When I took this pie out of the fridge, I held it out to show my husband like a five-year-old holds out their latest art creation or the frog they caught from the pond across the street. Huge grin on my face, proud as can be, but still a little bit unsure. It looked perfect, but without tasting it, could I serve it to people who had never had a raw dessert in their lives? I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. So I packed it up with some ice-packs and we headed to dinner, anxiously anticipating serving a never-before-tried creation to six unsuspecting family members.
Of course you know how this story ends- I wouldn’t be sharing the recipe with you if it didn’t turn out well, would I? The reason I was so nervous about this, was not only my inexperience in creating raw desserts, but the main ingredient that gives this treat it’s lovely custard-like texture: irish moss.
Iris moss is a sea vegetable, rich in minerals with a gelatinous effect when soaked and mixed, and especially blended- with water. It lends a fluffy, creamy and nutritious texture to smoothies, soups, and raw desserts. And though I’d never shied away from throwing a spoonful into a smoothie (it’s excellent for digestion), I was hesitant using such a large quantity in a dessert. Would people know? Would it taste sea-like?
The answer is, not at all. It has the most neutral taste possible- no one I served it to even suspected their dessert was full of seaweed, the texture was spot-on and it added a healthy whack of nutrients to boot. That is what I call a win-win.
Raw Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
1 cup walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
6 fresh medjool dates (around 1/2 cup, packed)- pitted
2 tbsp cacao powder
pinch sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil (more as needed)
1 tbsp agave nectar
In a food processor, process walnuts, coconut, cacao and salt until a coarse flour. Add in dates and process until mixture starts to come together. Add coconut oil and agave nectar and process until mixture forms a tight ball, adding more oil as needed. Place in a pie pan and press into sides until crust fully covers bottom and sides of pan. Place in freezer for 10-20 minutes to set, meanwhile preparing filling.
Banana cream filling:
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup water
1. Blend in a high speed blender until a “cream” has been created. Keep in blender and continue with directions below.
1 cup (packed) Irish Moss (pre-soaked and lightly cooked if desired to remove impurities- rinse and drain well to ensure no sand is present)
6 medium bananas
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
1 banana, sliced, for topping
2. Add irish moss, banana, agave, vanilla and cocoa if using to blender. Blend well until a thick mixture has formed. Pour into solid pie crust and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. (Mixture will firm up while it is cooling) Top with banana slices just before cutting into slices and serving.
Enjoy your nutrient rich, absolutely sinful-tasting raw dessert!
Have you ever used Irish Moss? What is your favorite way to use it?