When Angela from Canned Time asked me to participate in the Family Favorites Desserts series, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Each month, Canned Time is featuring a different blogger who has veganized a favorite dessert from her childhood. NuNaturals is the unofficial sponsor of the series, so their stevia products are used in all of the recipes.
It sounded like an easy enough task when Angela asked, but the more I thought about it, the more I had no idea what I was going to make. When I was growing up, desserts started out in a box – either premade by Entenmann’s or just-add-water by Betty Crocker. Neither of them seems very appealing to me now that I’m older. I briefly thought about trying to make a vegan version of slice-and-bake cookies, but that’s pretty much just a chocolate chip cookie, and chocolate chip cookies have already been perfectly veganized.
My thoughts then turned to my teen years, when I started experimenting in the kitchen and whipping up desserts from scratch. Well, sort of from scratch. The dessert that became a favorite with the family on holidays was a chocolate cream pie that was made with Cool Whip, melted chocolate chips, and a prepared graham cracker crust. I found the recipe in one of those little magazine-type cookbooks that you can find at the checkout in grocery stores. (At least I think you can still find them there.) When I went vegan, I threw the recipe away, sad to see the last slice of my favorite chocolate pie. Little did I know that years later I’d be tinkering around in the kitchen, concocting a much healthier, vegan version. I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out, and I hope you like it too.
- 1½ cups raw walnuts
- 1½ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 8 medjool dates, pits removed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 10 ounces vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla stevia liquid
- 3 ripe avocados, mashed (about 1½ cups)
- 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight in the fridge
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon vanilla stevia liquid
- Sliced strawberries for garnish, optional
- Make the Crust: Place the crust ingredients in a food processor and process until finely ground. Process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a 9-inch shallow pie plate or tart pan. Refrigerate until the filling is ready.
- Make the Filling: Pour the coconut milk in a medium-sized sauce pan. If the cream and water have separated, whisk them together. Heat over medium high heat. Once the liquid has just begun to boil, remove it from the heat and stir the chocolate chips into the pot. Stir until smooth and melted. Let cool slightly.
- Add the mashed avocados, stevia, and chocolate mixture to your food proesser and process until smooth.
- Carefully pour the filling into the crust. Refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours. The pie can also be frozen for an ice cream-like filling.
- Make the Coconut Whipped Cream: Chill a medium-sized bowl in the freezer for a few minutes.
- Open the can of coconut milk and carefully scoop out the cream, leaving behind the water. (Save it for a smoothie!) You should have somewhere between ¾ cup and one cup of coconut cream. Place the cream in the bowl.
- Beat on high with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and light. This could take up to five minutes. Add the stevia to taste and beat for another thirty seconds or so.
- Top the pie with the Coconut Whipped Cream and garnish with sliced strawberries, if using.
- The pie will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.