Raw Coconut Cream Pie ‘n Berries, A Valentines Treat! & Instagram Addiction

by Julie on February 11, 2012

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With Valentines day upon us once again I wanted to share a wonderfully delicious pie that is filled with love and healthy ingredients that you can shower upon the special people in your life.  It feeds a crowd–small pieces are recommended as it’s very coconutty and richly deeelish! -but not overly sweet at all.  You can also slice it up and freeze individual pieces that you can then take out once in a while when you need a special something with your tea–nice idea, don’t you think?

I was inspired to create this tart after indulging in the amazing OMG (coconut pie) that my instructor at IHN, Preet,  has created for his restaurant Organic Lives.  My ingredients are similar but with a few variations.  Although I’ve never seen his recipe I think I managed to replicate a similar dessert filled with lots of fresh young coconut meat.  However, if you aren’t up to wrestling with a coconut you can either stop by Organic Lives and enjoy  a ready made version or you can pick up some of his extracted coconut meat, coconut water and some gorgeous sun dried fine coconut for the crust and whip up this amazing dessert.

This pie not only tastes great, it’s pretty darn good for you with all that coconut in it!  Coconuts are rich in lauric acid which is an antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal which of course are always good to include in your diet especially if you have an imbalance of bacteria like yeast going on but is also very healing for symptoms such as abscesses, asthma, nausea, skin infections, ulcers, and toothaches.  Lauric acid has also been known to improve the immune system and reduce inflammation.

I love to use fresh coconut water in my recipes especially for smoothies as it is one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man and is considered natures Gatorade.  As for the fat of the coconut, many have scorned it but only for a lack of understanding that the saturated fat in coconuts is largely made up of medium-chain fatty acids, which are much better digested than animal fats and are used by the body for energy (we need good, healthy fats in our body), say researchers in the June 2006 issue of “Ceylon Medical Journal.

As for the gentle sweetness of this pie, it is a combination of sweet from dates, maple syrup and the coconut water, all of which are whole food sources of natural sugar.  It’s still sugar… but at least nutrients accompany these sugars which makes them have less of an effect on blood sugar levels as there is fiber to minimize the effects.  But this doesn’t mean that it’s okay to over indulge, right? Keeping your sugar intake really, really low, natural or not, is important to maintain optimal health but….. if you are ill you must completely avoid sugar of all kinds as it is acid forming, feeding bacteria and cancer cells, allowing them to multiply.  Sugar is considered a poison as it can do tremendous damage, so do be cautious.  For more info on sugar you might like to read the Sugar Blues.

Believe it or not, I managed to include a vegetable in this recipe!  Zucchini is great for creating creaminess and is quite neutral tasting with a nice moist quality so I decided to toss some in and it worked quite nicely-what a bonus for those that don’t get enough veggies-our secret, okay!!

I’m grateful for all the nods of approval I received after testing this dessert on all my class mates!  No body refused a bite and no one complained about the flavour, in fact they were drooling upon sight and couldn’t wait to dig in!  I LOVE my class mates, they are all sooo enthusiastic about healthy, yummy food that it’s such a delight to include them in some of my recipe tasting.  So this recipe is dedicated to them. “Thanx A-Team!”  Most of them have also tasted the OMG, thus they know how close I got to the original!  In fact some said they enjoyed it even more, I think it’s the berries that lifted it up to the next level.  However, I know Preet doesn’t include berries since the pie will freeze better with out them.  I believe he makes pies up ahead of time and freezes them for convenience since they freeze so incredibly well.

Do you sometimes like to get creative with recipes like this? By swapping out the berries with other fruits like sliced bananas or pineapple on the bottom or even a layer of gorgeous melted dark organic chocolate (maybe mix it with a little coconut oil to make it softer) you can personalize the recipe.  The possibilities are endlessly delicious!

