Nutrition: Rose-Berry Carob Dream Pie, by Pranada McBurnie

Fresh raspberries, rosewater and carob are a luscious flavor combination suitable for any special occasion, especially Valentine’s Day! You won’t miss dairy, dark chocolate or refined sugars in this lavish, low-carb, paleo-friendly treat.

This recipe can be made mostly raw if you choose raw nuts, nut butters and carob powder, skip the raspberry jam topping, and keep the heat as low as possible while melting the cacao butter.

If you are strict about your carb and sugar intake, as I am when preparing items for myself, eliminate the date sugar in the carob filling and raspberry jam topping, and increase the stevia to replace it. However, it’s more difficult to replace the dates in the crust as they help to bind the nuts together.

It’s best to make this pie a day in advance, stored in the fridge, to allow the filling to set.

Line the bottom and sides of a 10” springform pan with parchment. (Use two separate pieces – a circle for the bottom and then a strip to go around the circumference.)

CRUST

  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • ¾ cup raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup pitted dates
  • ⅓ cup carob powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Several drops liquid stevia to taste

Chop the pecans, almonds and dates in food processor until they are the consistency of coarse crumbs. Blend in carob powder. Then add almond milk and stevia. Blend until combined.

Press into the bottom and partway up the sides of the prepared springform pan. Chill.

CAROB FILLING

  • ¾ cup coconut butter, softened and stirred
  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ cup date sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½ cup carob powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Several drops (20+) liquid stevia to taste

You can prepare this filling in a food processor or simply stir it together by hand in a large bowl if your coconut butter is soft enough (try placing the jar in a bowl of warm water before using it). Mix nut butters, then add all other ingredients at the same time and stir until well blended.

Wash 1 pint of fresh organic raspberries, checking closely for any mold, then arrange them on the bottom of the crust. (You may optionally spray the crust and raspberries with rosewater.) Pour in the carob filling and smooth down. Return pan to fridge.

WHITE CHOCOLATE ROSEWATER FILLING

Melt ¾ cup cacao butter in a double boiler over low heat.

Meanwhile, empty one package (454g) of tender young coconut meat into the food processor and blend for several minutes until smooth.

Add the melted cacao butter and:

  • 1 tbsp rosewater (I use Divine Essence organic rose floral water which contains added rose essential oil and may be stronger than other rosewater preparations out there, so if you are using another brand, don’t hesitate to increase the amount if you feel you are not getting the flavor you want)
  • Several (20+) drops liquid stevia to taste
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Blend thoroughly.

Pour the white chocolate filling over the carob filling and smooth down. Garnish with rose petals, more fresh raspberries, or simply dust with carob powder. Return to the fridge until ready to serve.

RASPBERRY JAM TOPPING

For a jam or coulis-type sauce (with seeds), try the following with less sugar:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ¼ cup water

Combine, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook over low heat for five minutes. Add several drops liquid stevia to taste (or approx ¼ cup date or coconut sugar). Serve over or alongside the pie as desired.

Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice the pie. Since it is quite rich, you can serve small slices. Should yield about 16 servings. Eat within three days or freeze for later.

Pranada McBurnie has read up on nutrition and wellness since 2000. She has worked as a baker in an organic deli, helped to cater vegan weddings, and given talks in two languages on the ecological impact of dietary choices. She quit eating sugar in 2014 and caffeine in 2015 and, when her busy schedule as a communications advisor permits, she enjoys developing natural sugar-free recipes.

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