Day 3: Progress from passion

Yesterday, I was sick and I had some tartalicious frozen yogurt and a delicious deli-sandwich. But I exercised again, which is huge for me. So far, I’m feeling more positive, if a little sore!

As I said in my first post for this endeavor, my inspiration for improving my health is recuperating an injury and making myself stronger so that I can go back to culinary school, as well as just a general desire to improve my well-being. I started with the realization that there was something I needed to get fit for; that I had a goal and a desire that could drive me forward.

Part of maintaining this goal is acknowledging my love for food and having as much fun with cooking, baking, creating and of course eating as I always do!

I’ve been testing new recipes and incorporating my rainbow of vegetables and fruits into a variety of new dishes. I’m playing with spices and cooking techniques.

Once of the things I’ve made this week is a recipe for a raw banana cream pie. It tastes really good and is sweetened only with fruit and fruit juice! It’s salty and crunchy and sweet and coconutty!

I’ve only made it once, but I’ll put the recipe below. The crust especially is something I can vouch for and I recommend trying your own fillings, such as fresh fruit, nut butters, puddings in addition to this one.

Raw Banana Cream Pie ~vegan, gluten-free, fruit-sweetened

raw pie crust:

2 c raw almonds
1 c finely shredded coconut
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c raw almond butter (I actually used roasted and liked the flavor a lot)
12-15 medjool dates
1/4 c apple juice

Grind the almonds in a blender or food processor until the pieces are somewhere between a flour and roughly chopped. Chop the dates finely. Use only soft dates, none with hard interiors. The dates will be very sticky, just do your best to get them into pea-sized pieces.

Mix the almonds, coconut, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the dates, almond butter and apple juice and mix until it comes together. Press into a standard springform pan so that it goes up the sides and has an even thickness all around, about 1/4″. ¬†Chill covered in plastic wrap.

banana filling

5 ripe bananas
1/4 c coconut milk
1 tsp guar gum
1/2 vanilla bean

Slice 4 of the 5 bananas into slim rounds.
Mash the remaining banana in a mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk and sprinkle the guar gum over the top. Blend with an egg beater. Try to incorporate any big clumps. Scrape in the seeds of 1/2 a vanilla pod and save the pod for later use. Blend again.

to assemble the pie!

Lay the bananas in the pie crust, stacking a couple layers on top of each-other. Pour the banana filling over to fill in the cracks. Smooth the liquid with a spatula so that every gap is filled and you can see the bananas on the top layer. Chill for a few hours or overnight with plastic wrap over it until the coconut-banana filling has set.
Run a butter knife around the edge of the crust carefully, then pop open the springform pan. Lift out the pie and serve. I garnished mine with a little bit of shredded coconut.

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