Sunday, October 25, 2009

World Go Vegan Week: Make Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

World Go Vegan Week: Make Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

posted by Melissa Breyer Oct 24, 2009 5:01 pm
World Go Vegan Week: Make Vegan Pumpkin Pie!

The 4th annual World GO VEGAN Week is taking place this year from October 25 through 31. This week is a celebration of compassion and a time to take action for animals, the environment and everyone’s well-being. In Defense of Animals, the organizer of the celebration, encourages people to use this week to to educate their community about the vegan lifestyle as a compassionate, sustainable, and healthy way of eating and living.

So, how am I going to celebrate? I’m going to start by educating my community about the vegan lifestyle. How am I going to do that? Four words: raw vegan pumpkin pie. And then I’ll add another 11 words: the world’s most “mmmmm”-inducing raw vegan dessert known to humankind.

I want to start by saying that as much as I love raw vegan food (read my take on it here)–many desserts from the raw vegan clan leave me…craving milkshakes. They can be kind of nut-heavy, date-loaded, a little dry, sometimes clunky. This pie, on the other hand, is creamy, bright, and elegant. I am a pumpkin pie freak and this one does not disappoint, I promise. That said, I need to warn you of a few things. First, although it tastes exactly like pumpkin pie–there is no pumpkin in it! (Which is good because I’m not so sure I like the texture of raw pumpkin.) Second, it recommends the use of a dehydrator (but we can get around that, I’ll tell you how at the end of the recipe). Also, although the steps are very easy, like many raw recipes this crust requires plenty of advance planning to accommodate dehydrating times. If you are accustomed to making raw food, I know that didn’t scare you–to those of you to whom this may be new, don’t click away from this page! It’s easy and worth it. (You can also skip the crust and turn it into a much quicker raw vegan pumpkin pudding.)

So, here we go: Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie

2 1/4 cups pecans, soaked overnight and dehydrated for 24 hours
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon date paste
1 pinch sea salt

1. Place prepared pecans in food processor; pulse into small crumbs. Mix pecans and all remaining ingredients together well by hand.

2. Press into plastic (or parchment) lined 9-inch tart pan to desired thickness. Dehydrate 48 hours.

3. Chill crust in freezer for 15-30 minutes before filling. If not using all of hte crsut mixture, store extra in a container in the freezer.

1/2 cup cashews, soaked
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave (read about agave)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons carrot juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

1. Blend all ingredients in Vita-Mix (or a basic heavy duty blender) until very smooth.

2. Fill tart crust and chill in freezer overnight. Remove pie from tart pan,� cut into 12 even slices and serve, or wrap each slice in parchment and store in refrigerator.

The Dehydrator. When I first started considering a raw diet, all this talk of a dehydrator made me very nervous. I imagined some very high-tech piece of kitchen lab equipment that was probably very expensive, certainly complicated, and maybe even dangerous! Lo and behold–it’s a simple box with drying trays and a small fan and heater. I got one and use it all the time for a million things, even though I’m not exclusively raw. Anyway, you can live without it. If you are in a cooler climate, Matthew Kenney recommends using an oven at the lowest setting with its door propped open, or if oyu are in a warmer environ, he suggests laying your food in the sun. Again, you can also skip the drying of the crust and make the pie filling as a pudding.

Adapted from the great raw cookbook Everyday Raw (Gibbs Smith, 2008) by Matthew Kenney

And about that picture. It is an actual picture of the recipe, from the cookbook, but the recipe doesn’t explain the grid decoration (or how someone could possibly have such a steady hand with a pastry bag!). It looks to me like they reserved some of the filling mix, maybe mixed it with a little extra coconut oil (or maybe not) and piped it on.

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