruit and nuts are magically turned into a rich and delicious ice cream.


Edited to add: I’ve had a request for a nut-free version. For nut-free, omit the cashews or replace them with pumpkin seeds (without shells). And leave out the almond butter.

more banana claw

Banana Claw - Vegan Ice Cream
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A rich vegan ice cream, made from bananas, full of caramel, laced with chocolate covered cashews.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 1 pint
Ingredients
Chocolate Covered Cashews:
Caramel:
  • 5-6 dates (with no pits)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
Ice Cream:
  • 3 frozen bananas, broken into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 perfectly ripe avocado (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
Chocolate Covered Cashews:
  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave, by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring. Repeat until the chips are melted.
  2. Stir in the cashews.
  3. Pour into a quart-sized Ziplock bag.
  4. Squeeze out the air, then zip the bag.
  5. Use your fingers to spread out and separate the cashews throughout the bag.
  6. Place the bag in the freezer.
Caramel:
  1. Blend all caramel ingredients in a blender or food processor, until completely smooth.
Ice Cream:
  1. Blend all of the ice cream ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Remove the bag of cashews from the freezer.
  3. While the bag is still closed, use your fingers to break apart the cashews, so that they are separate and not stuck together.
  4. Pour the cashews into the ice cream, and gently stir them in.
  5. Put half of the ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Smooth it out. Spread the caramel evenly on top. Add the rest of the ice cream on top.
  6. You can eat the ice cream now, though it will still be soft, or leave it in the freezer to firm up.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies – no gluten, dairy, or refined sugar!

chocolate chip cookie with a bite taken out of it

I searched far and wide for my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe — and I have found it! This recipe has no gluten — indeed no grain or flour of any kind — and it is sweetened with dates instead of refined sugar. It makes delicious chocolate chip cookies that start out soft and stay that way.

cookie doughThis recipe is based on the Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe from the blog Cooking a la Mel. But I’ve modified the recipe to use nuts instead of quinoa flour, replaced coconut oil with canola oil, and left out the refrigeration stage.

dough before bakingFor making blobs of cookie dough, I use an OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop that I bought on Amazon. It makes it easy to turn out a zillion perfect blobs of cookie dough in no time flat — although you can also use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and another one to scrape it off the first one, and that will work fine too.

baked cookiesYou can make these cookies vegan by replacing the egg with a flax egg instead.

My pick for chocolate chips is Equal Exchange, because they are dairy-free, organic, and fair trade.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Awesome gluten-free chocolate chip cookies: made from healthy ingredients, stays soft, and tastes fabulous!
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 18-22 cookies
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pumpkin seeds (without hulls)
  • 1 cup dates, with no pits
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg (or replace with a flax egg to make it vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips, such as Equal Exchange semisweet
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a food processor.
  3. Blend for several minutes, until the mixture looks someplace between dough and wet sand. The largest pieces should be the size of the head of a pin.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Place blobs of 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough on a cookie sheet. Flatten the blobs into round cookie shapes. You can put them close together -- they don't expand much during baking.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Tastes best after cooling. Yum!