Happy 4th of July and Mixed Berry Pie

 

What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with a red, white, and blue pie? Fireworks don't hurt either. My favorite part of the 4th of July is the heat of midsummer (wait - MID summer?! How did that happen so dog-gone fast?), and fireworks on the beach. I also love this pie, and think you will too.

This isn't just any ol' pie. It has no added white sugar, which means you can indulge in this treat without a sugar hangover the next day. You know, that groggy, cloudy head feeling you wake up with? You get to skip that. I like to call that sweetness without junkness. It rocks. 

Ingredient Highlight: Dates

Yes, dates contain natural sugar. In fact, approximately 60 percent of a date is sugar. But it comes to you mixed with a good dose of fiber, B vitamins, potassium (more potassium than bananas), and folic acid. 1 date contains 23 calories. This recipe calls for 8 dates, ringing in 184 calories. By comparison, 1 cup of white granulated sugar contains 774 calories. I'll take the dates, thanks. 

The fiber in dates is a special kind of fiber called beta-D-glucan. Beta-D-glucan fiber has been shown to slow or delay the absorption of glucose in the small intestine; meaning it helps keep your blood sugar levels even. Amazing, right? I know it! Even more, beta-D-glucan increases feelings of satiety; you'll be completely satisfied. 

Ingredients

Crust
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
8 dates
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Filling
4 cups mixed berries (or more, depending on your dish and your taste buds)
2 tablespoons ground flax
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom

Topping
1 can full fat coconut milk top, chilled in the fridge overnight (or in the freezer for an hour - just don't forget about it!)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

Method

  1. In a food processor, coarsely chop dates. Add rolled oats and process until crumbly. Add coconut oil and process until sticky. Add water if needed.
  2. Lightly grease a pie pan with a little coconut oil, then gently press the crust evenly along the bottom and edges of the pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine berries, flax seed, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Mix until the berries are evenly coated.
  4. Pour the berry mixture on top of the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Allow a couple hours for pie to cool. Even better, overnight in the refrigerator. 
  5. While pie is cooling. Prepare coconut cream topping. Take can of coconut milk out of the refrigerator. Spoon off thick top and place in a mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a hand-held electric mixer, whip coconut milk until creamy; starting on low and increasing to high.
  6. When pie is cool, serve on individual plates (or bowls if it is still juicy), with a scoop of coconut cream on top. Don't worry if it is messy - it's still delicious! Enjoy.

source: Murray, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005. 272-73. Print.