I love when 'after-the-baby-goes-to-bed' cravings evolve into amazing dessert treats. Well, that is how this one started a few weeks ago. I was just sitting on the couch reading a magazine waiting for my husband to get home. Baby was asleep. It was a long day of diapers, tomato plants, teething and cleaning. And, I was putting my feet up. That is a good feeling, no?! I think so. I sometimes even get a second wind at this time and forget how tired I was.
Well, this night in particular I was craving just a bite of dark chocolate. I think you can understand. But there was no dark chocolate in the house to satisfy this craving. So after looking in the fridge, the freezer and the pantry, I came up with dark cacao powder, sunbutter, and sunflower seeds. Hm, what could I make with sunbutter and cocoa?!
Well, I made a pudding like substance on the stove top and wasn't sure what I was really making. But, it turned out and it was tasty. I have been on a sunbutter kick lately, and have really fallen in love with sunflower seeds all over again. I licked my bowl and spoon and then saved a little for my husband, and thought that this pudding creation would make a great pie.
And, that's just what I did a few days later :) I made a yummy pudding pie dessert to celebrate 6 years of marriage with my hubby, a new garden, a healthy baby, and the first year in our new house. And of course the list could go on and on for things I am thankful for...
Sunflower Chocolate Pudding Pie Recipe (vegan)
1 cup of ground raw sunflower seeds (grind whole seeds in food processor)
1/2 cup of ground gluten-free rolled oats, or GF oat flour (grind in processor)
2 TB of tapioca flour
2 TB of coconut palm sugar
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1/3 cup of warmed coconut oil, or Earth Balance, soy-free
Grind the sunflower seeds and oats and mix them together in a bowl with the sucanat, tapioca and salt. Then add the warmed coconut oil (or Earth Balance) and mix into a nice crust dough. Then pour the crust into a 9x9 pie pan and spread very thin all over pie pan and form a nice crust with your fingers or a fork. Crust will be crumbly before baking, but do your best to have it stick together and be the same thickness in the pie pan. Then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until the crust is golden brown. This crust can be made with ground almond as a sub for the sunflower seeds, and any GF flour could be a sub for the oat flour. I made this crust with the sunflower and oats because I wanted it to be a replica of a graham cracker type crust. It turned out perfectly crispy and "buttery". Pull from oven and let cool completely before pouring in the chocolate pudding.
Chocolate Pudding Filling Ingredients:
1 cup of creamy sunbutter (sunflower seed butter)
1 1/3 cup of non-dairy, no-nut milk (either hemp or coconut beverage will work, I used So Delicious Vanilla coconut milk beverage)
2 TB of dark cacao powder
2 TB of tapioca flour
1-2 TB of pure maple syrup
Mix all of the above ingredients in a sauce pan on the stove on low to medium heat. Whisk in the sunbutter with the milk and make sure there are no tapioca or cocoa clumps. Use a whisk or spatula to mix well, and within minutes you will get a pudding like substance. Let cool just a minute, and then get ready to pour into a cooled pie crust. When ready, pour the chocolate pudding into the pie crust and spread out to look pretty. Then put pie in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but you can keep in fridge as long as you want before serving. After two hours, the pudding pie will be stiff and ready to serve.
You can top the pudding part of the pie with some added toppings if you desire...
more crust batter
raw sunflower seeds
strawberries or raspberries
banana pieces when ready to serve
Cut slices of pie with a clean knife and serve up with an optional topping.
The best way to keep this pie is to refrigerate.
I topped my pie with some raw sunflower seeds and then also some fresh organic strawberries for an added touch of color and fresh flavor as well. The fresh berries with the chocolate pudding was a really yummy combination too, which may lead to another desert idea soon ;)
This dessert will seem a bit decadant. It's true... how can you be eating such a delicious dessert and it still be gluten and dairy free, and vegan too? Well, friends, real foods and fresh ingredients make it again. You gotta love how you can get creative with some simple ingredients and come up with a beautiful and yummy pie.
It was a perfect treat to celebrate an anniversary, and I am also looking forward to when I can make it again for other friends and family gatherings. This pie will impress anyone you plan on making dessert for, I promise. I mean, just look at the bite of crumbly crust and rich chocolate...best.pie.ever.
So friends, I hope you find space to celebrate with your loved ones. Remember, good health and life comes out of having deep relationships, love and gratefulness. I know times when I am stressed, sad or greedy is when I start feeling sick again. Eating real food and gluten-free for me is what it means to be the healthiest I can be, but just as important to good food and a pure diet is healthy relationships and love. So, if you are like me and sometimes spend too much time on a strict diet, I say loosen up today and let yourself live. Don't let your gluten-free living define you or your relationships. Be free of the restrictions and find a balance of joy, love and gratefulness in all areas of your life.
May you be blessed with love and happiness today, and find peace in the simple joys of life and chocolate pie...
Much love to you today!