Raw Coconut Cream Pie ‘n Berries
Yield: 10-12 servings
For the Crust
2 1/4 cups dried shredded organic coconut
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2 dates, pitts removed
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp alcohol free organic vanilla
2 cups finely diced organic strawberries, to line the crust
Method
Place all ingredients, except strawberries, in a food processor and combine well until coconut oil is evenly distributed and the mixture is beginning to bind together.  To ensure easy removal of pie from pan, you may cut a disc of parchment paper and place in bottom of pie place.  Scoop crust mixture into a deep 10″pie plate.  With a spoon, gently allocate the mixture up the sides of the pan, guiding it toward the top but not pressing down until the mixture is evenly distributed.  Then using the back of the spoon, press mixture down and smooth out the surfaces ensuring no holes in the crust approx 1/4″ thick.  Chill for 30-60 mins.  Spread diced strawberries on the bottom of the crust just before pouring the filling in.

For the filling
2 cups young coconut meat (approx 2 coconuts opened, scooped and diced)
1/2 cup diced, peeled mini zucchini
1/2 cup cashews, soaked 30 mins & drained
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil-the best oil you can afford!
1 1/4 cups fresh young coconut water (from 1-2 coconuts depending on size)
1 1/2 tbsp alcohol free organic vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup or to taste
6 strawberries sliced, for decorating the top
6 raspberries, for decorating the top
fresh mint sprigs, for decorating the top
Method
Place all ingredients (except berries and mint) in a blender and process until smooth, repeatedly scraping sides down to encourage complete mixing, reaching a smooth, silky, creamy mixture that is still very thick.  Refrain from adding more moisture and persevere if it is very thick in order to maintain a stiffness that will make the final result hold together well.  If you have a Vitamix use the poker that inserts in the lid.  A blender seemed to reach a much smoother mass than a food processor but experiment if you may.  Pour into strawberry lined chilled crust.  Chill 4 hours or over night. Shortly before serving, decorate the firm pie surface carefully (try not to relocate your slices after setting them down as it may mark the surface) with the sliced strawberries, raspberries and mint as per image (directions below) or in your own creative manner.  Enjoy:)

Curious as to how I made this design? Well, I started with a large outer circle leaving a nice empty center, then added another layer of slices directly on top of the first, offsetting these with slices between the first row.  I only used the nicest slices and discarded the tiny edge slices for the best results.  To create more dimension, I added the third layer on top of the circle layer bringing it in slightly toward the center and placing slices between previous slices.  Next, I placed raspberries to fill the center hole and accented with mint sprigs. Voila! Pretty…. isn’t it?

I hope you have a chance to make this either for Valentines or there after as it’s just divine.  It can be made most any season as you can usually find young coconuts year round and then can swap out the berries for other seasonal fruits.  It’s not exactly strawberry season here on the west coast of Canada in February although I wish it were but we are fortunate to be able to find organic California berries.  Ideally, one would stick to local and in season which I’m sure many of us strive for but with a special day or a deep craving I cave when I see those glossy berries at the market that traveled far and wide to get there that are just begging me to take them home and do something spectacular with them like this pie!

Are you are planning a special Valentines meal? If so, it’s always nice to add fresh flowers. I can’t resist them even when I’m not entertaining.  I’ve officially decided that I need to be surrounded by pretty things especially those things that bring me such joy as flowers do as does the process of styling them in a favourite vase.   My tip for the flowers is to not be afraid to cut the stem short, even those extra long stemmed roses.  For our last years Valentines Celebration you can see the roses I cut short in this post to set the pretty table.  In this bouquet below I used a combination of flowers but the idea is to bunch the same flowers together for more impact versus spreading them thru the bouquet especially with the smaller blooms.  For the largest blooms, the Gerbera daisies, I placed some of them further apart.  And of course you need to trim the stems short enough so that the flowers are bursting out of the container and none of the stems are visible.  The leggy stems will detract from the fullness and will allow the flowers to spread out further creating gaps between your blooms which then need more flowers or require greens to fill in.  There are practically no greens in this bouquet except for the rose leaves which I tucked in here and there, but that’s what makes this bouquets so lush and decadent, perfect for a romantic setting.

Of course one needs pretty plates to present such a lovely pie.  I happen to have these lovely bird side plates that I curated a couple years ago for my lake side cottage (from Anthropology of course-their home page is really cool right now).  They are usually found attached to the wall with a plate holder but today were part of a special dessert course, here at the lake.  Nice to be able to multi-purpose things like this, right? Below I included one of my Instagram shots showing the plates on the wall at the cottage.

