We all know sugar is bad for our health. However, the knowledge does not make resisting sweet cravings any easier. That’s why it’s good to have a few healthy dessert recipes up your sleeve. So, you can have a smart indulgence now and then with no guilt whatsoever. Better yet if you know the ingredients used are nutrient-dense. That’s the definition of a smart indulgence. Key Lime Pie is my husband’s favorite dessert so, the recipe I’m sharing today is a healthy version of this delight to honor my almost 32 years partner in life.
This pie filling’s main ingredient is avocado. Considered a superfood by nutrition experts, avocados are packed with monounsaturated fat and fiber. The combination of healthy fat and fiber helps to manage cholesterol and blood sugar. Most calories in avocado come from fat, so despite being healthy, it should be consumed in moderation. This is a rule of thumb for everything in life by the way!
Monounsaturated fatty acids, aka MUFAs, come from plant sources and may be helpful in lowering LDL cholesterol – known as “bad” cholesterol. For this reason, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends choosing monounsaturated over saturated fats.
Avocado – Nutritional Facts
According to USDA – US Department of Agriculture, each 100g of avocado contains 2g of protein, 8.5g of carbohydrate, 6.7g of fiber, and 14.7g of fat. This fruit is an excellent source of magnesium (29 mg), potassium (485 mg), and vitamins C (10 mg), E (2.1 mg), and K (21 mg). Most of the carbohydrate in avocados comes from fiber since it has very little sugar content. The reminder comes from starch. That’s why avocados’ glycemic index is close to zero. Hence the benefit for managing blood sugar spikes.
Avocados also contain a wide array of B vitamins (B9, B2, B3, and B5) and trace essential minerals such as copper and manganese.
Beyond the Avocado – Cashew Nut
All the other ingredients in this dessert are equally healthy. To give consistency and even more creaminess to the avocado cream we will add cashew’s milk. This Brazilian nut is rich in vitamins K, C, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, and B9 (folate). It is also an excellent source of potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. Still has a good amount of zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and selenium. On top of that, it provides 5.2 g of protein per serving (28 g).
A Touch of Sugar
To give a sweet touch to this pie we will use dates and Maple syrup. These are two natural sources of carbohydrates that, in addition to sugar itself, contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals. That is why they are considered the best way to sweeten recipes. After all, dessert has to be sweet!
Can’t Miss the Lime
Limes, like all citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C. One lime contains just under 20 milligrams, or one-third of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adults. Vitamin C helps in cell regeneration and growth and is key to the immune system’s proper functioning. Limes are also a good source of vitamins B9 and B6 and potassium.
Like all plants, limes have phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds. This means that they help fight aging caused by free radicals in the body and also help prevent chronic diseases. All citrus fruits still provide the additional benefit of aiding in the body’s absorption of plant-based iron. For vegans and vegetarians, the consumption of citrus with iron-rich vegetables and legumes is especially important. Learn more about the nutritional value of limes at this link!
Let’s check the Recipe
You’ll need the following ingredients:
For the CRUST:
- 1 1/2 cups of pecans
- 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
For the FILLING:
- 3 avocados
- 3/4 cup of raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 6 dates
- 3 teaspoons of maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- juice and zest of 3 limes
Soak the cashews with the dates in boiling water for 15 minutes. Let it cool down.
Add the pecans, coconut flakes, and one teaspoon of maple syrup to a food processor to make the crust. Process until you get a fine mixture. Cover the bottom of a 9″ removable side dish with this mixture, pressing down with a spatula.
Add the hydrated cashews with the dates and water into a blender. Blend it until you have a thick cream consistency.
Add the avocados, maple syrup, coconut oil, and lime juice to a food processor and mix it well. Add the cashew cream to the avocado mixture and process some more.
Finally, pour the pie filling mixture on top of the pecan crust. Store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Enjoy guilt free!
Remember: Good is what makes you feel well.
For another healthy recipe using cashew nuts check my blog post Eat for your Brain.