Everybody knows at least one person with an intense and impressive take-charge attitude–the type of person who seems to always know what they want and lets nothing stand in the way of getting it. My brother was blessed with this type of attitude. He almost always knows what he wants, goes after it and gets it. Not only that, he’s so charismatic that he can walk into a room and instantly become everyone’s best friend. I like to think that I’m pretty friendly, too (in a more reserved way), but that take-charge attitude? For a while, I thought that particular quality had skipped over my gene pool entirely. I just assumed my brother acquired my share of that characteristic
I’m not saying that I’m never passionate or driven. There are many different things that I’m passionate about, but for a long time I’ve been afraid to invest too much time and energy into these passions. What if I invest so much of myself into something and it doesn’t work out? What if I make commitments that only leave me exhausted and overwhelmed? More importantly, what if I over-commit and I’m unable to spend time with my family? I realize now that I’ve been using these fears as terrible excuses; I had become frozen as a result of my many fears and rather than going after what I want, I had resolved to be content with my situation and not ruffle any feathers.
It’s alright to take the easy, safe road for a while, but not to avoid challenges altogether. I finally accepted that I don’t just want to do one of the things that I love, I want to do them all! Starting this blog was a huge first step for me. I’m quite passionate about healthy eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but also about sharing this passion with others through my writing.
I’m also extremely passionate about working with children. I worked at a daycare for years when I was younger and it was such a blessing going to work each day and not only watching the kids learn and grow, but actively contributing to their development. Well, I recently mustered the courage to apply for grad school (something I’ve wanted to do for a long time) to become a teacher……and I just found out that I was accepted! I never thought I would be excited to go back to school! But I feel as though this is another huge step for me in the right direction. *On a side note, my mom was hired for a job that she’s been really wanting (working with kids, no less) on the same day that I got the results from school. What an awesome day. This was all definitely cause for celebration!
Because of all the good news, I decided that a special dessert was in order. One of my all-time favorite desserts is the Mini Cacao-luscious Pie, so I thought I would try a new flavor of this perfectly petite dessert: Banana Coconut Cream Pie. Like its’ chocolate-flavored cousin, this pie is also completely raw, gluten-free and vegan.
…and grew as I decided to add more layers!
The pies were delicious to begin with (in fact, I ate one entire pie before I even had a chance to take a picture of it), but the layers of shredded coconut and the whipped coconut topping transformed this into one heavenly dessert. After
eating inhaling the first pie, I couldn’t help but think that there was something missing, something that could put this dessert over the top. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier, but most cream pies have some sort of meringue or whipped cream topping. I settled on a whipped topping that’s denser than your typical whipped cream, but I figured, what the heck, if I’m going to go all out, it’s going to be truly decadent. And man am I happy with the results!
- ~~For the Crust:
- ½ cup macadamia nuts, soaked for at least 2 hours, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 2-3 pitted dates
- pinch of sea salt
- ~~For the Banana Cream Filling:
- 1 banana
- ½ cup coconut butter (either homemade from flaked coconut or store-bought)
- 2 Tbs. almond butter (again, either homemade or store-bought)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ~~For the Whipped Topping:
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 1 Tbs. coconut flour (optional)
- ⅛ tsp. powdered stevia
- ⅛ tsp. vanilla extract
- For the crust, blend the first three ingredients in a food processor. Add the dates and salt and blend again until the mixture really begins to stick together.
- I lined my mini pie dishes with plastic wrap so that I could get the pies out when I was finished, but you could definitely just skip this step and eat the pies straight from the pie dishes.
- Press the crust ingredients into the pie dishes using your hands. Make sure to pack it down tightly. Place the pie dishes into the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- For the filling, place all of the ingredients into the food processor (or a blender) and mix until completely combined.
- Pour the filling ingredients evenly into your pie crusts and place the pies back into the freezer and allow the filling to harden for at least an hour or two.
- When the filling has hardened up a bit, you’re ready to make the whipped topping. This topping is optional, but I really enjoyed it! Take your can of full-fat coconut milk from the refrigerator and open it up. Be sure not to shake or turn the can! When you open the can, you’ll see that there’s a thick layer of cream on top. Using a spoon, scrape this layer off and into a mixing bowl. Discard the thin white liquid below. Add the powdered stevia and the vanilla extract to the bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, blend the coconut cream to make it fluffy, approximately 20 seconds. To make the cream a little denser, add the coconut flour (this is optional) and mix again just until everything is combined.
- Use a spatula to smooth the cream on top of the pies. Top with shredded coconut, if you like, and place the pie into the fridge.
- These pies will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but I doubt they will last that long. When you’re ready, remove the pies from the fridge and enjoy!!
Update: I submitted this recipe to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (where it was one of three “Reader’s Favs”!) and Healthy Vegan Fridays (where it was featured as one of the Most Popular Submissions). You can click on the links to check it out and to browse other yummy recipes!