Do you use Instagram? If you are an iPhone user and don’t know about Instagram you might be in for a treat if you like to take pictures or even just look at pretty pictures.  I discovered it back in June last year and I’m still thoroughly engaged (kind of addicted perhaps) and loving the Instagram world.  Essentially, it’s like a miniature facebook but just with photos.  People follow you,  you follow them to view, comment or just ‘like’ their shots.  It’s my little indulgence to myself as well as being a place to share what I do here on the blog.  My on-line feed is here at Followgram but you can install the free app for your iPhone which is where it all happens.  It’s one of my favourite pass times when I have a few free idle moments.  It’s very inspiring as sooo many folks take the most incredible photos on their iPhones (some upload DSLR shots) and the editing going on is out of this world too!  I edit with an app called PhotoForge2 and I shoot with Camera+.  I also just got an Olloclip lense that attaches to the iPhone that is way cool for doing some extreme close ups, fish eye or wide angle shots.  Soooo much fun to get creative with!  And yet, really….. I have so little time to play with all these goodies but it’s my eensy weensy way of fitting a little creativity into the corners of my life right now when studying is the priority as you only need a few minutes sometimes to whip together a pretty post.  My friend Leslie of A Creative Mint is also an Instagrammer as is Holly Becker of Decor8 who did a little post on Followgram a while back that might interest you.  If you check out their feeds, you might enjoy following for inspiration.  And, if you love food bloggers I have an online friend, Aran of Cannelle et Vanille who also has a wonderful feed.  In their profile you can see whom they or I follow and you may find some really lovely feeds to inspire you.  Here’s a few of my IG shots, one of the cottage with the plates on the wall.  The yellow door is my inspiration from London, way back in June, that reminds me to consider this scheme when we paint the exterior of the cottage.

It seems Instagram has nearly, but not quite, replaced my magazine fettish since it provides me with fresh new ideas and inspiration right in the palm of my hand at any given moment and is ever changing, every second.  Add to that, I’ve met some wonderful people from all around the world that I’ve had chats with that share the same passion.  If you decide to join the fun be sure to say hello, I’d love to hear from you:)

If you celebrate Valentines Day I hope you have a lovely time and that you are surrounded by love.

If you aren’t into the Big V Day, I hope you find occassion to make this yummy dessert for a loved one.

Have a wonderful week and I’ll be back in between my studies of Anatomy.

Julie

psst. thank you for indulging me with your time to view all these photos of this pie!  I honestly couldn’t contain myself in shooting the prettiness of it nor could I resist posting too many shots cuz I couldn’t decide between the many lovely images of the hundred or so that I took!!  Crazy I know, but the colours and the flowers were so wonderful to work with I kinda lost my mind!  I truly must have needed the creative escape- it served me well after all my hard work at school!  Hope you enjoyed the post:)

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Leslie February 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

What a gorgeous dessert Jules!!! Wow!!! Looks absolutely delicious -will have to try it for sure. Such a pretty pretty post that has me inspired to shoot berries and flowers!!! Good luck with school this week!

Julie February 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

Awe thanx kindly Les:) It was so enjoyable to do, a nice escape from the books! Have a good week setting up the studio!

shannon February 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Seriously looks so so good. I can’t wait to make it. I have coconut water, milk, butter, oul and shredded coconut. But no fresh coconut. Can you tell me a likely sucessful alternative to 2 cups of fresh so a tired mama doesn’t have to pack up four kids to the store? Thanks for the receipe, even if I have to wait to try it. Nothing is yummier than coconut.!

Treesa February 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

WOW…gorgeous pictures, awesome post and that pie. I don’t know how many times I said WOW as I read/looked at this post, but it caught my dh’s attention! He took a look and guess what he said? You guessed right if you guessed…WOW! :)
I only recently stumbled onto your site and I am so glad I did. It is a true work of heart!

admin February 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Awe thank you so very much Treesa:)

Julie February 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Shannon, I totally know what it’s like to want to make a tasty recipe but are short ingredients and have kids that are home but…..this really isn’t a creamy coconut pie without the young coconut meat, sorry to say:( If I had time to fiddle I might be able to come up with alternatives. It will be worth it if you make the trekk and the kids will benefit from a healthy treat:) Maybe make the crust today and chill and then add the filling & berries tomorrow when you have a chance to zip out to the store.

