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CHERRY CHOCOLATE SUMMER PIE

Dani VennPlant Based Vegan, Raw-Some, Sweet Treats

I’m writing this with a snotty nose and tissues in hand. Typical really after last week’s post about how to boost your child’s immune system! But it is actually a bit of a wake up call for me as I’m sure like a lot of parents, I find myself to be more concerned about my child getting sick rather than my own health, which is actually really stupid and a little worrying.

Take swimming class for example, I thought it to be the upmost important thing to take Harlow to the toddler germ-infested pool yesterday morning, despite feeling like I was teetering on the edge of a cold for a few days. Now really, would Harlow even have known that she missed a swimming class? No. Would I been better off not going? Yes. Silly me! So now I am quite literally eating my words swilling ginger tea and Manuka honey as if it’s nobody’s business. But seriously, if I am to be the best mum that I can be then I have to be the healthiest version of myself and I need to put myself first. Just like how they show you on those aeroplane safety videos, put your oxygen mask on first before you help others. It makes sense but we instinctively think as parents we should be helping our children first, but how much help are we actually going to be when we are clasping for oxygen unable to help ourselves?

Wow, that got real dark really quickly! But it’s something important to think about I guess. Moving onto much brighter, far tastier things…

I created this Cherry Chocolate Summer Pie recipe for Christmas lunch last year. It’s so merry and festive, garnished with plump red cherries and a sprinkle of coconut snow. It really is a lovely summery dessert especially because it’s best served chilled (with a nice rose – hello!)

What I love about this recipe in particular is the pie base as it’s nut free and made with blitzed up pumpkin and sunflower seeds, which act kind of like flour. I really wanted to make nut free bliss balls as so many kids have nut allergies and this base layer recipe really is that. You could just roll it up into balls and dip them into coconut instead! I also add in cacao nibs for extra texture and energy. So good!

The second layer is the Cherry Chia Jam, which sounds like a long and complicated process as making traditional jam is a long and complicated process. But this recipe is far simpler, you just pop some cherries, chia seeds and a little rice malt syrup and water over low heat and let it do it’s thing for about 15 minutes. The chia seeds naturally absorb the liquid making the consistency jammy really quickly. Then I whiz it all up in a blender and you have your jam in less than 30 minutes.

The third and fourth layers are even easier! A layer of store-bought coconut yoghurt and a layer of cherries and this pie is ready to rock.

Juicy cherries are still in season so it’s a perfect time to make this sweet treat, or even better get someone else to make it for you because if you are feeling anything like me, you might need to put yourself first for once and indulge in a bit of TLC right now. Don’t go chasing waterfalls… x

CHERRY CHOCOLATE SUMMER PIE

Serves 12

Nut free, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Pie Base (OR Nut Free Bliss Ball Mix!)

¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

¼ cup sunflower kernels

25 fresh medjool dates, deseeded

1 cup desiccated coconut

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

¼ cup cacao nibs

½ teaspoon salt flakes

 

Cherry Chia Jam

1 ½ cups fresh pitted cherries

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

2 tablespoons chia seeds

 

400g coconut yoghurt

150g fresh cherries to garnish

1/4 cup desiccated coconut, sieved to garnish

HOW YOU MAKE IT

Prepare a loose based tart or pie tin and line the base with some baking paper

To make the pie base, place pepitas and sunflower kernals into a high-powered blender or food processor and blitz until a fine ‘flour’ forms. Add dates, coconut, cacao powder and nibs, salt flakes and blitz until the mixture is smooth like a paste. If the mixture is too dry and doesn’t come together, add a little water, a teaspoon at a time until it sticks together.

Press the mixture evenly into the prepared tart or pie tin. Place in the fridge to firm up.

To make the cherry chia jam, place cherries, water, rice malt syrup and chia seeds into a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, use a wooden spoon to break up the cherries and stir occasionally. When cherry jam is of a thick and jammy consistency, turn off heat and add to food processor, blitz until smooth-ish and then allow to cool a little before pouring into the pie base.

When jam is cool scoop yoghurt on top of the cherry jam and decorate with cherries and sprinkle with coconut. Allow pie to sit in the fridge to firm up for at least 4 hours before serving. This pie keeps well and you can prepare a day in advance. Serve chilled.

Tip: If you are using canned cherries for this recipe, give them a good rinse, as the syrup they have been stored in may be very sugary and sweet.

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