One of the things I’m most enjoying about being vegan is making vegan sweets. I love to bake, but I don’t usually because I just can’t justify having a bunch of sugary, unhealthy food around for the kids (and me) on a regular basis. I’ve found most of the vegan recipes are pretty low in sugar, use alternative sweeteners like maple syrup, use whole grain flours, and frequently contain a significant amount of fruit. So, while I’m not baking every week, I am baking more often and not feeling guilty about giving it to my kids.
Friday I made a vegan pie I thought I’d share. I got this from my new cookbook, The 30 Minute Vegan. It was really good. My husband thought it was too sweet. I disagree. It was more coconut-y than I thought it would be, but not overly sweet. It was easy to make and didn’t require any oven time. It took about forty minutes to assemble, which included feeding two kids lunch and having the two year old decide to use the potty. It was a relaxed forty minutes. Plus an hour chill time.
First, the crust. It’s dates and almonds with a little shredded coconut mixed in a food processor. It becomes like sticky bread crumbs. You just smoosh it in the pie pan and pop it in the fridge for a half hour.
Then melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Clearly, I don’t have one, so I just put a pot over another pot of boiling water. I used Sunspire chocolate chips which are vegan and sweetened with grain, not cane sugar. I don’t recommend eating them plain, but they’re great in things.
When using a double boiler to melt chocolate, make sure the top pot is dry. You can just set it over the boiling water pot for a couple minutes before you add the chocolate. If it’s wet at all, the chocolate will be lumpy. Lumpy chocolate tastes just fine, so don’t worry if it happens, but it won’t look as pretty.
Then pour the filling into your now chilled pie crust. Chill the whole thing for at least an hour. You’ll wind up with this yumminess. It was hard to cut. The crust was fine, but the filling was still a little soft and kind of slid off the crust. I may not have used firm tofu, which would definitely have been the problem. I choose a sprouted tofu and it didn’t say firm or soft on it. It seemed maybe soft when I used it.
The kids liked it, crust and chocolate, although they both preferred the chocolate. The other nice thing about vegan goodies I’ve found is my kids like them and think they’re desserts and all, but they don’t beg for seconds or bug me for them all the time. They’re good, but they’re not so sugary sweet that the kids just can’t stop eating them. I like that. I also find them satisfying. They kind of fill me up and I don’t feel like I want another piece (or six) ten minutes later. When I eat regular sweets, I definitely start to crave them and will eat way too many to count as moderation.