Vicki Moore February 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Beautiful post Julie! The pie looks and sounds amazing… love love coconut! Your photography and styling are fabulous too, thanks for sharing!
xo

Golubka February 15, 2012 at 7:57 am

Breathtaking! I want to try to incorporate zucchini in this type of pie filling now. Thanks for the healthy idea!

onionchoco February 17, 2012 at 4:36 am

Heaven, I’m in heaven….

Ivy February 18, 2012 at 7:35 am

When are you going to do a book?
{ No pressure! You are so busy learning and inspiring and mothering… but someday, I will own your book AND have your autograph there as well as the magazine article you signed for me ;-) }
You are talented in your nutrition, recipes and photos. I love stopping by your place!

Have fun in school this week.
Love ya~Ivy

Julie February 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Awe thanx Ivy:) I’m definitely working towards a book but need to of course finish school…..and I’d be happy to sign for you! Hugs, Julie.

Julie February 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Golubka, thanx kindly for stopping in:)

Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits February 24, 2012 at 10:12 am

You girls are so creative! Your pie is gorgeous and your photos, beautiful!

Maria på inredningsvis.se February 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

I really like your blog:) Great pics and so much inspiration…I wish you a lovely weekend.
LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
(Sweden)

Rika February 24, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hey Julie!! Thank you for the recipe :)
I made modified version of this pie and it was great; everybody thought I bought it somewhere lol
I used everything thats in my fridge : banana, mango, blueberries, raspberries, shredded coconut and coconut milk; put them in a blender and voila! It turned out solid enough to be cut thru :) the only problem was my crust kept falling off on the edges, maybe i put too little coconut oil for it..
Uh well, but that was quite a success for a beginner like me Julie, i’m planning to make the second one with chocolate nibs and hope it will turn out better *crossing finger*
Thank you again for sharing your wonderful recipes!!

Julie February 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Rika, thanks kindly for sharing your recipe ideas, yum! I think if it was crumbly it may have been too cold or too dry with not enough coconut oil. Not sure how closely you followed my crust recipe but if you were right on then best next time to allow the pie to stand at room temperature for 20-30 mins before slicing to slightly soften the oil. Good luck with the next recipe idea for chocolate nibs:)

Gretchen March 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Julie,
This pie looks amazing. I adore coconut and strawberries :) Thank you for sharing your knowledge and I look forward to seeing what other amazing recipes you come up with. You have inspired me to make some changes in my family’s eating habits! PS It was great meeting you this weekend at the BYW class. xo

Julie March 13, 2012 at 9:40 am

Awe Gretchen, it was a true pleasure meeting you too! So happy to inspire healthier eating for you and your family. Look forward to visiting you in Kentucky one day!!

Lisa March 24, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Love, love your food blog! I am always looking fo tasty recipes…….due to a parasite I got several years ago, my Naturalpath had me go on a grain free, no dairy diet and sense then I have been eating very similar to you both! I get bored with my recipes, which forces me to dicover beautiful creative blogs like yours!!! I am so delighted to have found you both! Thank you :)

Tiffany Youngren April 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm

This looks so yummy – and gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!!

Kristie Berg April 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Making this tonight for my husbands bday. How long can it sit in fridge? Hoping 48 hours will still be ok? Thanks for the fantastic work!

admin April 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Hi Kristie, yes no problem, I would wait to put the berries on til the day you plan to serve it so they won’t weep on the surface and go soggy. It will be fine for a few days and freezes well too. Happy Birthday to your hubby:)

Pat Zahn June 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm

This is so beautiful! I made this yesterday and just loved it. I used a yellow zucchini from our garden – just curious, does it really add anything to the texture of the pie? (I’m not adverse to adding vege nutrition but I was wondering if it adds to the texture.)

admin July 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

Hi Pat, I like the zucchini in there cuz it makes it creamier and of course I was able to sneak a veggie in! But I’m sure if you didn’t have it you could live without it:)
Glad you loved the recipe:)

Pat Zahn July 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Thanks! I used a yellow zucchini from our garden and it WAS creamy so I wouldn’t want to mess with that ;) (P.S. my choosy friend who doesn’t like zucchini didn’t even notice it was in there)

Suzie July 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Wow, this looks incredible & such a decadent lovely dessert, I would love to give it a try, however am allergic to nuts– is there a way I can make this without cashews? Appreciate your help, love this blog, its absolutely delightful.

