Valentine’s Day is certainly a day to celebrate romantic love, but it’s also a day to celebrate ALL love. Love for friends, love for your children, love for animals, love for your darlin’, love for yourSELF… and love for chocolate.
I joke. Sort of. :D
Every year for Valentine’s I post a chocolate recipe. This year I decided to post a very healthful (but no less DELICIOUS) chocolate recipe – my “Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse Pie” from LTEV. And, trust me when I say this pie is no less delicious because it is made with whole foods ingredients. It is DIVINE, and scrumptious! And, if you aren’t a big fan of chocolate, I have some other ideas for you at the end of this post.
For this pie you will need a food processor to make the crust, and a blender to make the filling. I get questions every week about which food processor and blender I use. Many of you know that the Blendtec is my blender of choice. I use it every day – sometimes 2-3x/day! For years I used a KitchenAid food processor. While it worked well for a few years, after about 3-4 years, its design began to show some flaws. The motor worked well, but the bowl started to crack and also accumulate debris in the handle (which I thought was odd). I could clean through the handle, but only by dismantling the bowl (which was not intended, one can tell after dismantling)! Recently, I upgraded my processor to the Breville Sous Chef.
I had heard incredible reviews about this machine, especially after participating in The Blender Girl’s recipe event back in October. There are a few key things I love about the Breville…
(1) The bowl is BPA-FREE! (not many processors offer this).
(2) The bowl has a 16-cup capacity (you know what that means? Quadruple batches of hummus, my friends!) plus a smaller insert for smaller batch needs.
(4) Assortment of disc attachments for grating and slicing, including one with variable slicing, you can see it in this video.
Below, I’ve made a double-batch of Nutty Veggie Burgers with the Breville. I sure appreciated the 16-cup capacity for this double-batch. My last processor required MUCH scraping and removing portions of the mixture to blend properly.
The first time I used this machine the first thing I noticed is how much quieter it was than my old machine. And SMOOTH! Like
buttah cashew cream. It works through large mixes with little assistance needed for scraping down the sides… and, it is purty. I’ve always said that my Blendtec deserves a shrine. Now, the divine kitchen monument must be shared with my Breville Sous Chef!
Back to the PIE! Once you make the crust base in the food processor, you simply press it into the pie plate – how easy is that? I like to prep the base first, and pop it in the fridge to chill while I make the filling. Now, if you are using a high-speed blender (ie Blendtec, Vitamix) for the filling, it works through the ingredients pretty effortlessly, especially if you use the soaked cashews (you can use the unsoaked measure, just takes longer to puree smoothly – but, will be a touch firmer when set). With a standard blender, you definitely want to use the soaked cashews, simply because they will smooth out much silkier than raw cashews. Still, you will likely need to scrape down that blender a good few times and run it several minutes until it’s silky-smooth.
I love to serve this pie with a simple berry sauce. I have a couple in LTEV, one is “Fresh Strawberry Sauce”, and the other a “Warm Berry Sauce”. I prefer the fresh (raw) sauce with this pie, and you can easily substitute other berries like raspberries (and frozen a-ok)!
Raw Chocolate Dream Mousse Pie gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free LINK to SHARE/PRINT this recipe!
Creamy, chocolatey, luscious. Yet no sugar, no flour, no oil. Yes, chocolate dreams do come true—this one, with the help of avocado and dates for extra creaminess and sweetness. The filling is adaptable and can be accented with other flavors, such as orange zest (or orange oil), almond extract, or mint (leaves or extract)
1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup raw pecans
1 cup (lightly packed) pitted dates
2 tbsp raw cocoa powder
¼ tsp (scant) sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (see note)
1 cup avocado flesh (cut in chunks or slices, roughly 1 large or 1 – 1/2 medium avocados; be sure they are soft and ripe, not hard)
1/2 cup soaked raw cashews
1/2 cup nut milk (or other non-dairy milk if non-raw)
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
1/2 -1 tsp pure vanilla extract (see note)
1/8 tsp sea salt
Prepare the crust: Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse briefly until fine and crumbly. Add the crust remaining ingredients and process until the mixture becomes sticky. Stop to scrape down the bowl, if needed. The mixture should hold together when pressed with your fingers. If it’s still a little dry or not sticking, pulse again, add another date (or two, if small honey dates) and process again. Use 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon of water, as well, if not using vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture to a glass pie plate (helps to wipe the surface of the plate with a little coconut oil, or line with few strips of parchment paper, just for easier removal). Press the mixture evenly into the pan. To prepare the filling: Place all the filling ingredients in a high-powered blender and puree for a minute or so on at medium-high speed, until completely smooth and no texture of the cashews remains. Stop to scrape down the blender and redistribute the ingredients. Puree again until very, very smooth—like a velvety pudding. This will take a few starts and stops for scraping down – even with a high-powered blender. Once the mixture is readily churning and smooth, it’s ready. Pour the filling into the crust, and tilt and smooth with a spatula to evenly distribute. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to set. (Optionally, you can also freeze the pie and serve at a later time, thawing most of the way before slicing.) Slice and serve.
Savvy Subs and Adds: If you’d prefer not to use vanilla extract, use the seeds from one vanilla bean (see “Plant-Powered Pantry,” page xlii), using half for the crust and half for the filling. Also try adding a little orange zest to the filling, the orange/chocolate flavor combo is a winner!
Serving Suggestion: Serve as is, or topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, or a ladleful of Fresh Strawberry Sauce.
And, here are a couple of very simple and playful Valentine’s Day ideas for you:
This is a ‘party platter’ with my Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls, popcorn, and goji berries. Truth be told, if organic strawberries were available this time of year (and I mean not for $10/pint!!), I’d use those in place of the gojis. What else could we use here if not a goji fan?
And, how about some simple, quick, and very healthy heart-shaped fruits for Valentine’s Day? Simply use a heart cookie cutter and press out shapes from watermelon, pineapple – and also cantaloupe and honeydew if your cookie cutter is small enough. Serve straight up or thread on to skewers as “heart fruit pops”, or along with other fruits for Honey-dew-you-love-me? Can’t-aloupe-with-you, I don’t even know you! ;)
Finally, a few more recipes that so lovingly suit Valentine’s Day…
Raw Raspberry Pudding (so appropriately colorful and fresh!)
Lemon Kissed Blondie Bites (MWAH!)
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Are you making special treats for your luvvy or your kiddos? Share your ideas and links!