An article in a special holiday supplement caught my eye recently. It was titled, “Be Aware of Dietary Restrictions.” And, right under the title (with a colored background for emphasis) was a recipe—No-Bake Gluten-Free Pie. It wasn’t called raw, but perhaps that’s because it contained agave, which I understand can go through some processing. (You raw foodies will know the finer points on this subject … please feel free to enlighten us!) Or, perhaps they called it “No-Bake” to appeal to all the harried holiday bakers. Whatever label is appropriate, the recipe intrigued me. A number of gfe readers and friends of mine like to include raw foods and dishes in their diet. Of course, I’m a big fan of nuts, fruit, salads, and more recently green smoothies, but that’s been largely the raw part of my diet to date. One of my support group members, Susan, spoke to our group a few months back on her time at the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in California. The Living Light Institute bills itself as “The #1 raw food diet (non) cooking school.” Susan gave an excellent presentation, and the benefits of including raw foods in one’s diet that she shared with us were very compelling. Here’s the high-level summary of what she shared via words from Living Light’s website on part of the reasoning for eating raw: “Organically grown raw and living foods provide high-quality nutrition while naturally supporting both proper digestion and a well-functioning immune system. Eating these life-giving foods helps to alkalize the body, a key factor in building excellent health. When the body is in an alkaline state, it is better able both to absorb nutrients and to expel toxins more efficiently. The SAD (Standard American Diet) of meat, bread, dairy products, processed/cooked foods, caffeine, and alcohol creates an acidic state in the body, which contributes to a variety of health problems.” You can read more here.
Now back to the pie … I skimmed the ingredients of the basic recipe and they sounded quite good. There were only a few ingredients and nothing strange listed at all: agave nectar, almonds, and seasonal fruit. Well, I should say, that was after I figured out the basic recipe. When I read the recipe to try to follow the instructions, it was very confusing. I had to re-read it about six times before I figured out (sort of) that they were sharing three recipes in one. I’m still not 100% sure; it was that poorly done. In the end, I finally deciphered two versions that I wanted to try. The first one that I am sharing here I’d call a beginner “raw” or no-bake pie. I used agave nectar in the crust and our bees’ raw honey in the filling, but agave nectar in both (which the recipe called for) would work just fine.
Simple Fruit-Nut Pie
Adapted from a recipe included in newspaper article attributed to Beth Wood, Creators.com
- 2 cups finely ground raw almonds (or finely ground ready-made almond flour)
- 1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar)
- 1 ½ to 2 cups seasonal fruit, peeled and cut if necessary (I used 2 pears and one apple)
- 2 tbsp to ¼ cup honey, to taste (or agave nectar)
- Combine 2 cups finely ground raw almonds and 1/3 cup honey in mixing bowl.
- Press into 5-inch pie dish. (I lightly greased a deep 5-inch holiday-themed bowl with coconut oil, just for ease of removing pieces.)
- Mix up to ¼ cup honey and seasonal fruit in a bowl; fill crust. (I used 1 ½ cups of cut, ripe pears and apples.) Garnish, as desired with more fresh fruit and/or raw nuts.
I enjoyed eating this pie at room temperature, but I recommend chilling after eating due to the fruit content. After chilling overnight (I liked it cold, as well), the pie seemed sweeter to me. So if you are using sweeter fruits like the ripe pears I used, you may want to use less of the honey (or agave) with the fruit. The pears also created a fair amount of their own juice, so if you experience that, you may want to drain some of that juice off and save for another purpose, say a green smoothie or for naturally sweetening your cereal. You could also use more apples and less pears in this particular combination. As you can see in the last photo, I "ungarnished" my pie before I ate it, because I wanted to eat the orange slices separately, but that's just me being odd.