Kay Dee July 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

WOW..Could these pics be anymore beautiful!!!!? I will be making this raw coconut/strawberry pie for sure! So inviting… And BTW, the name of your website made me laugh…in a respectful funny way!!!! :)

julie July 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Suzie, You could certainly use other nuts like almonds, but I would soak them over night or 24 hrs and maybe slip their skins off so that they are white instead of brown skinned, but even if you didn’t it would be fine:)

alli potter September 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I made the pie and followed the directions exactly and the filling is very soft and doesn’t firm up at all. Any recommendations?

Dana Zia September 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Beautiful! What pictures! Looks delicious too! Will be making it too.

admin September 22, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I would either process more nuts in a dry format as finely as you can and add them as they will soak up excess moisture. Other wise there are ideas for Irish Sea Moss that you can use to thicken and set fillings that you can google. Otherwise perhaps leave out the zucchini as it is mostly water. Not sure why it didn’t set for you as I have made it a number of times and it was fine. Plan B, Freeze it and have it more like a semi frozen dessert. Let me know how you make out.

Gabriella March 14, 2013 at 5:46 am

Hi

I’ve only just found your site and it’s fabulous. I found it through looking for a coconut dessert and this looked so good I chose to make it straight away (thankfully had everything on hand). I’ve just finished making it & put it in the fridge but it’s not white. It’s come out cashew coloured and I followed the recipe exactly (measurements & all). Just wondering if you know what may have gone wrong? Also, I tasted the coconut water & a bit of the flesh prior to using them & they were fine, however tasting the ‘batter’, it had that slight rancid taste coconuts can get. Any thoughts there? Hoping it tastes amazing tomorrow!

Julie March 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Hi Gabriella, we’ve noticed lately that upon opening up the odd young coconut we have to really look and taste the water to ensure freshness. If the water has a purple hue to it, most likely it’s off and should not be consumed. The water should be a neutral colour and clear or slightly cloudy but not pink or purple at all. The meat can also really vary. I recall making this recipe with white flesh that was on the thicker side. However some coconuts are much thinner or more slippery than firm and thick so this can affect the colour as well. I’m hoping your recipe is fine once it sets for you and that your ingredients are not wasted. The other possibility is that the cashews can be rancid. These nuts are vulnerable to oxidizing and to fungus and mold. I try to buy mine from a store that keeps them in a cooler for optimal freshness. If not I try to taste the bulk batch and check for freshness. Any burning at the back of your throat when swallowing a nut that may be rancid is the sign not to buy them. I just returned a jar of nice raw almond butter for this reason, my first jar ever, it’s bound to happen now and then of course. Let me know how you made out.

Suha April 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Hey Julie, do we have to use a food processer? And how thick does the crust need to be?

julie April 11, 2013 at 8:55 am

Hi Suha, you really should have a food processor but if you mince up the date nice and small you could perhaps combine with a wooden spoon or your hands to get it to stick together. If there’s a will there’s a way! Crust should be about 1/4″ thick or a tiny bit more. All the best.

Marilyn July 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I really want to make this, but I don’t have zucchini on hand right now. I was reading that other types of squash can be used as a substitute for zucchini, I have patty pan squash, can I use that instead or just omit it altogether?

admin August 23, 2013 at 9:59 pm

You could omit it or use a patty pan. Either way it should be fine.

Linnea February 26, 2014 at 12:54 am

Could you make this if you don’t have a whole coconut? With just coconut water in bottle and coconut cream?

Julie February 26, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Linnea, I haven’t tried it so I can’t really say. You may need the coconut manna or coconut butter not just the cream but if you increase the cashews perhaps you would find it stiffens up enough. let me know if you give it a try.

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Disclaimer: The content on this site is not written with intentions to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatments. Our content is for information purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat health issues of any sort. Our information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Copyright Julie Cove and Yvonne Becker, 2009-2010. Please do not use or copy any information, recipes or photos without permission or without noting its origins on your blog or website.