It’s funny how every year I somehow forget that I am so obsessed with pies.  In the summer it’s all about the ice cream (anything that involves chocolate!).  As soon as fall comes around, though, I can’t get enough pumpkin and pecan pies.

Pecan pie has that gooey super sweetness that is so delicious.  In my version, I wanted to go with better-for-you sugar options, and being a chocoholic, I also had to go with a chocolate crust.

This captures the gooeyness and sweetness of the traditional pecan pie without being cloyingly sweet.  The crust stays crisp, and it cuts beautifully, no runny filling here!!  Dates are high in sugar, but also full of fiber and other micronutrients that are not present in refined sugars.  So while this dessert is a treat, its one you can feel good about eating.

Today also happens to be my birthday!! I can’t believe it is here already, but I have to say 27 was one of my favorite years, and I think 28 is going to be even better!!  Since my birthday falls right in the middle of my pie obsession time every year, I usually have birthday pie instead of cake.  I am sure I will be sick of pie by the end of this week!! :)

Health highlight of pecans: Pecans are anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants (in amounts that rival berries).  One study showed those who ate nuts (like pecans) regularly (more than 5 ounces per week) were less likely to suffer heart attacks.  Pecans are a very good source of manganese, which serves several important functions in your body including protection from free radical damage.  Nuts are rich in nutrients, but not considered a nutrient dense food because of the high calorie count.  In moderation pecans are an excellent source of healthy fats, as well as full of healthy nutrients like calcium, iron, fiber, and protein.

Vegan Pecan Pie (Gluten Free)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 1 ½ cups Oats
  • 6 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 3 tablespoons Margarine (or coconut oil)
  • 3 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • Generous pinch Salt
Filling:
  • 1 cup medjool Dates (about 15) pitted
  • 3 tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • ½ cup Almond Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Ground Chia Seeds
  • 1 cup Pecans (chopped and toasted)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. In the bowl of a food processor add all the crust ingredients
  3. Run until the oats are very fine, and the dough starts to stick together
  4. Dump the crust into a pie plate
  5. Press the crust evenly on the bottom and sides of the pie plate (as you would with a graham cracker crust)
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, set aside to cool
  7. Rinse the bowl of the food processor
  8. Add the dates and maple to the food processor
  9. Run until the dates are pureed and the mixture starts to lighten in color
  10. Add the almond milk and ground chia
  11. Run until smooth
  12. Stir the pecans into the filling
  13. Add the filling to the pie crust
  14. Bake until a toothpick come out clean, about 25 minutes
  15. Allow to cool, slice and enjoy!!!!!!

 

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