Conclusion: What a great and easy way to turn some fruit and nuts into a lovely little dessert or a special gift for a friend who eats raw or even a company-worthy pie. Granted, this recipe doesn’t make a large pie, but one could easily adapt the measurements to make larger pies for guests. I can’t wait to share this one with my group tonight, especially Susan. A small piece is missing from mine (okay, two now … I just had one for breakfast!), but the pie is filling and flavorful, so only a small piece is needed. And, while this 5-inch pie won’t serve my entire support group, it could easily be a dessert for a few guests. This pie does actually hold up as a pie, too. The almonds and agave nectar make a wonderful crust. As I said in the directions, I did grease my bowl with some coconut oil and I also used a spatula to remove my pieces, but they are like pie and don’t fall apart.
Enjoy your day off from baking! Oh, and the next version I will be making will be raw pecan pie, but that might not happen until after the holidays. I don’t even want to tell you how far behind I am on holiday preparations and Key West is calling … I did manage to put out my Christmas tins and Santas though. Most of them are shown in this photo. I’ll share my two favorites Santas in my next post. Gotta run … support group meeting tonight!
Yum! Love raw pies…so easy, right?
The pear and apple combo sounds yummy…I made one with figs and blackberries in the summer and it was really good!
Hi Winnie–Thanks! Yes, soooo easy and well loved by my group. I didn’t have time to make a larger pie, but everyone who wanted some got a couple tablespoons. 😉 The pie was so packed with flavor and nutrients, you didn’t need much though. A raw pie with figs and blackberries sounds great. 🙂 Next year I need to be sure to get some figs from MIL’s tree.
How interesting! I need to include more raw foods in my diet. I used to do the green smoothies but got out of the habit so thanks for the reminder. I might try this pie. It certainly looks delicious and sounds healthy!
Hi Kari!–The pie is wonderful. I think you’d really enjoy it. Like smoothies, it’s another different way to get more fruits in one’s diet easily. You really won’t believe the taste–wow! And, you can use whatever fruit you’d like and adjust sweetness accordingly. It was eaten fairly quickly last night. I had not been making my smoothies consistently either, but love the recipe (from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen) on my site and just made some on Monday—sooo good. A super easy green smoothie to make is just a handful or so of spinach, two bananas, and some water. Very pretty pale green and light. 🙂
Yay! I’m very excited for your first raw pie! It’s amazing how much that crust looks like a baked crust! Also, can’t wait to read about a raw pecan pie…
Hi Iris–Thank you! Knowing you were waiting made me get moving and make it. LOL, but true! Yes, the crust is amazing. Frankly, I took one taste of the crust before I’d done anything else and was totally in love! I’m thinking the raw pecan pie is going to taste like Larabar’s pecan pie bar just actually in pie form. Of course, I’ll have to see where my tweaking takes me on that one. 😉
Great job Shirley! I love raw desserts, etc.!
Hi Pam–Thanks! Success the first time around is always a delight! 🙂 Will have to see what you’ve shared on your site as far as raw desserts …
I do have quite a few and the list is growing..yum!!
Holy yum! 🙂
Hi VeggieGirl–LOL, but yes, that’s a pretty accurate description! 😉
Thanks very much!
Stomach = growling. Totally love this Shirley!
🙂 … Lauren, you can make one of these in a jiffy! It’s the best kind of yummy … healthy yummy. 😉
Alisa - Frugal Foodie says
Shirley that looks wonderful; so delicious!
Hi Alisa–Thank you! I love that it’s naturally free of so many allergens, but yet so delicious as you said. 🙂
Katrina (gluten free gidget) says
Brave, my friend!
Hi, Katrina–Thanks very much! 🙂
I’ve never tried anything like that. My experience with raw is pretty much the things you listed. I’ll keep this in mind and give it a try sometime.
Linda–It is a surprising treat. 🙂 We had a group member make raw key lime pie once and it was incredible, but after I got the recipe, I decided it was a little more work than I wanted to do. This one comes together quickly and easily. You might even try a mini version to see what you think. Just mix some ground almonds or almond flour (if the almonds are blanched, it’s no longer technically raw I believe, but still tastes great) and a little agave and press into a small bowl or teacup. Then mix some fruit with a little bit of honey or agave and pour into the crust. Then see if you like the flavor combinations. You could just eat with a spoon, but if making a pie, I’d suggest using a tiny bit of coconut oil to grease the pie dish and then use a spatula to remove the pie pieces.
oh my, that looks good! those green smoothies though aren’t my thing. you and my little peewee! 😉
Jessie–Hi, dear! So good to see you. 🙂 I think you’d really enjoy this one and with the directions to use seasonal fruit, you could really have so many variations.
