The raw blueberry pie experiment

by Bart on September 29, 2009

One thing that I realized early on when considering eating raw food diet, even if it’s only for 30 days, is that in order to succeed, I will need to learn how to make raw desserts.

I could probably go through the entire 30 days without fancy raw gourmet meals, and satisfy my hunger by eating simply: few bananas (and other fruit), a green smoothie, a large salad, some nuts and seeds… but when it comes to desserts… well, I just need them. :-)

So, last week I decided that I’d begin my raw dessert making experiments with a blueberry pie.

Most raw pie recipes seem to follow a similar pattern:

  • the crust is made from a mix of nuts and fruit, usually dates, since their consistency helps form the crust, although honey might be used as well
  • the filling is made from sweet fruit, such as berries, peaches, or apples. As an alternative, a nut based filling, often mixed with coconut oil or avocado and various fruit can be made, resulting in more cheesecake like consistency

Once the pie is made, it’s often refrigerated for a period of time. There is no baking involved, nor is there any additional sugar added, although some recipes might call for a sweetener, such as stevia, or agave nectar.

For my pie I decided on a walnut / date crust. To make it, you simply process the nuts in the food processor, then add pitted dates, and process both ingredients until well mixed.

Processed walnuts

Processed walnuts

After transferring the resulting mixture onto a pie plate, press it into the plate with your hands, forming the crust.

Crust mix

Crust mix

Walnut date crust

Walnut date crust

Filling is as easy to make. Start with 2 cups of berries, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a cup of soaked dates and process them in a blender. Pour the mixture over 4 cups of whole (or sliced) berries in a bowl, and mix together.

Filling for the raw blueberry pie

Filling for the raw blueberry pie

Finally, pour the resulting mixture into the crust, and refrigerate if desired.

Raw blueberry pie

Raw blueberry pie

So, what was the result? The pie was tasty, but not as good as I had expected. The crust was a bit too bitter for my taste buds. I did omit salt from the recipe for the crust, since I rarely use salt. It turns out though, that salt might counteract the bitterness of walnuts, and bring out the sweetness – something I have learned after the fact, while watching one of the many raw “cooking” demonstrations on YouTube.

Next time I use walnuts to make a crust, I’ll certainly add salt and see if that helps.

As to the filling – I think it would be wonderful with fresh fruit, but I only had frozen blueberries. Even though they were thawed and drained, they still retained a lot of moisture. As a result the filling was much too soft – it was not possible to actually cut a piece of the pie without it falling apart, as can be seen in the photo below. It did taste good though.

Slice of the raw blueberry pie

Slice of the raw blueberry pie

You can find the original recipe I used, and ideas for other pie variations, at Steve Pavlina’s blog.

Related posts:

  1. The raw cashew cheesecake experiment
  2. The raw cheesecake experiment
  3. The raw soup experiment

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