Baking is usually associated with childhood memories of birthdays or holidays. I have often listened with envy when people talk about their grandmother’s great cherry strudel or their mother’s special peach cobbler. For me, I had never seen an oven before I arrived in the US at the age of 20. The first time that I baked was when I lived with an old couple in Northridge, California while attending college. They generously hosted me for 2 years when I had no money to rent a place of my own. Their names were Richard and Sandy Hyde. I still remember my own surprise when I bit into the warm chocolate chip cookie. I couldn’t believe how something this delectable could be made so easily by me. And the aroma! Even without the benefit of childhood memory or family tradition, I was easily convinced that the aroma of cookies baking in the oven was the conduit to happiness.
I have loved baking since that day, but nowadays I am more careful about what ingredients to use. I don’t want to kill my family with excessive use of butter and sugar. I was delighted to find this healthy chocolate pecan pie recipe on chocolatecovderedkatie.com. It is low-sugar, gluten-free, vegan, nutritious and most importantly quite delicious.
Healthy Chocolate Pecan Pie
Ingredients for Crust:
2 cups almond flour (200g)
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp xylitol (optional)
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp melted coconut oil (17g)
2 tbsp water
Preheat oven to 350 F. Either grease the bottom of an 8.5 springform pan OR line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to form crumbles. Transfer the crumbly dough to the prepared pan, and press down evenly and firmly with your hands. Bake 14 minutes. (For a 9-inch pan, increase all ingredients by 1.5. Baking time remains the same.)
Ingredients for Filling:
1 cup raw pecans + more for garnish (I added 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts for extra nuttiness)
1 package 12.3 oz Mori-Nu silken-firm tofu
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot
1/2 cup agave or pure maple syrup
2 tbsp molasses (I used blackstrap molasses, but you can also use more agave or maple syrup)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Blend all ingredients, except pecans, in a food processor until very smooth. Then add the pecans and pulse a few times until they’re chopped. Pour into a prepared pie crust, and top with additional pecans if desired. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees, for 45 minutes. If you serve the pie immediately, it’ll be very gooey (not necessarily a bad thing). But if you let it chill in the fridge, it firms up quite nicely the longer it sits.