So glad your little peewee and I are of like mind. 😉 But, I think if you don’t like green smoothies, you haven’t had the right combination yet. Have you tried the 2 bananas, cup of spinach, 1 1/2 – 2 cups of water smoothie yet? Light and yummy. I think it would convert even you … just saying …
How does the crust hold together? That would be my only concern. It looks fabulously simple. I am up for simple recipes this time of year (and I have all the ingredients here and now, yay!)…Do you think it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast???
Hi Chelsey–The crust holds together beautifully … just like a baked crust. I did grease my dish with a little coconut oil and I did use a skinny spatula to remove each piece, but I was quite impressed with the “pie” quality of this raw pie. I think I’d cut my fruit pieces a little smaller next time so the pieces weren’t irregular in size to make each piece look more pie like. I do think it’s healthy enough to eat for breakfast, especially if you back off on the honey a bit. If you are using pears, they have a lot of juice so you might only need a small amount of honey. Let the apple and pear mixture sit a minute or so to see how much honey you need to add. You might even drain some off (and save it like I did) and then add your honey to the mix before filling the crust. Good luck! Please let us know what you think.
Stephanie @ glutenfreebynature.com says
too bad I already ate breakfast !
I’ve been looking for an easy pie crust – this just may be it. (I also like Ali’s pecan pie crust though). This could be just a little simpler – right up my alley!
Have a wonderful, relaxing time in Key West!
Hi Stephanie–It made a delish breakfast … protein, fruit, and the oh-so-good-for-you, honey. 😉
If you are looking for an easy pie crust for baking, frankly, I’m not sure this is the one. It might fall apart when baking. I’ll have to test it. I’m sure Ali’s pecan crust is great. Nut crusts makes wonderful, easy gf pie crsts. I’ll be back with another easy pie crust soon that you might also like. It’s a recipe where you can use any gf flour and I know almond flour would be terrific in it.
Thanks for the vacation wishes! Yes, I’m getting pysched … capri pants and sleeveless tops are being pulled out at the same time as we are expecting maybe a foot of snow tomorrow. LOL As long as it’s all gone so we can go to the airport Christmas night, I’m cool with it. I love snow, too. 🙂
Best of luck with Go Ahead Honey this month—holiday cookies should be a fantastic roundup! Thanks for hosting Naomi’s wonderful gluten-free carnival!
Stephanie @ glutenfreebynature.com says
I am so excited to have the chance to host – thrilled a spot opened up at the last minute! It’s so fun to take part in Naomi’s brain child!
I admit I am envious of your trip to the tropics. My brother is just returning from his honeymoon – 2 weeks in the Virgin Islands. I was drooling when he told me…. Although I love visiting those warm, charming places I’m more of a “I like my seasons” kind of person. I love snow too!
I guess in the end it doesn’t matter where we go – as long as we are on vacation, right? Enjoy sitting back and putting your feet up!
Diane-The WHOLE Gang says
Love all the ingredients in here. This sounds so sweet which I’m always up for that! Thank you for sharing this on Friday Foodie Fix.
Diane–Yes, it was actually quite sweet. A small serving was all that was needed. That’s why I showed a range for the amount of honey required in the ingredients listing. It will really depend on the fruit used, too. I like the apple/pear combo, but will try it with agave or less honey next time.
Diane-The WHOLE Gang says
I think I might be able to get Brad to eat this one. He doesn’t eat many things and I think has only had a chocolate cream pie. He does like Granny Smith Apples but I have tons of Winesap. Yeah, something to do with all of those apples.
Diane–I hope your raw apple pie works out as a new pie option for your son—let us know! 🙂
Heather @Gluten-Free Cat says
I’d like to have this pie for breakfast, please! I have a friend who went to Living Light. She taught me so much about raw foods when she returned.